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Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Megilah 24

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.



  1. The minimum number of Pesukim that one may Lein per Aliyah - is three.
  2. The maximum number of Pesukim that the Ba'al Korei may Lein from the Torah for the translator to translate - is one.
(b) One may normally read *three* Pesukim to a translator from the Navi. But one may only read *one* - when it is a Parshah on its own.

(c) One is permitted to jump from one Parshah to another in the Navi - although this is not permitted in the Torah.

(a) The reason that Rav Asi gives for the minimum of three Pesukim per Aliyah - is that it corresponds to Torah, Nevi'im and Kesuvim (the same reason that he himself gave above on 21b. for the three Aliyos on Monday, Thursday and Shabbos Minchah).

(b) Three consecutive Pesukim comprising three different Parshiyos occur - in Yeshayah (Chapter 52, Pesukim 3, 4 and 5).

(a) Our Mishnah forbids jumping from one place to another in the Torah. In fact, the Kohen Gadol does this on Yom Kipur, when he first Leins the Parshah of Yom Kipur in Acharei-Mos and then the Parshah of Yom Kipur in Emor.

(b) Abaye attempts to reconcile this with our Mishnah by confining it to when rolling from one place to another does not take longer than it takes for the translator to finish the translation of the previous Pasuk. We reject this contention however - on the grounds that even jumping from place to another in the Navi our Mishnah only permits on that condition, yet it still forbids jumping in the Chumash.

(c) Abaye finally reconciles the Mishnah in Yoma with our Mishnah - by confining the concession in the Mishnah in Yoma to when one jumps from one place to another but remains in the same topic (e.g. from Yom Kipur to Yom Kipur. It also goes without saying that there, like in the Navi, it is only permitted if they finish rolling before the translator has finished his translation).

(d) One is permitted to jump even from one Seifer to another in Navi - in the Trei-Asar, provided one rolls forward and not backwards.

(a) The person who generally gets Maftir receives three privileges. He is Poreis al Shema, he Davens before the Amud - and, if he is a Kohen, he leads the Duchening.

(b) If he is a Katan - then (with regard to the first two) his father or his Rebbe receive the privilege instead of him.

(c) A Katan is permitted to Lein both the Haftarah and in the Torah - he may not however, be Poreis al Shema or Daven (since he is himself not Chayav); nor may he Duchen on his own (see also Tosfos DH 've'Ein'), because it is not respectful for the Tzibur to have to come on to a Katan for a Berachah.

(a) A Pochei'ach is someone whose legs are not covered.

(b) He is not permitted to Lein, to Daven before the Amud or to Duchen - the former because it is not Kavod Torah, the latter two because it is a disgrace for the Tzibur to have such a Sh'li'ach Tzibur.

(c) He *is* however, permitted to be Poreis al Shema or to translate.

(d) According to the Tana Kama, a blind man is permitted to be Poreis al Shema and to translate. Rebbi Yehudah says - that if he was blind from birth, he cannot be Poreis al Shema.

(a) Rav Papa explains that the person who Leins Maftir receives the three privileges as a matter of Kavod - meaning that, because he volunteers to perform the least important of all the Mitzvos, we compensate him (restore his Kavod) by honoring him with the three privileges.

(b) Rabah bar Shimi gives the reason for the privileges - as being in order to avoid a squabble (he will claim that, if someone else receives Musaf [for example], it is unfair that *he* only took Maftir and the second person gets Musaf.

(c) The difference between the two answers - will manifest itself in a place where the Chazen does not get paid for Davenning Musaf. In that case, the person who received Maftir will not pick a fight because of that (nevertheless, if it is a matter of Kavod, then he must be compensated).




(a) We think that a Katan Pochei'ach *might* be permitted to read in the Torah - because he is not included in the warning "ve'Lo Yir'eh Becha Ervas Davar" (the source for the prohibition of a Pochei'ach Leining in the Torah).

(b) Abaye rules that he is *not* on the grounds - that from Ula bar Rav's question it is clear that (even *he* takes for granted that) a naked Katan is not permitted to Lein in the Torah. In that case, neither is a Pochei'ach (seeing as there is no logical reason to differentiate between them).

(c) Rebbi Yehudah in our Mishnah forbids a blind man who has never seen, from being Poreis al Shema. He answers the Rabbanan, who ask him how he can then permit the reading of the Ma'aseh ha'Merkavah for the Haftarah (see Mishnah 24a.), seeing as most people cannot understand it - by pointing out that, in that case, it is possible to study and understand it, whereas in the case of the blind man, it is impossible for him to appreciate the light of the sun, ever.

(a) The problem with the Pasuk in Ki Savo "ve'Hayisa Memashesh ba'Tzohorayim Ka'asher Yemashesh ha'Iver ba'Afeilah ... " is - that, seeing as we are talking about a blind man, what is the difference whether he is groping his way at night-time or by day?

(b) One night - Rebbi Yossi approached a blind man and asked him why he was holding a torch, since he could not see anyway; to which he replied that, when people would see him at night with a torch in his hand, they would come and help him on his way (something that they could not do if was not holding a torch - since they would not even see him). So Rebbi Yossi understood that the Pasuk added the word "at night-time" because then, nobody will help him out of his predicament.

(c) In any event, we see from Rebbi Yossi - that, even though a blind man cannot see or appreciate the light of the sun directly, it is possible for him to benefit from it indirectly (through the services of others who guide him along the way). And that is good reason for him to be able to recite the Berachah of 'Yotzer ha'Me'oros' and even to be Motzi others.

(a) The Tana Kama forbids a Kohen who has blemished hands to Duchen.
  1. Rebbi Yehudah adds to *blemished* hands - hands that are covered with paint.
  2. The Tana of the Beraisa add to blemished *hands* - a blemished face and feet.
(b) Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi adds a Kohen who has white blotches on his hands. The Beraisa adds to that - someone whose hands are crooked or bent to the side.

(c) Men from Haifa, Beis Sha'an and Tiv'on are disqualified from Duchening - because they tended to confuse the pronunciation of the 'Aleph' and the 'Ayin'.

(d) When Rebbi Chiya told Rebbi's son Rebbi Shimon that, had he been a Levi, he would have been disqualified from singing because he had a thick voice - he instructed him to go and ask Rebbi Chiya (who would pronounce a 'Hey' instead of a 'Ches') what he intended to do when he arrived at the Pasuk in Yeshayah "ve'Chikeisi la'Hashem" (which he would read as "ve'Hikeisi la'Shem" - a tremendous blasphemy).

(a) Despite the fact that Rav Huna disqualifies a blear-eyed Kohen (who constantly sheds tears) from Duchening, and Rebbi Yochanan, a Kohen who is blind in one eye - they both nevertheless remained silent (when a blear-eyed Kohen Duchened in the vicinity of the former, and a Kohen who was blind in one eye in the vicinity of the latter - because in both cases, the people of the town had gotten used to him, and would not look at him anyway (the real reason for the prohibition in the first place).

(b) Rebbi Yehudah permits a Kohen whose hands are covered with paint to Duchen - provided most of the other residents are in the paint business too.

(a) Someone who refuses to go down to the Amud to Daven with colored clothes (or with shoes), is forbidden to go down with white clothes (or barefoot) - because we are afraid that he has a streak of Minus (heresy).

(b) The two reasons that the Tana forbids wearing round Tefilin - are either because it constitutes danger, or because they are Pasul because they are misshapen.

(c) He also describes someone who places either the Tefilin shel Rosh or the shel Yad on the wrong spot as Derech ha'Minus - the former on his forehead (in front of the hair-line); the latter, on the palm of his hand.

(d) The Tana calls it 'Derech ha'Chitzonim' (who follow their own minds) if one ...

1. ... overlays the Tefilin with gold - because the Torah requires that the Tefilin should be made of the skin of a Kasher animal, and not of gold (see Rashi. From the Gemara in Makos however, it appears that this is Halachah le'Moshe mi'Sinai).
2. ... places the Tefilin shel Yad on top of his sleeve - because the Torah writes "ve'Haya Lecha le'Os .. " from which Chazal Darshen "Lecha le'Os" 've'Lo la'Acheirim le'Os".
(a) The Beraisa requires Tefilin to be square - 'Halachah le'Moshe mi'Sinai'.

(b) Rava extrapolate two Halachos from here - that the Tefilin must be square (and not distorted by pulling the thread with which they are sewn taught) and that they must be literally square and not oblong (a minimum of one fingers-breadth by one fingers-breadth, with a diagonal of one and two-fifth finger-breadths).

(c) Our Mishnah, which forbids round Tefilin because they are not a Mitzvah, is not a support for the Tana of the Beraisa - because our Mishnah could be speaking about Tefilin that are oval like an egg (but if they are round like a wall-nut, perhaps they are Kasher).

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