Friday, February 26, 2010

Purim - reading the megilla early

How do you know that Haman sang anim zemiros – as it says asapra kevodechaumetargeminon may I cut your honour’s hair.

What was Haman’s surname? Weiss, as it says
Parshandasa Ve’eis
Dalphon Ve’eis … (you need to be chassidish for this to work, but it’s not worse than Uncle Moishe where “shalom, our home” only rhymes if you’re American)
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The first mishna in Megilah says that the megillah can be read on the 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th of Adar. Small villages read the megillah on the Monday or Thursday preceeding Purim when they go into the nearby towns for the yom ha’kenissah. The Bar Tenura explains that they would go to the town either to go to beis din or to hear krias ha’torah and as they did not know how to read the megillah one of the townspeople would read the megillah for them. The gemara brings various derashos to include the 12th and the 13th, however the gemara says that you do not need a passuk to include the 13th because the main nes was on the 13th as this was the day when the benei yisroel fought their enemies.

The gemara says that nowdays the takana to read the megilla early does not apply. The rishonim give various explanations for this. Rashi says this is because we havea fixed calendar and people would count 30 days from Purim to know when Pesach starts. If you would make Purim early then they would start Pesach early and on the last days of Pesach would eat chametz as they would think that Pesach was over.

The Ba’al ha’maor (daf alef amud beis, dibbur hamaschil amar rav) brings the opinion of Rabbeinu Ephraim that nowadays, if someone is going to leave on a journey and will not be able to read the megillah on Purim, he can still read the megillah early on the 13th but not on the 11th and 12th.

תניא בברייתא המפרש ויוצא לדרך קורין בי״ג כתב עלה הרב אפרים ז״ל …אבל בי״א ובי״ב ליכא למקרא כלל דהא בטלו להו ובברייתא זו לא הזכירו אלא בי״ג בלבד
“We have learnt in a beraisoh, someone who is going on a voyage or a journey can read on the 13th of Adar. Rav Ephraim z”l writes on this that you can only read the megilla on the 13th but not on the 11th or 12th because the gemara says that nowadays we do not read the megilla early.”

The Ba’al Ha’maor argues and says that you can read the megilla early on the 11th, 12th and the 13th.

Rav Ephraim is difficult to understand, the gemara says that villages do not read early anymore, if so there is no difference between the 11th and the 12th and the 13th . If Rav Ephraim agrees that you can read the megilla early on the 13th, that means that even although the villages do not read early anymore nevertheless the 13th remains a day that you can read the megilla on bedieved. If so, what is the difference between the 11th and 12th, which Rav Ephraim says were entirely cancelled and the 13th which he agrees is still a day that the megilla can be read on bedieved?


Rabbeinu Chananel (on Daf Daled amud beis) asks:
הלא עזרא אחר שבאו לארץ ישראל ובנו הבית תיקן קריאת התורה בב׳ ובה׳ ובמנחה בשבת ובימי מרדכי ואסתר שהיו בימי כנסת הגדולה לא היתה תקנה זו ואין שם עדיין יום הכניסה ואיך אמר משנתנו אלא שהכפרים מקדימין ליום הכניסה ומצאנו בתלמוד ארץ ישראל כך וכי מרדכי ואסתר מתקינין סמניהן כדאמרן להיותם מקדימין ליום הכניסה על מה שעזרא עתיד לתקן יום הכניסה להיות קורין בספר תורה בב׳ ובה׳ ואמר רבי מנא נמי מי שסידר את המשנה סמכה למקרא משפחה ומשפחה מדינה ומדינה ועיר ועיר

“How can the mishna say that the villages read the megilla reading early on the yom hakenissah? Ezra was only mesaken krias hatorah on Monday and Thursday and shabbos mincha after the benei yisoel returned to Eretz Yisroel and built the beis hamikdash. In the days of Mordechai and Esther who lived in the times of the Anshei Kenesses ha’Gedola this takana did not exist? We found in the Talmud Yerushalmi – Did Mordechai and Esther make takanos based on the yom hakenissa that Ezra was going to be mesaken to read the sefer torah on Monday and Thursday? Rebbi Mana said – the person who was mesader the mishna relied on a passuk – the possuk says - משפחה ומשפחה מדינה ומדינה ועיר ועיר – each family, country and city can make Purim at a different time.”

You see from Rabbeinu Chananel that the derashos to include the 11th and 12th are asmachtos and not actual derashos. These days were not part of the original takana of reading the megilla and were added at a later date in order to accommodate the people in the villages.

Therefore we can understand that Rav Ephraim z”l is of the opinion that the takana to read the megilla early was entirely cancelled. Therefore the 11th and the 12th which were not part of the original times for reading the megilla were entirely cancelled and even if you read on them bedieved you are not yotze. However the 13th is not an asmachta, it is a sevara that you can read the megilla on the 13th and this was part of the original takana. So, even although chazal removed the takana that lechatchila the villages should read on the 13th, nevetheless if you did read on the 13th bedieved you are stilll yotze.

The ba’al ha’maor however is of the opinion that although the takana that the villages should read on the 11th and the 12th lechatchila was nisbatel, the takana that you can read the megilla on these days was not, therefore an individual read the megilla early on these days if he has no other option.

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