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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Megilah 19

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) Our Mishnah invalidates a Megilah that is written with Sam, Sikra, Kumus and Kankantum. 'Sam' is arsenic.
1. Sikra - is red paint (used for painting shutters).
2. Kumus - is sap (from a tree).
3. Kankantum - a black dye (used to dye shoes).
(b) The Mishnah also invalidates a Megilah that is written on Neyar or on Diftera. 'Neyar' is a paper manufactured from herbs using glue. 'Diftera' - is skins that have been tanned, salted and treated with flour in water, but to which gall-nuts have not been added.

(c) We learn from ...

1. ... "ki'Ch'savam ve'chi'Z'manam" - that the Megilah must be written in Lashon ha'Kodesh.
2. ... "the 'Gezeirah-Shavah' "va'Tichtov Esther ha'Malkah" (Esther) and "va'Yomer Lahem Baruch ... va'Ani Kosev al ha'Seifer u'vi'D'yo" (Yirmiyah) - that the Megilah must be written in ink.
(a) According to Rebbi Meir, one has to read the entire Megilah, according to Rebbi Yehudah, from "Ish Yehudi". Rebbi Yossi says - that one must read from "Achar ha'Devarim ha'Eileh (Gidal ha'Melech ...es Haman").

(b) The fourth opinion - is that of Rebbi Shimon bar Yochai, in whose opinion one must begin from "ba'Laylah ha'Hu".

(a) The Tana of our Mishnah states that if a ben Ir who is in a K'rach on the fourteenth intends to return home, he reads on the fourteenth, otherwise, he reads on the fifteenth (like the residents of the town where he is); and the same goes for a ben K'rach who is in an Ir on the fourteenth (who will read on the fourteenth if he intends to return home). In order not to read on the fourteenth night - the latter must intend to leave the Ir before dawn-break of the fourteenth.

(b) A ben Ir who intends to remain in the K'rach until the morning of the fifteenth - reads on the fifteenth, and not on the fourteenth.

(c) We learn from the Pasuk "Al-Kein ha'Yehudim ha'P'razim, *ha'Yoshvim be'Arei ha'P'razos*" - that a ben K'rach who becomes a P'razi for the day is considered a P'razi and reads the Megilah on the fourteenth.

(d) We apply the same principle to a 'Mukaf for a day' - because if a P'razi for the day is called a P'razi, then why should a Mukaf for the day not be called a Mukaf?

(a) Rava says that a ben K'far who is in an Ir on the night of the fourteenth, reads the Megilah then (even if he has read the Megilah already), even if he intends to return before the morning - because the Takanah of reading the Megilah early was a concession for the villagers, releasing them from the obligation to go into town on the fourteenth (in payment for their services on behalf of the towns). But if a villager is already in town, then, seeing as his time is really the fourteenth, there is no reason as to why he should not read the Megilah on the fourteenth.

(b) The Beraisa states that a ben K'rach who went to an Ir reads like his place, even if he intends to remain there until the fourteenth morning. This Beraisa cannot be correct the way it stands - because we have already learned that a ben K'rach who is in an Ir until the morning of the fourteenth, reads on the fourteenth.

(c) So we change 'a ben K'rach' to 'a ben K'far'. Rava reconciles the Beraisa with his previous statement by making a further change in the Beraisa. Instead of 'reads like his place' - we change it to 'reads together with them'.

(a) We learned earlier that the Tana'im argue over how much one needs to read in order to be Yotze. According to Rebbi Yochanan, they all derive their respective opinions from the same source, from "es Kol Tokef".
1. Rebbi Meir (who says 'all of it') explains "es Kol Tokef" to mean - Tokfo shel Achashverosh.
2. ... Rebbi Yehudah (who says from 'Ish Yehudi') - Tokfo shel Mordechai.
3. ... Rebbi Yossi ('Achar ha'Devarim ha'Eileh") - Tokfo shel Haman.
4. ... Rebbi Shimon bar Yochai ('ba'Laylah ha'Hu') - Tokfo shel Nes.
(b) According to Rav Huna, they all derive it from "u'Mah Ra'u al Kachah, u'Mah Higi'a Aleihem". The reason that ...
1. ... Achashverosh used the holy vessels of the Beis Hamikdash was because - he figured that the seventy years of Galus had passed and the Jews had not gone free. On account of it - Vashti was killed.
2. ... Mordechai incited Haman by refusing to bow down to him was - because he made himself a god. On account of it - the miracle of Purim occurred.
3. ... Haman became angry with all the Jews was - because Mordechai refused to bow down to him. On account of it - he together with his sons, were hanged.
4. ... Achashverosh decided to send for the Book of Chronicles was because - Esther invited Haman to the party. Because of it - a miracle occurred.
(c) The Halachah is like Rebbi Meir - that one must read all of the Megilah in order to be Yotzei.

(d) All the Tana'im agree however - that the entire Megilah must be placed in front of the Ba'al Korei (even if he does need to read all of it).

(a) The Megilah is called ...
1. ... a Seifer - inasmuch as it must be stitched with the gut of an animal, and not with linen threads.
2. ... an Igeres - inasmuch as it does not require *five* stitches at each point where it is stitched, but will suffice with *three*.
(b) When Rav Nachman adds that the threads must be 'Meshulashin' - he means that from the top of the parchment to the first stitch, from the first to the second, from the second to the third and from the third till the bottom of the parchment should all be the same distance.

(c) A Megilah that is written as part of Kesuvim, is Kasher - provided the parchment on which it is written is not equal with rest of the Seifer (i.e. it either protrudes above the rest of the parchment or is recessed). The Sugyos of Rebbi Chiya bar Aba Amar Rebbi Yochanan.

(d) A Megilah is Kasher even if it is level with the rest of Kesuvim - when it is read privately (not in a Tzibur).




(a) Rebbi Yochanan said that leaving a little of a Seifer unstitched at the top and at the bottom is 'Halachah le'Moshe mi'Sinai'. Rebbi Chiya bar Aba modifies this statement - it is not really Halachah ... but mi'de'Rabbanan, he explains, in order to give a little leeway, so that, should one close the Seifer tightly, it will not split in two.

(b) Had the tiniest crack remained in the rock of the cave in which Moshe Rabeinu , and later Eliyahu, hid, and which Hashem covered with His Hand (Kevayachol) as He went past - Moshe and Eliyahu would not have survived, for so the Pasuk writes in Ki Sisa "Ki Lo Yir'ani ha'Adam va'Chai".

(c) We learn from the Pasuk "va'Aleihem ke'Chol ha'Devarim Asher Diber Hashem Imachem ba'Har", that Hashem showed Moshe 'Dikdukei Torah, Dikdukei Sofrim, u'Mah she'ha'Sofrim Asidin le'Chadeish'. 'Mah she'ha'Sofrim Asidin le'Chadeish' refers to Mikra Megilah.

1. 'Dikdukei Torah' - refers to all words that come to include (such as "es" and "Gam"), and words that come to exclude (such as "Ach" and "Rak").
2. 'Dikdukei Sofrim' - to what the later Chachamim delved into the words of the earlier ones. (It is unclear what Rashi means. Perhaps he means for example, the words of the Amora'im, explaining the statements of the Tana'im).
(a) The Tana Kama invalidates a Cheresh, Shotah or Katan from reading the Megilah. Rebbi Yehudah - validates the reading of a Katan.

(b) Assuming that a Cheresh is not even Yotze Bedieved - the author of our Mishnah will be Rebbi Yossi.

(c) We initially presume that, according to the Tana of our Mishnah, a Cheresh is not even Yotze Bedieved - because we assume that a Cheresh must tally with a Shoteh (who is certainly not Yotze Bedieved).

(a) We then suggest that a Cheresh does not necessarily need to tally with a Shoteh, and that the author could therefore be Rebbi Yehudah. The problem with this - is that he is the author of the Seifa (which validated the reading of a Katan); so how can the author of the Reisha (which invalidates it) be Rebbi Yehudah, too?

(b) We nevertheless establish both the Reisha and the Seifa of our Mishnah like Rebbi Yehudah - by establishing the Reisha by a Katan who has *not* yet reached the age of Chinuch, and the Seifa, by one who *has* (and amending the Lashon of the Mishnah accordingly). Note: 'Cheresh' in our Mishnah refers to a person who cannot hear, but who is not dumb (and not to a deaf-mute, which is the usual connotation of 'Cheresh').

(c) Establishing our Mishnah like Rebbi Yehudah creates a problem with the Beraisa of Yehudah the son of Rebbi Shimon ben Pazi, who permits a dumb person to give Terumah Lechatchilah (despite the fact that he is unable to recite a Berachah) - because, if Rebbi Yehudah forbids a deaf person to recite the Megilah (or to perform any Mitzvah that requires speech) Lechatchilah, then who will be the author of that Beraisa (neither Rebbi Yossi, who forbids him even Bedieved, nor Rebbi Yehudah)?

(d) On the other hand, it is no better to establish our Mishnah like Rebbi Yossi (in which case Rebbi Yehudah will permit a dumb person even Lechatchilah) - because then, who will the author of the other Beraisa, which forbids Benching silently (in one's heart) Lechatchilah, but renders someone who does so Yotze Bedieved? Again, neither Rebbi Yossi, nor Rebbi Yehudah?

(a) We establish the Beraisa (of Rebbi Shimon ben Pazi) like Rebbi Yehudah quoting his own opinion - whereas Rebbi Yehudah in our Mishnah is quoting his Rebbe, Rebbi Elazar ben Azaryah (who explicitly learns like this in a Beraisa). The author of the previous Beraisa too, which forbids Benching silently Lechatchilah is Rebbi Yehudah quoting Rebbi Elazar ben Azaryah.

(b) Rebbi Meir learns from the Pasuk "Asher Anochi Metzav'cha ha'Yom al Levavecha" - that the main Mitzvah of reciting the Shema (and whatever else needs to be recited) is in the heart (and that it is not therefore necessary to say it out aloud).

(c) Having ascertained that Rebbi Meir permits *thinking* the Shema, Berachos ... , the author of the Beraisa of Yehudah Brei de'Rav Shimon ben Pazi Shimon will now be Rebbi Meir whereas the author of the Beraisa of Birchas ha'Mazon is Rebbi Yehudah (who is also the author of our Mishnah, and who in fact, agrees with Rebbi Elazar ben Azaryah that Lechatchilah, one is obligated to recite the Shema, the Megilah etc. out loud.

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