ANSWERS TO REVIEW QUESTIONS
prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem
Previous daf 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) From the Pasuk ...
1. ... "va'Havi'osim el Har Kodshi ve'Simachtim be'Veis Tefilasi, Oloseihem
ve'Zivcheihem le'Ratzon al Mizbechi" - we learn that Avodah (Retzei) follows
(b) Birchas Kohanim follows Hoda'ah because of the Pasuk "va'Yisa Aharon es
Yadav ... va'Yeired me'Asos ha'Chatas ... ". Initially, this seems to imply
that *Birchas Kohanim* preceded the *Avodah*, rather than the reverse.
However, that is not correct - because the Torah did not write "La'asos
ha'Chatas", but "me'Asos ha'Chatas ... " (implying that he had already
brought the Chatas ... beforehand).
2. ... in Tehilim "Zovei'ach Todah Yechabdan'ni" - that Hoda'ah (Modim)
(c) Chazal prefer to place Birchas Kohanim after Hoda'ah (and not after
Avodah - because of "Zovei'ach Todah Yechabdan'ni"), rather than placing it
immediately after Avodah (because of "va'Yisa Aharon es Yadav ... va'Yeired
me'Asos ha'Chatas ... ") - because Avodah and Hoda'ah are one and the same
(because thanking Hashem too, is an Avodah - or because Avodah is an
expression of thanks).
(d) Sim Shalom follows Birchas Kohanim - because the Berachah of Hashem is
Shalom - peace.
(a) True, the Anshei K'nesses ha'Gedolah instituted the eighteen B'rachos.
The Beraisa nevertheless quotes Shimon ha'Pekuli as if he was the author -
because they were later forgotten, and *he* re-established them.
(b) Shimon ha'Pekuli - was a cotton merchant (as the word Pekuli suggests).
(c) We learn from the Pasuk "Mi Yemalel Gevuros Hashem, Yashmi'a Kol
Tehilaso" - that it is only someone who is able to express all the praises
of Hashem who has the right to praise Him at all (and were it not for the
Takanah of the Anshei Kenesses ha'Gedolah, we would not even be permitted to
1. Rebbi Yochanan said - that someone who praises Hashem excessively will be
uprooted from the world.
2. Rebbi Yehudah Ish K'far Giboraya learned from the Pasuk in Tehilim "Lecha
Dumi'ah Sehilah" - that silence is the greatest balm of all.
3. They said in Eretz Yisrael - that if a word is worth a Sela, then silence
is worth two.
(a) We learn from the 'Gezeirah-Shavah' "ve'ha'Yamim ha'Eileh Nizkarim
ve'Na'asim" (Esther) and "K'sov Zos Zikaron ba'Seifer" (Beshalach) - that
the Megilah must be written on a Seifer (a parchment scroll).
(b) We know that the Mitzvah is to actually read the Megilah verbally, and
that silently studying it is not sufficient - from the Pasuk in Ki Seitzei
"Zachor es Asher Asah Lecha Amalek", which must mean to mention it verbally,
because the Torah concludes there "Al Tishkach", from which we already know
that should retain it in one's memory.
(c) When the Tana of our Mishnah says 'Kar'ah Targum Lo Yatza', he can only
be referring to a Megilah that is written in Aramaic, and not to one that is
written in Lashon ha'Kodesh - because in the latter case, that would be
considered reading by heart, and we have already learned that someone who
reads the Megilah by heart is not Yotze.
(a) The problem with our Mishnah, which permits reading from a Megilah that
is written in a foreign language for people who speak that language - is
that the Tana just invalidated a Megilah that is written in a foreign
(b) Rav and Shmuel (in conjunction with Rebbe Acha Amar Rebbi Elazar)
resolve this problem (initially) - by establishing the latter statement of
the Mishnah by a Megilah that is written in Greek.
(c) Rebbe Acha Amar Rebbi Elazar explain the Pasuk in Vayishlach "va'Yikra
Lo Keil, Elokei Yisrael" - to mean that the G-d of Yisrael called Ya'akov
(d) We cannot interpret it to mean that Ya'akov called the Mizbe'ach "Keil
Elokei Yisrael" - because then the Pasuk should have written "va'Yikra Lo
*Ya'akov* Keil Elokei Yisrael".
(a) The Kashya on Rav and Shmuel from the Beraisa 'Kar'ah Giftis, Ilmis ...
Yevanis, Lo Yatza' is - that we see from there that a Megilah written in
Greek is no different than one that is written in any other language.
(b) The Kashya remains even if (based on the Seifa of the Beraisa) we
differentiate between whether one reads it in Greek for a Greek or for
someone else - because there again, one would be Yotze for any foreigner in
his language, and not particularly a Greek.
(c) We conclude that, when Rav and Shmuel permit a Megilah that is written
in Greek, they are not in fact referring to our Mishnah at all. What they
are saying is - that a Megilah written in Greek, is Kasher, like Raban
Shimon ben Gamliel (see Sugya 8b, and 9a. and Yosfos there DH 'Kahn').
(d) They do not simply rule like Raban Shimon ben Gamliel - because in that
case, we would have precluded Megilah from the ruling, since the Pasuk
writes "ki'Ch'savam ve'chi'Z'manam" (as the Sugya on 9a. in fact holds).
(a) We finally reconcile the Seifa of the Mishnah, which permits a Megilah
written in a foreign language, with the Reisha, which forbids it - by
establishing the Mishnah like the Beraisa that we quoted earlier: the Reisha
speaks about a Megilah written in one language that is read for people who
speak another language, and who cannot understand what is being read, and
the Seifa, about a Megilah that is written in the same language, but is
being read to people who understand that language.
(b) The one exception with which everyone agrees - is Lashon ha'Kodesh,
where everybody who hears it is Yotze, whether he understands it or not.
(c) We ask how it is possible for foreigners who hear the Megilah in Lashon
ha'Kodesh to be Yotze, even though they do not understand it. Initially, we
answer - that it cannot be worse than women and children, who do not
understand Lashon ha'Kodesh either, yet they participate in the reading, and
if they do not understand, they ask afterwards, and are informed about the
(d) We finally resolve the difficulty, after pointing out that there are
some words which *nobody* fully comprehends (such as "ha'Achashteranim B'nei
ha'Ramachim") - that, in fact, it is not necessary to understand every word,
only to hear the reading in public and to know about the miracle. Note: It
is unclear how the second answer differs from the first. See Rabeinu
Chananel, according to whose text, the two answers are in fact, one.
(a) The maidservant of Rebbi appears to have been something of a linguist,
from whom the Rabbanan learnt many words. She once taught them that
Chaluglugos is the equivalent of what they knew as 'Parpechinin'
(purslane-plant). When she asked the Rabbanan 'Till when will you enter
the Beis-Hamedrash 'Sirugin Sirugin'? - she meant to ask them why they
always enter the Beis-Hamedrash 'in dribs and drabs' (and not all at the
(b) The Pasuk ...
1. ... in Mishlei "Salselehah u'Seromemeka" means - "Turn it over (Go into
it) (i.e. into Torah) in depth, and it will elevate you".
2. ... in Tehilim "Hashleich al Hashem Yehavcha, ve'Hu Yechalkelecha"
("Throw your load onto Hashem, and He will feed you").
3. ... in Yeshayah (with reference to Bavel) "ve'Teiteisiha bi'*Meta'tei*
Hashmeid" - "And I will sweep it with a broom and destroy it (Bavel).
(a) The Beraisa permits the reading of the Megilah be'Sirugin (Bedi'eved),
but not ' be'Sirusin' - which means backwards (inverted).
(b) Rebbi Muna quoting Rebbi Yehudah invalidates even 'be'Sirugin', if the
Ba'al Korei waited the amount of time it would take to read the Megilah
until the end - meaning from the *beginning* until the end. (It cannot mean
from wherever the Ba'al Korei *stopped* until the end - because of the
principle 'Im Kein, Nasata Devarecha le'Shiurin', meaning that Chazal tend
to enact their decrees uniformly, not depending upon circumstances).
(c) Rav is quoted as ruling like Rebbi Muna, and Shmuel, as ruling not Rebbi
Muna. Rav Bibi reverses the opinions. Rav Yosef prefers Rav Bibi's version
of the Machlokes - because it is the way of Shmuel to rule le'Chumra like
the minority opinion, as we shall now see.
(a) Shmuel rules like Rebbi Yehudah ben Beseira, who says that if one of two
brothers betrothed the sister of a Yevamah, we ask him to wait until his
brother has 'married' the Yevamah before marrying his betrothed. The
Rabbanan say - that the Yavam is permitted to marry his betrothed
immediately, and does not need to wait.
(b) The basis of their Machlokes lies in the principle of 'Zikah' - Rebbi
Yehudah ben Beseira holds that there is a Zikah (a bond between the Yavam
and the Yevamah) even when there are *two* Yevamos. Consequently, the
betrothed brother is forbidden to marry the Yavamah's sister, because
(through Zikah) she is like Achos Ishto; whereas the Rabbanan hold that
there is only a Zikah when there is *one* Yavam, but not when there are
*two* (because how can a woman be considered married to two men).
(a) If, whilst Leining the Megilah, he discovers some letters, words or even
Pesukim, missing - the Ba'al Korei reads them by heart.
(b) We reconcile this with another Beraisa, which invalidates a Megilah
whose letters are very faint (to the point that no ink remains) - by
establishing the latter when *all* the letters were written like that.
(c) It is not in order ...
1. ... for a Ba'al Korei who omits a Pasuk to make it up after he has
finished reading - because the Megilah must be read in order, as we have
2. ... for someone who comes into Shul in time for the second half of the
Megilah, to listen to the second half first, and the first half afterwards -
because the above Din extends even to inverting the chapters.
(a) We learned in our Mishnah that someone who reads the Megilah 'Misnamnem'
is Yotze. 'Misnamnem means - that he is dozing to the extent that he can
respond when he is called. He cannot answer a question that requires a
logical answer, but remembers the logic when he is reminded.
(b) We also learned in our Mishnah that if someone reads the Megilah whilst
writing it, he is Yotze, provided he had Kavanah. The problem with this is -
that if he read the Pasuk first before writing it, then he would have been
reading it by heart; whereas if he wrote it first and then read it, he would
have been reading from an incomplete Megilah, which everyone agrees, is
(c) We resolve this problem - by establishing the case, when he copied the
Megilah from a Kasher Megilah, reading each Pasuk before writing it.
(d) This is not a proof for Rebbi Yochanan, who says that a Megilah cannot
be written from memory, but that every single letter must be copied from a
Kasher Megilah - because it could be speaking when he just happened to do so
(but not because he is obligated to).
(a) Rebbi Yochanan (who forbids even one letter of the Megilah to be written
by heart) explains the Beraisa, where Rebbi Shimon ben Elazar relates how
Rebbi Meir (who was a Sofer) once arrived in Asia (to fix a leap-year)
around Purim time, and, finding no Megilah there, he wrote one by heart -
that Rebbi Meir was different, because he was an expert, and was not prone
to make mistakes.
(b) Rav Chisda forbid Rebbi Chananel (who was also an expert like Rebbi
Meir) to do likewise - because it was not a case of emergency (as was the
case of Rebbi Meir).
(c) Tefilin and Mezuzos do not need to be copied - because they are
relatively short, and it is feasible for Sofrim to learn them without
(a) 'Sirtut' - is the scratching of lines on the parchment (to ensure that
the lines are straight), underneath which the Sofer writes the text.
(b) It is ...
(c) The source for the Halachos of what may and may not be written by heart
and what does need Sirtut and what does not - is Halachah le'Moshe mi'Sinai.
- ... not necessary to make Sirtut on Tefilin.
- ... necessary to make Sirtut on Mezuzos.