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Megilah 22

MEGILAH 21-24 (3rd-6th days of Sukos 5760) - sponsored by Harav Ari Bergmann of Lawrence, N.Y., out of love for Torah and those who study it.



(a) When Rava was asked the above She'eilah (concerning the Aliyos on Rosh Chodesh) by Ula bar Rav - he replied that, although he had not heard an answer to *that* She'eilah, he had heard an answer to a similar one (which would resolve it too).

(b) The Anshei Ma'amados were faced with the same problem - each Sunday, when they called up two people in "Bereishis" and one in "Yehi Raki'a", since Bereishis consists of only *five* Pesukim?

(c) According to Rav, they solved the problem by employing 'Doleg'; according to Shmuel, 'Posek'.

1. 'Doleg' means - that the following Aliyah repeats one of the Pesukim that the previous person Leined (Note: Presumably, Rav was not concerned about finishing within three Pesukim of a Parshah, because, as we will see at the foot of the Amud, in Rav's place people only used to come late, but did not leave early).
2. 'Posek' means - that the one person would stop in the middle of the Pasuk (i.e. after two and half Pesukim), and the second one would begin from there and read the next two and a half Pesukim.
1. Rav does not agree with the concept of 'Posek' - because, in his opinion, it is not permitted to break any Pasuk in two that Moshe did not break.
2. Shmuel does not agree with the concept of Doleg - because he is afraid of people who leave Shul early after having heard he first person stop within three Pesukim of a Parshah, and who will then think that the next person will only read three Pesukim.
(a) Shmuel reconciles his opinion with Rebbi Chanina, who was reluctant to permit Rebbi Chanina the Rebbe to break up Pesukim other than for his young disciples, who were unable to learn whole Pesukim in one go - on the grounds that, since Rebbi Chanina permitted him to break up the Pesukim on behalf of his young pupils (because they could otherwise not cope), it follows that whenever one cannot cope, one may break the Pasuk (Rav however learns, that Rebbi Chanina restricted his concession of breaking up Pesukim to a Rebbe learning with his children , but not to a Ba'al Korei in Shul).

(b) With regard to the Anshei Ma'amados, the Tana Kama of the Beraisa in Ta'anis permits the second Aliyah in a Parshah of five, to Lein one Pasuk into the next Parshah - Yesh Omrim (Rebbi Nasan) says that he must read three.

(c) According to Rav, Rebbi Nasan does not permit 'Doleg' in this case - because one has the choice of continuing (and Doleg is confined to where one has no choice).

(d) There is there no Kashya also on Shmuel ('Let Rebbi Nasan permit 'Posek') - because we are speaking here when he already Leined three Pesukim (and Posek is a Din in Lechatchilah, not is not something that one can go back for).

(a) The Tana Kama of Yesh Omrim - is more lenient in the case of reading less than three Pesukim at the beginning which he permits, than in that of stopping less than three Pesukim from the end (which he does not).

(b) Based on that and on the fact that Yesh Omrim disagrees with him in that case, the problem with Rebbi Tanchum Amar Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi, who, after ruling like the Yesh Omrim, goes on to say that just as it is forbidden to read less than three Pesukim *at the beginning* of the Parshah, so too is it forbidden to stop less than three Pesukim *from the end* is - why should such a ruling be necessary? If with regard to stopping less than three Pesukim *from the beginning*, where the Chachamim are *lenient*, Yesh Omrim is *strict*, then by stopping less than three Pesukim from the end, where the Chachamim are strict, should we not take for granted that Yesh Omrim will also be strict?

(c) The answer is - that there is also a logical reason to be more *lenient* with regard to stopping three Pesukim *from the end* (a reason with which Yesh Omrim might well agree): because coming to Shul late is far more common that leaving early (like we indeed find in Rav's town - see foot of Amud).

(d) Nevertheless, the Tana Kama is more lenient with regard to stopping less than three Pesukim from the beginning (than they are with regard to stopping three Pesukim from the end), because people who come late will ask those who were there on time why the previous Aliyah Leined only two Pesukim; whereas those who leave early, will remain with the assumption that the following Aliyah will only Lein two Pesukim.

4) Rav Yosef rules like Rav (that the middle Aliyah is Doleg), because, in the case of the Ma'amados, if the last Aliyah would be Doleg, it would mean that the middle Aliyah would already conclude the Parshah (Rahi does not go into whether, on Rosh Chodesh, it is the second Aliyah or the third which is Doleg - presumably, it makes no difference).


(a) Even though we do not Daven Musaf on a Ta'anis Tzibur, we nevertheless think that four people may possibly be called up - because there *is* an extra Tefilah ('Aneinu').

(b) There is no proof (that one calls up *three* people) from the fact that when our Mishnah lists the occasions on which four are called up, it only lists Rosh Chodesh and Chol ha'Mo'ed (implying that on a Ta'anis Tzibur one calls up three) - because from the Reisha we can deduce exactly the opposite: that it is only on an ordinary Monday and Thursday that three people are called up - but on a Ta'anis Tzibur (which can occur on other days of the week), one calls up four.

(c) We try to resolve our She'eilah from the fact that when Rav arrived in Bavel on a Ta'anis Tzibur, he was called up, and although he recited a Berachah before reading, he did not recite one afterwards - was that not because there was still a fourth Aliyah to come?

(d) We base the suggestion that Rav was called up in place of a Kohen - on the fact that his Talmid Rav Huna was (at a later stage) called up in place of Kohanim.

(a) We then contend that, even if Rav Huna was called up in place of a Kohen, this was not possible in the case of Rav - because whereas Rav Huna would be called up first even in the presence of Rebbi Ami and Rebbi Asi, those illustrious Kohanim from Eretz Yisrael (because he was greater than them), Rav would pay deference to Shmuel (who was a Kohen), presumably because Shmuel was greater than him (and, because he would not be called up as Kohen in Shmuel's presence, he could not be called as Kohen when he was not there either).

(b) We finally accept the previous suggestion (that Rav was called in place of a Kohen) as the final answer, in spite of the fact that Rav paid deference to Shmuel - because the reason that he did so was not because Shmuel was greater than him, but because he had once cursed him, and wanted to make up for it. Consequently, he only honored him in his presence, but not in his presence, Rav remained the most eminent person in his generation (just like Rav Huna after him), and was able to be called up as Kohen (in spite of Shmuel).

(c) We try to prove that Rav must have been called up in place of a Kohen (and not for Sh'lishi, as we first presumed) - because otherwise, how will we explain the fact that Rav recited a Berachah before Leining?

(d) We refute this proof however - on the grounds that this episode took place after the Takanah that each person had to recite a Berachah before Leining. The Takanah of reciting a Berachah afterwards was not practiced in Rav's town, because although people often came late to Davining, they did not tend to leave early, in which case, they would all hear the final Berachah that the last person to be called up would recite. Consequently, it is possible that Rav was called up for Sh'lishi (even though that is not the outcome of the Gemara).




(a) Based on a Beraisa, we finally rule that on a Ta'anis Tzibur, one calls up only three people - because whenever there is Bitul Melachah, only three people are called up.

(b) On Rosh Chodesh we call up four people. There is no Bitul Melachah then, because women have the Minhag not to work on Rosh Chodesh (though it is unclear exactly what this means, seeing as it is the *men* who are in Shul, and as far as *they* are concerned, there *is* Bitul Melachah?)

(c) Rosh Chodesh is a semi-Yom-Tov specifically for women - because they refused to donate their ornaments for the Eigel ha'Zahav, for which the Mishkan served as a Kaparah. Now the Mishkan was erected on Rosh Chodesh Nisan, and because of Rosh Chodesh Nisan, they were given all Roshei Chodashim.

(d) We have a proof from the Haftarah of 'Machar Chodesh' that Rosh Chodesh is not considered a day of work - because the Pasuk refers to Erev Rosh Chodesh as "Yom ha'Ma'aseh", from which we can infer that Rosh Chodesh is not considered a day of work

(a) Rav Ashi tries to prove from 'Zeh ha'K'lal: Kol Yom she'Yesh Bo Musaf ve'Eino Yom-Tov Korin Arba'ah' in our Mishnah, that the Tana of our Mishnah disagrees with the above-mentioned Beraisa (with regard to calling up *three* people on a Ta'anis Tzibur) - because we think that the 'Zeh ha'K'lal' can only be coming to include a Ta'anis Tzibur in the list of days when one calls up *four*.

(b) We reject Rav Ashi's contention (that, according to the Tana of our Mishnah, one calls up *four* people on Tish'ah-be'Av), on the grounds that this concurs neither with the Tana Kama nor with Rebbi Yossi (of another Beraisa). According to Rebbi Yossi, on Tish'ah-be'Av one always calls up three people, and the third one is the Maftir. The Tana Kama says - that one calls up three people on a Ta'anis Tzibur that falls on Monday and Thursday, but only one on other days.

(c) If 'Zeh ha'Kl'al ... ' does not come to include a Ta'anis Tzibur (like Rav Ashi maintains), then it come, not to include anything, but to explain the sequence of our Mishnah (as we shall now see).

(a) The principle that governs the number of Aliyos on each of the days mentioned in our Mishnah - is that whatever has an additional feature over and above its predecessor has one additional Aliyah.

(b) We call up ...

  1. ... four people on Rosh Chodesh and on Chol ha'Mo'ed - because of the Korban Musaf.
  2. ... five on Yom-Tov - because of the prohibition of working (which is not forbidden in the previous case.
  3. ... six on Yom Kipur - because it carries with it a Chiyuv Kareis.
  4. ... seven on Shabbos - because it carries with it a Chiyuv Sekilah.
(a) When Rav arrived in Bavel, everyone else prostrated themselves (for Tachanun), but Rav did not. The initial reason we give (for Rav not prostrating himself) is based on the Pasuk ... "ve'Even Maskis Lo Sitnu be'Artzechem" (prohibiting prostrating oneself on a stone slab with pictures - presumably, doing so on any stone at all is a Rabbinical decree).

(b) The other congregants *did* prostrate themselves, because it was only where Rav stood that had a stone floor. Rav did not want to move across to another part of the Shul - in order not to trouble all the congregants to stand up for him.

(c) Alternatively, the entire floor may have comprised stone. Nevertheless, the other people tended to bow down (perhaps in the way that we do) and it was only Rav who had the Minhag to prostrate himself (which is forbidden on a stone floor). Rav could have bowed down like everybody else - but he did not want to change his Minhag.

(d) Finally, we establish the case even by an earth floor, and Rav did not prostrate himself because of a statement of Rebbi Elazar - who said that an eminent person should not fall on his face (in public - see Tosfos DH 'Ein') unless he is as sure as Yehoshua bin Nun that Hashem will respond (either to avoid embarrassment or to avoid a Chilul Hashem - when people see that his prayers go unanswered).

(a) We learn from the Pasuk ...
1. ... "va'Tikod Bas-Sheva Apayim Aretz" - that Kidah means to fall on one's face.
2. ... "mi'Ch'ro'a al Birkav" - that K'riy'ah means to go down on one's knees.
(b) We learn from Ya'akov's words to Yosef that Hishtachavayah means to prostrate oneself flat on the ground. Ya'akov said to him - "ha'Vo Navo Ani ve'Imcha ve'Achecha le'Hishtachavos Lecha Artzah?"

(c) When Levi demonstrated Kidah in front of Rebbi - he became lame.

(d) This does not clash with Rebbi Elazar, who attributed Levi's lameness to the fact that he accused Hashem of not helping Yisrael in their hour of need - because it was on account of the former that the latter occurred.

12) Abaye and Rava were certainly important people. To avoid falling on their faces in public - they used to turn their faces to the side.

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