ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
MEGILAH 2-5 (Elul 27-Rosh Hashanah 5760) - have been dedicated by Dr. Jack
and Sarah Dimenstein of Zurich Switzerland. May they be blessed with a year
of health and prosperity, physical and spiritual!
Please note that unless where otherwise indicated, we follow the explanation
Our notes and comments do not necessarily have a bearing on the
(a) The Megilah can be read on the eleventh, the twelfth, the thirteenth, the
fourteenth and the fifteenth of Adar.
According to the Tana of our Mishnah, when the fourteenth falls ...
1. Mukafin (people who live in cities that were walled from the time of
Yehoshua bin Nun) read it - on the fifteenth?
(c) The villagers read the Megilah - on the fourteenth, should it occur on
Monday or Thursday. Otherwise, they may read it on the previous Monday or
Thursday (whichever is closer), should they so wish.
2. Townspeople read it - on the fourteenth?
1. ... on Sunday - the townspeople read it on that day, the Mukafin on
Monday, and the villagers on the previous Thursday.
2. ... on Friday - the townspeople and the Mukafin read it on the same day.
3. ... on Shabbos - the townspeople read it on the previous Thursday,
together with the villagers.
(a) The Gemara rejects its original question 'From where do we know that the
Megilah can be read on the eleventh, the twelfth and the thirteenth'? - on
the grounds that it is not an obligation to read earlier (that we need to
find a reason for it). It is a concession, whose reason we already know (i.e.
because they always provide the city-dwellers with water and food, as we
shall see later). Note: Rashi DH 'K'dei' seems to contradict his
interpretation of the Kashya. In any event, it does not conform with the
(b) What the questioner means to ask is - what is the source for this
concession. Seeing as it was instituted by the Anshei Keneses ha'Gedolah, it
must at least be hinted in the Megilah itself.
(c) It cannot have been the later Chachamim who instituted those dates -
because one Beis-Din cannot negate the words of another, unless it is greater
than it both in knowledge and in numbers.
(d) Rav Sh'man bar Aba quoting Rebbi Yochanan learns the dates of the
villagers from the Pasuk in Esther "Lekayem es Yemei ha'Purim ha'Eileh
*bi'Z'maneihem*". "Z'maneihem" cannot come ...
1. ... for itself (because of the two days, the fourteenth and the fifteenth,
on which the Megilah is read) - since for that, just the word "Z'man" would
2. ... to teach us that those who read on the fourteenth do not read on the
fifteenth, and vice-versa - because for that, the Pasuk could have added a
'Mem' and written "Z'manam". From the extra 'Yud', we learn the two
additional days on which the villagers may read the Megilah (as will be
explained more elaborately shortly).
(a) We know to give the villagers only those two days and no more - because
"Z'maneihem" similar to "Z'manam" (which incorporates the fourteenth and the
fifteenth). Just as "Z'manam" incorporates two days, so too, does
(b) We do not require a Pasuk in order to give the villagers the thirteenth,
because it is the time when everybody gathered to fight (both in Shushan and
in all other places). Consequently, since the main miracle took place on that
day, it is obvious that they may read it then, and the Pasuk is only needed
for the eleventh and the twelfth. Note: The Rosh explains 'Z'man Kehilah
la'Kol' to mean that it is a day when everyone gathers in order to fast,
giving us the only reference in the whole Shas to Ta'anis Esther.
(c) We know too, that those two days are the eleventh and the twelfth of
Adar, and not the sixteenth and the seventeenth - because the Pasuk in
Megilah writes "ve'Lo Ya'avor", meaning that one is not permitted to pass the
fifteenth (i.e. the Megilah cannot be read later than that, under any
(a) Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeini learns the two extra days of the villagers
from the Pasuk in Esther "ka'Yamim Asher Nachu Bahem ha'Yehudim" - 'Yamim'
"ka'Yamim", he says. Two extra days like the two original ones.
1. Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeini did not want to learn it from "Z'maneihem"
(like Rav Sh'man bar Aba) - because he does not agree with the Derashah
"Z'man" "Z'manam" "Z'maneihem".
2. Rav Sh'man bar Aba did not want to learn it from "*ka'Yamim* Asher Nachu
Bahem ha'Yehudim" (like Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeini) - because, in his
opinion, "ka'Yamim" refers to the future (that they will later celebrate the
same days as they celebrated in the time of the miracle).
(a) In the first Lashon, Rabah bar bar Chanah quoting Rebbi Yochanan
establishes our Mishnah like Rebbi Akiva S'timta'ah - which means that Rebbi
wrote may S'tam (nameless) Mishnahs which follow his opinion.
(b) It cannot refer to the fact that so many of the 'Stams' are learned by
Rebbi Akiva's disciples (S'tam Mishnah like Rebbi Meir, S'tam Tosefta like
Rebbi Nechemyah and S'tam Sifra like Rebbi Yehudah), and all, according to
their Rebbe, Rebbi Akiva - because then, why are Rebbi Eliezer b'Rebbi Yossi
and Rebbi Menachem b'Rebbi Yossi also referred to as S'timta'ah?
(c) Rabah bar bar Chanah concludes that the Rabbanan argue with Rebbi Akiva.
In his opinion, they hold that the villagers are obligated to read the
Megilah when everybody else reads it (because they do not agree with the
above Derashos which give them the concession to read earlier).
(a) Rebbi Yehudah (in a Beraisa in Ta'anis) maintains that nowadays, the
villagers are obligated to Read the Megilah on the fourteenth - because, due
either to the fact that Rosh Chodesh is fixed, or because they lived so far
apart, that the messengers would not get to the far-flung places in time for
Pesach (a reason that applied even in the times of the later Tana'im, who
lived after the Churban), the poor would determine Pesach by counting thirty
days after Purim. Consequently, should the villagers read the Megilah early,
they will (begin and) end Pesach early, which means that they will eat
Chametz on the last days of Pesach.
(b) We see from there, that in the days of the Chachamim, the villagers
*were* permitted to read the Megilah on the eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth
of Adar (a Kashya on Rabah bar bar Chanah quoting Rebbi Yochanan who
maintained that according to the Chachamim, there was no such concession).
The Rabbanan who lived in the original era referred to by Rebbi Yehudah must
be the Chachamim (who lived before the time of Rebbi Akiva), and not Rebbi
Akiva - because in the days of Rebbi Akiva, Rebbi Yehudah's reason already
applied, and the early period that he is referring to is speaking about the
days when it did not.
(c) In the second Lashon - Rabah bar bar Chanah quoting Rebbi Yochanan says
that it is Rebbi Akiva exclusively who permits the villagers to read the
Megilah early even nowadays, but the Rabbanan (who concur with Rebbi Yehudah)
hold that nowadays, the concession no longer applies, due to the fact that
the poor determine Pesach as being thirty days after Pesach, as we explained
earlier according to Rebbi Yehudah.
(a) Rebbi Yehudah (in a Mishnah later) restricts the concession of the
villagers to places where they tend to go into town on Mondays and Thursdays,
but not there where they do not. In any event, it is clear that, on
principle, Rebbi Yehudah permitted the villagers to read the Megilah
prematurely, even in *his* time - clashing with his previous statement (from
the Beraisa in Ta'anis - that nowadays, the villagers are obligated to read
the Megilah on the fourteenth.
(b) To resolve this discrepancy - Rav Ashi establishes the Beraisa (not like
Rebbi Yehudah, but) like Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Yehudah.
(c) He did this - because he had already heard that some people establish it
like Rebbi Yehudah and others, like Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Yehudah. So when he
became aware of the discrepancy, he decided that the author had to be Rebbi
Yossi b'Rebbi Yehudah.
(a) The Pasuk in Esther explicitly writes that the towns read the Megilah on
the fourteenth. We cannot possibly infer from there that the Mukafin do not
read the Megilah at all, for two reasons: firstly, because they are Jews just
as much as the townspeople - and secondly, because of the Pasuk in Esther
"me'Hodu ve'Ad Kush", which implies that *all* Jews everywhere are included
in the obligation.
(b) The Pasuk writes "Liheyos Osim es Yom Arba'ah-Asar ... ve'es Yom
Chamishah-Asar. We know that the Mukafin do not ...
1. ... read the Megilah twice, both on the fourteenth and on the fifteenth -
because of the word "ve'es", which breaks between the fourteenth and the
(c) The above Pasuk speaks about 'Asiyah' (the celebrations of Purim). We
learn that the same applies to the 'Zechirah' (reading the Megilah) - from
the Pasuk "ve'ha'Yamim ha'Eileh "Nizkarim ve'Na'asim*", comparing the one to
2. ... have a choice to read either on the fourteenth or on the fifteenth -
because of the word "bi'Z'maneihem", suggesting that the time of one is not
the same as the time of the other (i.e. the townspeople read the Megilah on
the fourteenth, and the Mukafin, on the fifteenth) as we explained earlier.
3. ... Read it on the thirteenth - because it is logical to say that they
read it on the same day as Shushan.
(a) Rebbi Yehoshua ben Korchah learns that cities surrounded by a wall from
the time of *Achashveirosh* (and not necessarily from the time of Yehoshua
bin Nun) read on the fifteenth - because he compares them to Shushan (which
was in a similar situation).
(b) The Rabbanan learn from the 'Gezeirah-Shavah' "P'razi" "P'razi" - that,
just like by Batei Arei Chomah, a walled city is determined by whether, or
not, it had a wall around it in the times of *Yehoshua*, so it is by Megilah.
(c) The basis of their Machlokes - is that the Chachamim had the tradition of
the 'Gezeirah-Shavah' of "P'razi" "P'razi", whereas Rebbi Yehoshua ben
Korchah did not. Note: Megilas Esther seems to enjoy a unique status among
the books of T'nach. Nowhere else to we find such a collection of Derashos
relating Megilah to Torah (such as 'Gezeiros Shavos', as if it was Torah) as
we find by it. This will recur again and again throughout the Masechta.
(d) The problem with Shushan, according to the Rabbanan - is that it neither
has the Din of a town, nor that of a Mukaf.
(a) According to the Rabbanan, we try to explain the Pasuk in Esther ...
1. ... "Medinah u'Medinah" - to differentiate between the Mukafin from the
time of Yehoshua and all other towns.
(b) In that case - how will Rebbi Yehoshua (who does not differentiate
between Shushan and other towns) explain "Ir va'Ir"?
2. ... "Ir va'Ir" - to differentiate between Shushan and other towns.
(c) Rebbi Yehoshua ben Korchah retorts however - that even according to the
Rabbanan one could ask the same Kashya, since they have already learned the
distinction between the Mukafin and the other towns from "P'razi" "P'razi",
so just like we asked why *he* needed "Ir va'Ir", why do *they* need
(d) He goes on to learn from "Medinah u'Medinah" (according to the Chachamim)
or from "Ir va'Ir" (according to himself), the Halachah of Rebbi Yehoshua ben
Levi - who says that any town or village that is close to a walled city or
that can be seen together with it, reads the Megilah on the fifteenth, like
the walled city.
(a) A Mil (two thousand Amos) or less - is considered close in this regard.
(b) Rebbi Yirmiyah (or Rebbi Chiya bar Aba) give the Shiur as 'from Chamsan
till Teveryah' - to teach us that that *that* is the Shiur of a Mil.