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Megillah, Daf Daled, Part 6

 

Introduction

Today’s section deals with what happens when Purim falls on Shabbat.

 

דכולי עלמא מיהא מגילה בשבת לא קרינן, מאי טעמא? אמר רבה: הכל חייבין בקריאת מגילה (ובתקיעת שופר), ואין הכל בקיאין במקרא מגילה, גזירה שמא יטלנה בידו וילך אצל בקי ללמוד, ויעבירנה ארבע אמות ברשות הרבים. והיינו טעמא דשופר, והיינו טעמא דלולב.

 

But at any rate all agree that the Megillah is not to be read on Shabbat.

What is the reason? Rabbah said: All are obligated to read the Megillah, but not all are competent to read it, and there is therefore a decree [not to read on Shabbat] lest one take the scroll in his hand and go to an expert to learn and [in doing so] carry it four cubits in a public domain.

This is also the reason for [not blowing] the shofar on Shabbat and [for not carrying] the lulav.

 

According to Rabbah we do not read the Megillah on Shabbat lest one carry the scroll in the public domain which is prohibited on Shabbat. It is for this same reason that we do not perform the mitzvah of lulav on Shabbat, nor do we blow the shofar.

I should also note that it does seem like the sages wanted to avoid, to a certain extent, Shabbat turning into another holiday. If Purim was celebrated on Shabbat, it would really be Purim, and not feel like Shabbat. And since they held that the Megillah could be read on another day, there really was not a good reason not to move the reading of the Megillah.

 

רב יוסף אמר: מפני שעיניהן של עניים נשואות במקרא מגילה.

R. Joseph said: Because the poor are anxiously awaiting the reading of the Megillah.

 

R. Joseph says that the reason we don’t read Megillah on Shabbat is that when the poor hear the Megillah being read they get excited, anticipating receiving the gifts for the poor (matanot le’evyonim). If the Megillah were read on Shabbat, gifts for the poor could not be given out that day and they would be disappointed.

 

תניא נמי הכי: אף על פי שאמרו כפרים מקדימין ליום הכניסהגובין בו ביום, ומחלקין בו ביום.

אף על פי שאמרו? אדרבה, משום דאמרו הוא! אלא: הואיל ואמרו שכפרים מקדימין ליום הכניסהגובין בו ביום ומחלקין בו ביום, מפני שעיניהם של עניים נשואות במקרא מגילה. אבל שמחה אינה נוהגת אלא בזמנה.

 

It has also been taught in a baraita: Although they said that villages push the reading forward to the day of gathering, contributions are collected and distributed on the same day.

"Although they said"! On the contrary, it is because they said!

Read therefore: Since they said that villages push the reading forward to the day of gathering, contributions are collected and distributed on the same day, because the poor are waiting anxiously for the reading of the Megillah, but rejoicing is observed only at the proper time.

 

A baraita teaches a similar idea. When Purim falls on Shabbat they read the Megillah and collect and distribute gifts for the poor on the day that the Megillah is actually read. But the Purim feast (seudah) is done on Shabbat, the proper time. There is no reason why a Purim seudah should not occur on Shabbat.