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by Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Yerushalayim
Rosh Kollel: Rabbi Mordecai Kornfeld

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Megilah 18

MEGILAH 16, 17, 18, and 19 (1st day of Sukos) sponsored by a generous grant from an anonymous donor. Kollel Iyun Hadaf is indebted to him for his encouragement and support and prays that Hashem will repay him in kind.


(a) (Acceptance of prayer): "I will bring them to my holy mountain and make them rejoice in my house of prayer.
(b) (Temple Service): The previous verse continues, "Their burnt and Shlamim offerings on my altar".
(c) (Thanks): "One who sacrifices, thanks".
(d) (Birkas Kohanim): "Aharon blessed the people ... Me'asos (from having done) the sin-offering ...".
1. Question: If so, Birkas Kohanim should follow Temple Service!
2. Answer: We have the verse, "One who sacrifices, thanks".
3. Question: Why rely on that more than the verse of Aharon?
4. Answer: Logically, Temple Service and Thanks are one concept.
(e) (Shalom): "They will put my name on Yisrael, and I will bless them" - Hashem's blessing is Shalom.
(f) Question: If 120 Sages, including prophets ordered the blessings, why did Shimon ha'Pekuli need to order them (Yavne was 400 years after the last prophets)?
(g) Answer: The order was forgotten, he re-established it.
(h) One may not compose a blessing on his own.
1. (R. Elazar): "Who will speak the great acts of Hashem, will make heard agll his praise?" - One who can make heard all his praise is fitting to speak of his great acts.
2. (Rabah Bar Bar Chanah): One who speaks of Hashem's praise too much is uprooted from the world.
3. (R. Yehuda of Giborya): "To you, silence is praise" - the best spice (to praise Hashem) is silence.
4. (Rav Dimi): In Eretz Yisrael, they say, one should pay twice as much for silence as for a word.
(a) (Mishnah): If one reads by heart, he didn't fulfill the Mitzvah.
1. (Rava): We learn this from a Gezerah Shaveh "Zekira-Zekira"; the Torah said to write the remembrance of Amalek in a Sefer.
2. Question: How do we know that "Zekira" mentioned in the Megilah is reciting it - perhaps it suffices to think about it!
3. Answer: "Remember, don't forget" - forgetting is in the heart, "remember" must be coming to say that we must recite it.
(b) (Mishnah): One who reads in Aramaic translation didn't fulfill the Mitzvah.
1. Question: If it is written in Hebrew, and he reads it in Aramaic, that is by heart (so why was it needed to teach this)!
2. Answer: We learn here that if it was written and read in Aramaic, he didn't fulfill the Mitzvah.
(c) (Mishnah): We may read in La'az to a Lo'ez.
(d) Question: But the Mishnah said, one who reads in any language did not fulfill the Mitzvah!
(e) Answer: (Rav and Shmuel): In Yevanis, one fulfills the Mitzvah.
1. Question: If it is written in Ashuris, and he read in Yevanis, that is by heart!
2. Answer (R. Acha): It was written in Yevanis.
3. (R. Acha): "He called him Kel, Elokei Yisrael" - Hashem called Yakov Kel! - had Yakov called the altar "Kel", the verse would have said, "Yakov called ...".
(f) Question (Beraisa): "One who read in Giftis, Ivris, Ilmis or Midis did not fulfill the Mitzvah".
(g) Answer: That is if he does not understand the language; Rav and Shmuel are dealing with one who understands Yevanis.
(h) Question: If so, why did they say, he read in Yevanis - the same is true of any language!
(i) Retraction: Rav and Shmuel came to say that Yevanis is acceptable for everyone; they did not come to explain the Mishnah. The Mishnah is dealing with one who understands the language.
(j) Question: But the Mishnah says that Yevanis is only good for Yevanim!
(k) Answer: Rav and Shmuel hold like R. Shimon Ben Gamliel, who permits writing Seforim in Yevanis.
(l) Question: If so, they should have said, the law is like R. Shimon Ben Gamliel!
(m) Had they said that, we would have thought that they permit Yevanis for other Seforim, but not for Megilas Esther, which says "as their writing"; now, we see that even the Megilah may be written in Yevanis.
(n) (Mishnah): A Lo'ez who heard Ashuris fulfilled the Mitzvah.
(o) Question: But he doesn't understand!
(p) Answer: One fulfills the Mitzvah even without understanding; this must be so, for women and unlearned men do not understand when it is read in Hebrew!
(q) Objection (Ravina): We (scholars) also do not know what "ha'Achashteranim Bnei ha'Ramakim" means! Rather, one publicizes the miracle by reading it, even without understanding.
(a) (Mishnah): One who read Seirugin (intermittently) fulfill the Mitzvah.
(b) The sages didn't know the meaning of the following words, until they overheard Rebbi's maid-servant say them, then they understood from context.
1. Seirugin - with pauses in the middle.
2. Chaluglagos - portulak (a type of vegetable).
3. Salsalah - turn about.
4. Yehavcha - your burden.
5. Titasiha - I swept it.

(c) (Beraisa): One who read intermittently fulfilled the Mitzvah, but not if he read out of order;
(d) (R. Muna): If he paused long enough to finish it, he did not fulfill the Mitzvah.
(e) (Rav Yosef): The law is like R. Muna.
1. Question (Abaye): 'To finish it' - from where he paused, or from beginning to end?
2. Answer (Rav Yosef): From beginning to end - if not, the Shi'ur (amount) changes according to the circumstance!
(f) (R. Ava): Rav says the law is as R. Muna; Shmuel disagrees. Thusly it was taught in Sura.
(g) In Pumpadisa it was taught this way in the name of Rav Kahane; Rav Bibi taught contrarily, Shmuel rules as R. Muna.
(h) (Rav Yosef): Rav Bibi's teaching is preferred, since we know that Shmuel is concerned for the opinion of an individual.
1. (Mishnah): A widow is awaiting Levirate marriage. A brother of the deceased engaged her sister. R. Yehuda Ben Beseira: We tell him not to consummate the marriage until his older brother will perform Levirate marriage or Chalitzah.
2. (Shmuel): The law is as R. Yehuda Ben Beseira.
(i) (Beraisa): If the scribe omitted letters or verses, and the reader said them by heart, he fulfilled the Mitzvah.
(j) Question (Beraisa): If letters faded or were torn, if their image is recognizable, it is Kosher; if not, it is invalid.
(k) Answer: The Beraisa speaks when the majority is faded or torn.
(l) (Beraisa): If the reader omitted a verse, he may not finish and later say the verse; rather, he returns to that verse and reads in order;
(m) One who enters a Shul, and finds the congregation in the middle of the reading cannot hear the second half, and later, the first; rather, he reads the entire Megilah in order.
(n) (Mishnah): One who dozed in the middle fulfilled the Mitzvah.
(o) (Rav Ashi): 'Dozing' is half asleep, half awake; if called, he responds, but cannot answer anything which requires understanding.
(a) (Mishnah): One who was writing, expounding or proofreading fulfilled the Mitzvah only if he intended.
(b) Question: If he said each verse by memory, then wrote it - this is by heart, he should not fulfill the Mitzvah!
(c) Answer: Rather, he said each verse after writing it.
(d) Question: But R. Chelbo taught, the law is, one must read the entire Megilah! And even the dissenting opinions agree that the entire Megilah must be written!
(e) Answer: Rather, a complete Megilah was in front of him, and he read from it as he wrote.
(f) (Rabah Bar Bar Chanah): One may only copy, one may not write by memory.
1. The Beraisa seems to support this - this explains why a Megilah was in front of him!
2. Rejection: There is no support - the Beraisa gives the law, if such a case occurs.
(g) Question (Beraisa): R. Meir went to Asya to make a leap year. There was not a Megilah there, so he wrote one from memory, and read it.
(h) Answer (R. Avahu): R. Meir is an exception; Torah, which is generally forgotten when one closes his eyes, remains in front of him.
(i) Rav Chisda found Rav Chananel writing by memory. He said, the whole Torah is fitting to be written by your mouth - but Chachamim said, we may not write by heart.
1. Question: From his praise, we see that he does not forget - why was R. Meir different?
2. Answer: R. Meir's case was a pressed circumstance, there was no other solution.
(j) Abaye allowed people of Bar Chabo's house to write from memory - he holds like a different Tana.
1. (Beraisa - R. Yirmiyah): Tefilin and Mezuzahs may be written by heart, and do not require Sirtut (scratch lines to ensure straight writing).
2. The law is, Tefilin doesn't need Sirtut, but Mezuzahs do; both may be written by heart, since everybody is fluent in (the verse written in) them.
(k) (Mishnah): If it was written with paint ... only ink is Kosher. (l) These are the meanings of the invalid ink substitutes of the Mishnah:
1. Sam - paint.
2. Sikra - a red dye.
3. Kumus - Sap of a tree.
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