MEGILAH 21 - Dedicated by Alex and Helen Gross of Rechavya, Jerusalem, lovers of Torah and builders of a home molded by dedication to Torah study. May the Zechus of the Torah always provide for and protect their entire family!

[21a - 45 lines; 21b - 56 lines]

1)[line 10]סידור בזיכיןSIDUR BAZICHIN

(a)The Lechem ha'Panim (Showbread) is an offering of 12 loaves (that are Matzah) which are arranged in two stacks (Sedarim), six loaves to each stack, on the Golden Table of the Mishkan or Beis ha'Mikdash. Fresh loaves are arranged on the Table every Shabbos and are left there until the following Shabbos. The Kohanim eat the loaves that are removed. (Vayikra 24:5-9)

(b)A Kometz (the amount that will fit under the middle three fingers when they are pressed upon the palm) of Levonah (frankincense) is placed alongside each stack in a Bazach (bowl). Only the Levonah is offered on the Mizbe'ach. The offering of the Levonah permits the loaves to be eaten.

2)[line 22]"ואכלו את הבשר בלילה הזה צלי אש ומצות על מררים יאכלהו""V'ACHLU ES HA'BASAR BA'LAILAH HA'HU TZELI ESH U'MATZOS AL MORERIM YOCHLUHU" - "And they shall eat the meat on that night roasted on the fire, and Matzos with Maror you will eat it." (Shemos 12:8) (EATING THE PESACH AT NIGHT)

(a)The Mishnah here, following the opinion of Rebbi Akiva, permits eating the Korban Pesach all night (in contrast to the view of Rebbi Elazar ben Azaryah, who forbids it after midnight; see Tosfos).

(b)Besides this Derashah, Chazal learn a number of other laws from the word "ba'Lailah" (see Torah Temimah on this verse). They learn that the Korban Pesach is unique in that it may be eaten only at night (until the time of "haste") and not on the day of the fourteenth (Berachos 9a). They also learn from this word that one who eats it during the day of the fourteenth transgresses a Mitzvas Aseh (of "v'Achlu Es ha'Basar..."; Pesachim 41b). Third, from the additional word "ha'Zeh" they learn that even though the Korban Pesach is in the category of Kodshim Kalim, which generally may be eaten for two days and the night in between, the Korban Pesach may not be eaten for the equivalent period of two nights (the fourteenth and fifteenth) and the intervening day. It may be eaten for only one night (Berachos 9a).


3)[line 45]"ותשבו בקדש ימים רבים""VA'TESHVU B'KADESH YAMIM RABIM" - "And you stayed in Kadesh for a long time, [like the time that you stayed.]" (Devarim 1:46) (NINETEEN YEARS IN KADESH)

(a)Rashi, citing the Seder Olam, explains that of the 38 years that Yisrael traveled in the desert, they spent 19 encamped in Kadesh. From there they traveled to other places, he adds, but they ultimately returned there.

(b)Rashi at the beginning of Parshas Mas'ei comments on HaSh-m's kindness: although He had decreed that Yisrael would wander for 40 years in the desert (38 following the episode of the spies), they traveled only 20 times from that episode until Aharon's death. Even though Rashi does not mention it there, it is clear that their prolonged stay in Kadesh was part of that Chesed.


4)[line 2]ואחד מתרגםV'ECHAD METARGEM- and one translates (into Aramaic)

5)[line 7]יהבי דעתייהו ושמעיYAHAVEI DA'ATAIHU V'SHAM'EI- they pay attention and (are able to) hear

6)[line 11]עובר לעשייתןOVER L'ASIYASAN- before he performs them (see Insights)

7)[line 12]לישנא דאקדומיLISHNA D'AKDUMEI- an expression that means "before"

8)[line 13]"וירץ אחימעץ דרך הככר ויעבר את הכושי""VA'YARATZ ACHIMA'ATZ DERECH HA'KIKAR VA'YA'AVOR ES HA'KUSHI" - "[Whatever happens let me run, so he said to him, 'Run!'] And Achima'atz ran by the way of the plain, and he overtook the Kushi." (Shmuel II 18:23). (THE SWIFTNESS OF ACHIMA'ATZ)

(a)When his son Avshalom rebelled against him, David ha'Melech was forced to flee from Yerushalayim. He appointed a number of spies to remain in Yerushalayim, however. Achima'atz, son of Tzadok ha'Kohen, was one of two spies who were to report to David any important matters that might concern him.

(b)When, against the express orders of David ha'Melech, Yo'av killed David's rebellious son Avshalom, Achima'atz, son of Tzadok the Kohen Gadol, assuming that the king would be pleased to hear such good news, asked permission to run and inform the king that HaSh-m had "granted him justice from his enemies." Yo'av however, knowing that such news would only cause David grief, turned down Achima'atz's offer. Instead, he asked a Kushi to run and inform David.

(c)When Achima'atz asked a second time to be allowed to run after the Kushi, Yo'av again turned him down, but when he asked a third time, he granted his request. Achima'atz ran and overtook the Kushi, and was the first to approach David's camp.

(d)When David was informed that a runner was arriving in the camp, and that the runner appeared to be Achima'atz, his initial reaction was that Achima'atz was a good man, and that he therefore must be the harbinger of good news.

(e)Arriving first, Achima'atz informed the king of the victory and the quelling of the rebellion, but when the king asked him about Avshalom, he pretended not to know; he told the king that the Kushi had been given all of the details. Indeed, when the Kushi arrived and told David what had happened, the king was grief-stricken, despite the victory.

9)[line 18]ובריך מנ''ח לאחריהU'VARICH MN"CH LA'ACHAREHA- And he blessed "Al Mikra Megilah" ('M'), "she'Asah Nisim la'Avoseinu" ('N') and "she'Hecheyanu" ('CH', since the root is 'Chay')

10)[line 41]עשרה בטלניןASARAH BATLANIN- (a) ten people supported by the community to stay in the Beis Keneses throughout the day and be available to make a Minyan for prayer (RASHI here and to 5a); (b) ten people who work during the day but arrive at the Beis Keneses early in the morning and stay late in the evening to be available to make a Minyan for prayer (RAN 5a)

11)[line 39]תורמין את הלשכהTORMIN ES HA'LISHKAH

(a)Every year, one half-Shekel was collected from every Jew to fund the Korbenos Tzibur that were offered in the Beis ha'Mikdash. Beis Din placed the money that was collected in a room in the Mikdash reserved for that purpose (see Background to Yoma 55:7, "Shekalim").

(b)At three times during the year (before each of the three festivals), Beis Din filled three boxes, each of which held three Se'in (approximately 25 or 43.2 liters, depending upon the differing Halachic opinions) with Shekalim from that room. The portion that was set aside in the boxes was called the "Terumas ha'Lishkah," while the remainder of the Shekalim were called "Sheyarei ha'Lishkah" (Shekalim 7b, 8a). (See Insights to Shekalim 9:2.)

(c)There is a difference of opinion as to why the Terumas ha'Lishkah was done three times a year rather than just once. One opinion states that the reason was only to publicize the Terumas ha'Lishkah (Shekalim 2b, see Insights there). According to others, Beis Din was concerned that the Terumas ha'Lishkah should be collected from the Shekalim that arrived later in the year. (This opinion is also mentioned in the Yerushalmi, ibid.)

(d)The Shekalim from the Terumas ha'Lishkah were used to purchase the animals needed for public sacrifices, while the Shekalim from the Sheyarei ha'Lishkah were used to buy other goods necessary for the upkeep of the Mikdash and the entire city of Yerushalayim (Shekalim 4a-b).

12)[line 42]מעלין בקדש ולא מורידיןMA'ALIN BA'KODESH V'LO MORIDIN

When a person or object receives a higher status of holiness, we do not lower its status at a later time. We may only raise it to a higher level.