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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Megilah 3

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!



(a) Rebbi Yirmiyah (or Rebbi Chiya bar Aba) says 'Menatzpach Tzofim Amrum' - meaning that the double letters (the final Chaf, Mem, Nun, Pei and Tzadei) were introduced by the later prophets.

(b) The problem with that statement is from the Pasuk in Bechukosai "Eileh ha'Mitzvos" - from which we learn that the Torah given to us by Moshe is final (including the shapes of the letters, which are needed for the writing of Sefarim, Tefilin and Mezuzos), and that no Navi can initiate changes in it.

(c) In fact, even without the Pasuk in Bechukosai there would be a problem - from Rav Chisda, who said that the (middle section of the carved out final) 'Mem' and the 'Samech' in the Luchos stood in mid-air miraculously (unconnected to the Luchos at any point). So we see that the final 'Mem' existed already in the times of Moshe.

(d) To explain that it was not known which letters appeared in the middle of the word and which at the end, until the Nevi'im came and taught which was which, answers the second Kashya, but not the first. So we finally amend Rebbi Yirmiyah's statement to mean - that the final letters became forgotten until the later prophets came and reestablished them in their original form.

(a) Rebbi Yirmiyah (or Rav Chiya bar Aba) also says that Unkelus ha'Ger introduced the Targum on the Torah in the name of Rebbi Eliezer and Rebbi Yehoshua - and Yonasan ben Uziel, the Targum on Nevi'im in the name of Chagai, Zecharyah and Mal'achi.

(b) When a Heavenly voice asked who it was who was revealing Hashem's secrets to mankind - Yonasan ben Uziel stood up and announced that it was he, and that Hashem knew full-well that he did it, not to boost his own honor or that of his father, but for the glory of Hashem, in order to minimize Machlokes in Yisrael.

(c) He did not receive permission to reveal the Targum on Kesuvim - because it contained the date of the coming of Mashi'ach, which Hashem wanted to remain a closed secret.

(d) Hashem did not protest when Unkelus revealed the Targum on Chumash - because it is more explicit, containing less secrets that need to be revealed to Yisrael at large.

(a) We ascribe the Targum on Chumash to Unkelus (in the name of Rebbi Eliezer and Rebbi Yehoshua) in spite of the fact that Ezra was the one who originally taught the Targum - because, after it became forgotten, it was Unkelus who reinstated it.

(b) "va'Yikre'u be'Seifer Toras Elokim" in the Pasuk refers to the plain wording on the Pasuk, and "Mefurash" to Targum.

1. "ve'Som Seichel" - refers to the end of each Pasuk.
2. "va'Yavinu be'Mikra" - the Neginos (the notes of the 'Trop' - the way the Ba'al Korei Leins) or the Mesoros (the large and small letters and extra letters and letters that are missing).
(c) Bearing in mind that no Hesped was ever made on Hadadrimon (King of Syria) in the valley of Megido, Targum Yonasan explains - that the Pasuk in Zecharyah, which refers to a big Hesped that will be comparable to that of Hadadrimon in the valley of Megido, refers to the Hesped that was delivered after Ach'av was killed in the valley of Megido by Hadadrimon (King of Syria).
(a) (Still in connection with statements made by Rebbi Yirmiyah or Rebbi Chiya bar Aba) Daniel relates how he saw the vision which the men who were with him did not see - the men were Chagai, Zecharyah and Mal'achi.

(b) They were greater than Daniel - inasmuch as they were prophets, whereas he was not.

(c) Even though they did not see the vision, they nevertheless ran and hid - because although *they* did *not* see it, their *Mazel* (the angel that everyone has in heaven) *did*.

(d) Even though Daniel saw such visions, he was not considered a prophet - because he was not sent by Hashem to prophesy to Yisrael.

(a) From the above incident, we can understand why it is that a person is sometimes afraid, even though there is nothing tangible that inspires fear. If one is overcome by an intangible fear - he should recite the Shema.

(b) If however ...

1. ... he is standing in a Tamei location - he should jump from his place four Amos. If ...
2. ... in addition, there is nowhere to jump to - he should say 'The goat of the slaughter-house is fatter than me'.
(c) Earlier in the Sugya, we Darshened from "Medinah u'Medinah, ve'Ir va'Ir" that a town that is either close or visible to a Mukaf also reads on the fifteenth. From "Mishpachah u'Mishpachah" Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Chanina learns - that the families of Kohanim and Levi'im are obligated to stop performing the Avodah, in order hear the reading of the Megilah.

(d) Beis Rebbi learned that one must stop learning Torah in order to come and hear the Megilah - from Rebbi Yossi b'Rebbi Chanina's Derashah; because, if reading the Megilah takes precedence over the Avodah, then it certainly takes precedence over Torah-learning (which will be explained shortly).

(a) When Yehoshua was in Yericho, he saw an angel standing in front of him. The angel took him to task - for nullifying the Tamid shel Shachar the previous evening, and for not studying Torah that night.

(b) Despite the fact that initially, Yehoshua could have taken the angel to be a demon, (and we know from a statement of Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi that one is not permitted to greet someone at night-time, because he might be a demon), Yehoshua was nevertheless justified in greeting him - because once the angel had introduced himself as the Angel of the Hosts of Hashem, Yehoshua knew that he could not be a demon. This is due to the fact that, although demons are capable of lying, they will not mention the Name of Hashem in vain.

(c) When Yehoshua asked the angel which of the two sins was more severe, he answered "*Ata* Ba'asi" - meaning for the current sin (that of not learning Torah).

(d) We explain the subsequent Pasuk "va'Yalen Yehoshua ba'Laylah ha'Hu be'Soch ha'Eimek" - to mean that Yehoshua spent the remainder of the night immersed in the depth of Halachah.



7) We derive from the above episode that Torah-study is more important than the Avodah. However, that pertains to *communal* Torah-study (since the whole of Yisrael was involved on that occasion). When we made a 'Kal va'Chomer' above to the opposite effect (that if one interrupts the Avodah to read the Megilah, one certainly interrupts one's Torah-study) - we were referring to the Torah-learning of an individual.


(a) On Chol ha'Mo'ed, the women may sing a dirge together ('Me'anos'), but may not bang their hearts (see Tosfos DH 'Me'anos) with their fists. Rebbi Yishmael is slightly more lenient - he permits the women who close to the coffin to even bang their hearts with their fists.

(b) On Rosh Chodesh, Chanukah and Purim all of these are permitted. What remains forbidden even then - is 'Mekonenos' (when one woman recites the verse, and the others repeat it after her).

(c) Rabah bar Rav Huna says - that before a deceased Talmid-Chacham there is no Chol ha'Mo'ed, and certainly no Chanukah and Purim (in this regard).

(d) We see from the fact that one laments a Talmid-Chacham (even if it means missing the Megilah - see Tosfos DH 'Kol'), indicating that the Torah (even of an individual) takes precedence over Purim. But that is only as far as the *Kavod* of a Talmid-Chacham is concerned. When it comes to his *Torah-study*, the Megilah takes precedence, as we learned earlier.

(a) From what we have just learned, Rava extrapolates that reading the Megilah takes precedence over both the Avodah and Torah-study. If it is a matter of Torah-study or attending the burial of a dead person - Rava cites a Beraisa, which gives the latter precedence.

(b) The Torah writes in Naso (in connection with the prohibition of a Nazir becoming Tamei Meis - even to bury his close relatives) "le'Aviv, u'le'Imo, le'Achiv ve'la'Achoso". The Sifri learns from "le'Aviv" that he may (and must) render himself Tamei to bury a Meis Mitzvah (a dead person who has no- one to bury him), and from "u'le'Imo" that the same applies even if the Nazir is also Kohen. We subsequently learn from ...

1. ... "le'Achiv" - that even if he was a Kohen *Gadol* as well as a Nazir, he must still bury the Meis Mitzvah.
2. ... "ve'la'Achoso" - that even if a person is going to bring his Korban Pesach or to circumcise his son (in which case he would not be obligated to bury his dead relative), he must stop to bury a Meis Mitzvah.
(c) Having seen the tremendous importance of the Mitzvah of burying a Meis Mitzvah, reading the Megilah might nevertheless take precedence over it - because of Pirsumei Mitzvah (the Mitzvah of publicizing the miracle - a prominent feature of Ner Chanukah and Mikra Megilah).

(d) Rava concludes that ultimately, it is Meis Mitzvah that takes precedence - because of the principle 'Gadol Kevod ha'B'riyos, she'Docheh Lo Sa'aseh she'ba'Torah' (meaning that so great is the concept of human dignity that it pushes away the negative command of 'Lo Sasur' - incorporating all Mitzvos de'Rabbanan). Note: Rashi's explanation (that the Lo Sa'aseh to which the Torah refers is that of "Lo Suchal Lehis'aleim") is difficult to understand (see Maharatz Chayos).

(a) We learned earlier that any town (or village) that is close to a Mukaf or visible from it, also reads on the fifteenth. 'Visible but not close' could mean that it is on top of a mountain; 'close but not visible' - that it is in a valley.

(b) Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi learns from the Pasuk (by Batei Arei Chomah) "ve'Ish Ki Yimkor Beis Moshav Ir Chomah" - that a city whose walls were built only after its houses is considered a village (with regard to the Din of Batei Arei Chomah - see Tosfos DH 'K'rach').

(c) Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi says that a K'rach (a city - but without a wall) that does not have 'Asarah Batlanim' - has the Din of a village (and they may read the Megilah before the fourteenth).

(d) Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi needs to tell us this, despite the fact that the Mishnah later specifically states that a town that does not have 'Asarah Batlanim' is considered a village - because we might have thought that that applies only to an ordinary town, but that in the case of a city , where people visit it from many other countries (many of whom do not have work to perform there, and who are therefore idle from work), the many visitors should be considered like Asarah Batlanim.

(a) Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi also says that a city that was destroyed and later re-inhabited has the Din of a city. He cannot be referring to one whose *walls* were destroyed and later re-built (regarding the Din of a Mukaf Chomah) - because we have already learned that a city which had a wall around it in the time of Yehoshua ben Nun is a Mukaf anyway (even if the walls would not be re-built at all).

(b) What he therefore means is - that a town ('K'rach' does not specifically mean a Mukaf - see Tosfos DH 'Ela') which once had ten Batlanim and then lost them, is still considered a town (and not a village) if it regained the ten Batlanim.

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