12th CYCLE DEDICATION:
 
MEGILAH 2 - Dedicated in honor of Rabbi David Wilensky and the Tuesday night Gemara shiur.

Please note that unless otherwise indicated, we follow the explanation of Rashi. Our notes and comments do not necessarily have a bearing on the practical Halachah.

1)

(a)On which dates can the Megilah be read?

(b)Who reads it ...

1. ... on the fifteenth?

2. ... on the fourteenth?

(c)When do villagers read it?

(d)Are they obligated to read it on those days?

1)

(a)The Megilah can be read - on the eleventh, the twelfth, the thirteenth, the fourteenth and the fifteenth of Adar.

(b)

1. Mukafin (people who live in cities that were walled from the time of Yehoshua bin Nun) read it - on the fifteenth.

2. Townspeople (from cities that were not walled) read it - on the fourteenth.

(c)Villagers read the Megilah - on the fourteenth, should it occur on Monday or Thursday. Otherwise, they may read it on the previous Monday or Thursday (whichever is closer) ...

(d)... should they so wish.

2)

(a)According to the Tana of our Mishnah, when the fourteenth falls ...

1. ... on Sunday, when do each of the three sections of Yisrael read the Megilah?

2. ... on Friday, when do the townspeople and the Mukafin read it?

3. ... on Shabbos, when do the townspeople read it?

2)

(a)According to the Tana of our Mishnah, when the fourteenth falls ...

1. ... on Sunday - the townspeople read it on that day, the Mukafin on Monday, and the villagers on the previous Thursday.

2. ... on Friday - the townspeople and the Mukafin read it on the same day.

3. ... on Shabbos - the townspeople read it on the previous Thursday, together with the villagers, the Mukafin, on Sunday.

3)

(a)On what grounds do we reject the original question 'Minalan' (implying 'From where do we know that the Megilah can be read on the eleventh, the twelfth and the thirteenth')?

(b)Then what does the questioner mean to ask?

(c)Why can it not have been the later Chachamim who instituted those dates?

(d)Rav Sheman bar Aba quoting Rebbi Yochanan, learns the dates of the villagers from the Pasuk in Esther "l'Kayem es Yemei ha'Purim ha'Eileh bi'Zemaneihem". Why can "Zemaneihem" not come ...

1. ... for itself (because of the two days, the fourteenth and the fifteenth, on which the Megilah is read)?

2. ... to teach us that those who read on the fourteenth do not read on the fifteenth, and vice-versa?

3)

(a)we reject the original question 'Minalan' (implying 'From where do we know that the Megilah can be read on the eleventh, the twelfth and the thirteenth') - on the grounds that it is not an obligation to read earlier (that we need to find a reason for it). It is a concession, whose reason we already know (i.e. because they always provide the city-dwellers with water and food, as we shall see later). Note: Rashi DH 'Kedei' seems to contradict his interpretation of the Kashya. In any event, it does not conform with the Gemara's conclusion.

(b)What the questioner means to ask is - what is the source for this concession. Seeing as it was instituted by the Anshei Kneses ha'Gedolah, it must at least be hinted in the Megilah itself.

(c)It cannot have been the later Chachamim who instituted those dates - because one Beis-Din cannot negate the words of another, unless it is greater than it both in knowledge and in numbers.

(d)Rav Shemen bar Aba quoting Rebbi Yochanan learns the dates of the villagers from the Pasuk in Esther "l'Kayem es Yemei ha'Purim ha'Eileh bi'Zemaneihem". "Zemaneihem" cannot come ...

1. ... for itself (because of the two days, the fourteenth and the fifteenth, on which the Megilah is read) - since for that, just the word "Zman" would have sufficed.

2. ... to teach us that those who read on the fourteenth do not read on the fifteenth, and vice-versa - because for that, the Pasuk could have added a 'Mem' and written "Zmanam". From the extra 'Yud', we must therefore learn the two additional days on which the villagers may read the Megilah (as we will elaborate shortly).

4)

(a)How do we know to give the villagers only those two days and no more?

(b)In that case, perhaps we should give only them the twelfth and the thirteenth? On what grounds do we give them the eleventh, too?

(c)And how do we know that those two days are the eleventh and the twelfth of Adar, and not the sixteenth and the seventeenth?

4)

(a)We know to give the villagers only those two days and no more - because "Zemaneihem" like "Zmanam" (which incorporates the fourteenth and the fifteenth) includes two days.

(b)We do not require a Pasuk in order to give the villagers the thirteenth, because it is the time when everybody gathered to fight (both in Shushan and in all other places). Consequently, since the main miracle took place on that day, it is obvious that they may read it then, and the Pasuk is needed for the eleventh and the twelfth. Note: The Rosh explains 'Zman Kehilah la'Kol' to mean that it is a day when everyone gathers in order to fast, providing us with the only reference in the whole Shas to Ta'anis Esther.

(c)We know too, that those two days are the eleventh and the twelfth of Adar, and not the sixteenth and the seventeenth - because the Pasuk in Megilah writes "v'Lo Ya'avor", meaning that, under no circumstances, may one read later than the fifteenth.

5)

(a)How does Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeni learn the two extra days of the villagers from the Pasuk in Esther "ka'Yamim Asher Nachu Bahem ha'Yehudim"?

(b)Why does ...

1. ... Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeni not want to learn it from "Zemaneihem" (like Rav Shemen bar Aba)?

2. ... Rav Shemen bar Aba not want to learn it from "ka'Yamim Asher Nachu Bahem ha'Yehudim" (like Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeni)?

5)

(a)Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeni learns the two extra days of the villagers from the Pasuk in Esther "ka'Yamim Asher Nachu Bahem ha'Yehudim" - by Darshening 'Yamim' "ka'Yamim", two extra days like the two original ones.

(b)

1. Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeni does not want to learn it from "Zemaneihem" (like Rav Shemen bar Aba) - because he does not agree with the Derashah 'Zman ... Zmanam ... Zemaneihem'.

2. Rav Shemen bar Aba does not want to learn it from "ka'Yamim Asher Nachu Bahem ha'Yehudim" (like Rebbi Shmuel bar Nachmeni) - because, in his opinion, "ka'Yamim" refers to the future (that they will later celebrate the same days as they celebrated in the time of the miracle).

6)

(a)In the first Lashon, Rabah bar bar Chanah quoting Rebbi Yochanan establishes our Mishnah like Rebbi Akiva Stimta'ah. What does 'Stimta'ah' mean?

(b)Why can it not refer to the fact that many of the 'Stams' are learned by Rebbi Akiva's disciples (Stam Mishnah like Rebbi Meir, Stam Tosefta like Rebbi Nechemyah and Stam Sifra like Rebbi Yehudah), and all, according to their Rebbe, Rebbi Akiva?

(c)Rabah bar bar Chanah concludes that the Rabanan argue with Rebbi Akiva. What do they say, according to him?

6)

(a)In the first Lashon, Rabah bar bar Chanah quoting Rebbi Yochanan establishes our Mishnah like Rebbi Akiva Stimta'ah - which means that Rebbi wrote may Stam (nameless) Mishnahs which follow his opinion.

(b)It cannot refer to the fact that many of the 'Stams' are learned by Rebbi Akiva's disciples (Stam Mishnah like Rebbi Meir, Stam Tosefta like Rebbi Nechemyah and Stam Sifra like Rebbi Yehudah), and all, according to their Rebbe, Rebbi Akiva - because then, why are Rebbi Eliezer b'Rebbi Yosi and Rebbi Menachem b'Rebbi Yosi also referred to as Stimta'ah?!

(c)Rabah bar bar Chanah concludes that the Rabanan argue with Rebbi Akiva. In his opinion, they hold that the villagers are obligated to read the Megilah when everybody else reads it (because they do not agree with the above Derashos which provide the concession to read it earlier).

7)

(a)Rebbi Yehudah (in a Beraisa) maintains that nowadays, the villagers are obligated to read the Megilah on the fourteenth of Adar. Why is that?

(b)We see from there, that in the days of the Chachamim, the villagers were permitted to read the Megilah on the eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth of Adar. Why does this pose a Kashya on Rabah bar bar Chanah quoting Rebbi Yochanan?

(c)Why must the Rabanan who lived in the original era referred to by Rebbi Yehudah, be the Chachamim, and not Rebbi Akiva? What does Rabah bar bar Chanah quoting Rebbi Yochanan say in the second Lashon?

7)

(a)Rebbi Yehudah (in a Beraisa) maintains that nowadays, the villagers are obligated to read the Megilah on the fourteenth of Adar - because, due either to the fact that Rosh Chodesh is fixed, or because they lived so far apart, that the messengers would not get to the far-flung places in time for Pesach (a reason that applied even in the times of the later Tana'im, who lived after the Churban), the poor would determine Pesach by counting thirty days after Purim. Consequently, should the villagers read the Megilah early, they will (begin and) end Pesach early, which means that they will eat Chametz on the last days of Pesach.

(b)We see from there, that in the days of the Chachamim, the villagers were permitted to read the Megilah on the eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth of Adar, a Kashya on Rabah bar bar Chanah quoting Rebbi Yochanan - who maintains that according to the Chachamim, there was no such concession, and (c) ... the Rabanan who lived in the original era referred to by Rebbi Yehudah must be the Chachamim (who lived before the time of Rebbi Akiva), and not Rebbi Akiva - because in the days of Rebbi Akiva, Rebbi Yehudah's reason already applied, and the early period that he is referring to is speaking about the days when it did not.

(c)In the second Lashon - Rabah bar bar Chanah quoting Rebbi Yochanan says that it is Rebbi Akiva exclusively who permits the villagers to read the Megilah early even nowadays, but the Rabanan (who concur with Rebbi Yehudah) hold that nowadays, the concession no longer applies, due to the fact that the poor determine Pesach as being thirty days after Pesach, as we explained earlier according to Rebbi Yehudah.

2b----------------------------------------2b

8)

(a)In a Mishnah later, Rebbi Yehudah restricts the concession of the villagers to places where they tend to go into town on Mondays and Thursdays, but not where they do not. How does that clash with his previous statement (from the Beraisa in Ta'anis - that nowadays, the villagers are obligated to read the Megilah on the fourteenth [see above 7a.])?

(b)Like whom does Rav Ashi establish the Beraisa in order to resolve this discrepancy?

(c)But how can he do that? Whenever one comes across a contradiction between two statements said by Tana'im, can one just establish one of them like any Tana that one fancies, in order to answer the Kashya?

8)

(a)In a Mishnah later, Rebbi Yehudah restricts the concession of the villagers to places where they tend to go into town on Mondays and Thursdays, but not where they do not. In any event, it is clear that, on principle, Rebbi Yehudah permits the villagers to read the Megilah prematurely, even in his time - clashing with his previous statement (from the Beraisa in Ta'anis - that nowadays, the villagers are obligated to read the Megilah on the fourteenth.

(b)To resolve this discrepancy - Rav Ashi establishes the Beraisa (not like Rebbi Yehudah, but) like Rebbi Yosi b'Rebbi Yehudah.

(c)He did this - because he had already heard that some people establish it like Rebbi Yehudah and others, like Rebbi Yosi b'Rebbi Yehudah. So when he became aware of the discrepancy, he decided that the author had to be Rebbi Yosi b'Rebbi Yehudah.

9)

(a)What does Rava (or Rav) learn from the Pasuk in Esther "al-Kein ha'Yudim ha'Perazim ... Osim es Yom Arba'ah-Asar l'Chodesh Adar"?

(b)We reject the suggestion that the Mukafin do not read the Megilah at all, for two reasons, one of them, because they are Jews no less than the townspeople. What is the other?

(c)The Pasuk writes "li'Heyos Osim es Yom Arba'ah-Asar ... ve'es Yom Chamishah-Asar. How do we know that the Mukafin do not ...

1. ... read the Megilah twice, both on the fourteenth and on the fifteenth?

2. ... have a choice to read either on the fourteenth or on the fifteenth?

3. ... read it on the thirteenth?

(d)The above Pasuk speaks about 'Asiyah' (the celebrations of Purim). From where do we know that the same applies to 'Zechirah' (reading the Megilah)?

9)

(a)Rava (or Rav) learns from the Pasuk in Esther "al-Kein ha'Yudim ha'Perazim ... Osim es Yom Arba'ah-Asar l'Chodesh Adar" - that the Mukafin read the Megilah on the fifteenth.

(b)We reject the suggestion that the Mukafin do not read the Megilah at all, for two reasons, one of them, because they are Jews no less than the townspeople; the other - because of the Pasuk in Esther "me'Hodu v'Ad Kush", which implies that all Jews everywhere are included in the obligation.

(c)The Pasuk writes "li'Heyos Osim es Yom Arba'ah-Asar ... ve'es Yom Chamishah-Asar. We know that the Mukafin do not ...

1. ... read the Megilah twice, both on the fourteenth and on the fifteenth - because of the word "ve'es", which breaks between the two dates.

2. ... have a choice to read either on the fourteenth or on the fifteenth - because of the word "bi'Zemaneihem", suggesting that the time of one is not the same as the time of the other (i.e. the townspeople read the Megilah on the fourteenth, and the Mukafin, on the fifteenth) as we explained earlier.

3. ... read it on the thirteenth - because it is logical to say that they read it on the same day as Shushan.

(d)The above Pasuk speaks about 'Asiyah' (the celebrations of Purim). We learn that the same applies to 'Zechirah' (reading the Megilah) - from the Pasuk "v'ha'Yamim ha'Eileh "Nizkarim v'Na'asim*", comparing the one to the other.

10)

(a)From where does Rebbi Yehoshua ben Korchah learn that cities surrounded by a wall from the time of Achashverosh (and not necessarily from the time of Yehoshua bin Nun) read the Megilah on the fifteenth?

(b)What do the Rabanan learn from the 'Gezeirah-Shavah' "Prazi" "Prazi" (by Batei Arei Chomah)?

(c)What is the basis of their Machlokes?

(d)What is the problem with Shushan, according to the Rabanan?

(e)Rava (or Kdi) answers that Shushan is different, because a miracle was performed in it. What does he mean by that?

10)

(a)Rebbi Yehoshua ben Korchah learns that cities surrounded by a wall from the time of Achashverosh (and not necessarily from the time of Yehoshua bin Nun) read the Megilah on the fifteenth - because he compares them to Shushan (which was in a similar situation).

(b)The Rabanan learn from the 'Gezeirah-Shavah' "Prazi" "Prazi" - that, just like by Batei Arei Chomah, a walled city is determined by whether, or not, it had a wall around it in the times of Yehoshua, so it is by Megilah.

(c)The basis of their Machlokes is - that the Chachamim had the tradition of the 'Gezeirah-Shavah' of "Prazi" "Prazi", whereas Rebbi Yehoshua ben Korchah did not. Note: Megilas Esther enjoys a unique status among the books of Tanach. Nowhere else to we find such a collection of Derashos relating Sifrei Tanach to Torah (such as 'Gezeiros Shavos', as if it was Torah) as we find by it. This will recur again and again throughout the Masechta.

(d)The problem with Shushan, according to the Rabanan - is that it classifies neither as a town (since it reads on the fifteenth), nor as a Mukaf (since it was not surrounded by a wall from the time of Yehoshua bin Nun).

(e)Rava (or Kdi) answers that Shushan is different, because a miracle was performed in it. What he means is - that the Jews in Shushan were given a second day (the fourteenth) on which to fight and defeat their enemies. Consequently, they only rested on the fifteenth.

11)

(a)According to the Rabanan, how do we try to explain the Pasuk in Esther ...

1. ... "Medinah u'Medinah"?

2. ... "Ir va'Ir"?

(b)What problem does this create with Rebbi Yehoshua ben Korchah?

(c)What does Rebbi Yehoshua ben Korchah retort?

11)

(a)According to the Rabanan, we try to explain the Pasuk in Esther ...

1. ... "Medinah u'Medinah" - to differentiate between the Mukafin from the time of Yehoshua and all other towns.

2. ... "Ir va'Ir" - to differentiate between Shushan and other towns.

(b)In that case - how will Rebbi Yehoshua (who does not differentiate between Shushan and other towns) explain "Ir va'Ir"?

(c)Rebbi Yehoshua ben Korchah retorts however - that even according to the Rabanan, one could ask the same Kashya, since they have already learned the distinction between the Mukafin and the other towns from "Prazi" "Prazi", so just like we ask why he needs "Ir va'Ir", he asks why they need "Medinah u'Medinah"?!

12)

(a)We therefore go on to learn Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi's (dual) Halachah from "Medinah u'Medinah" (according to the Chachamim) or from "Ir va'Ir" (according to Rebbi Yehoshua ben Korchah). What does Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi say?

(b)What is considered close in this regard?

(c)Then why did Rebbi Yirmeyahu (or Rebbi Chiya bar Aba) give the Shi'ur as 'from Chamsan till Teveryah'?

12)

(a)We therefore go on to learn from "Medinah u'Medinah" (according to the Chachamim) or from "Ir va'Ir" (according to himself), the Halachah of Rebbi Yehoshua ben Levi - who says that any town or village that is close to a walled city or that can be seen together with it, reads the Megilah on the fifteenth, like the walled city itself.

(b)A Mil (two thousand Amos) or less - is considered close in this regard.

(c)Rebbi Yirmeyahu (or Rebbi Chiya bar Aba) gave the Shi'ur as 'from Chamsan till Teveryah' - to teach us the Shi'ur of a Mil.

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