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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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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) 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 (Shomei'a) Tefilah.
2. ... in Tehilim "Zovei'ach Todah Yechabdan'ni" - that Hoda'ah (Modim) follows Avodah.
(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).

(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 do so).


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 language.

(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 'Keil'.

(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 miracle.

(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 same time).

(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 already learned.
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 Pasul.

(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 mistakes.

(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 ...

  1. ... not necessary to make Sirtut on Tefilin.
  2. ... necessary to make Sirtut on Mezuzos.
(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.
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