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Megillah, Daf Heh, Part 1

 

Introduction

Today’s section we read about whether a minyan is required for the reading of the Megillah.

 

אמר רב: מגילה, בזמנהקורין אותה אפילו ביחיד, שלא בזמנהבעשרה.

רב אסי אמר: בין בזמנה בין שלא בזמנה בעשרה.

הוה עובדא וחש ליה רב להא דרב אסי.

 

Rav said: The Megillah, in its proper time, can be read even by an individual;

But [when read] not in its proper time, it should be read only in a company of ten.

R. Asi said: Whether in its proper time or not in its proper time, it should be read only in a company of ten.

Such a case actually occurred and Rav gave consideration to the opinion of R. Asi.

 

According to Rav when the Megillah is read in the proper time, on the fourteenth or fifteenth, it is an individual obligation and can be read even by an individual. We don’t require a minyan to publicize the miracle. But if it is read on one of the earlier days, then it cannot be read without a minyan.

R. Asi says that a minyan should always be sought after. Rashi notes that it is never prohibited for an individual to read the Megillah. R. Asi just holds that it one should seek a minyan.

The Talmud notes that such a case actually occurred and Rav sought a minyan, in accordance with R. Asi’s opinion.

 

ומי אמר רב הכי? והאמר רב יהודה בריה דרב שמואל בר שילת משמיה דרב: פורים שחל להיות בשבתערב שבת זמנם. – ערב שבת זמנם? והא שבת זמנם הוא! אלא לאו הכי קאמר: שלא בזמנםכזמנם, מה זמנם אפילו ביחיד, אף שלא בזמנםאפילו ביחיד!

 

But did Rav actually say this? Did not R. Judah the son of R. Shmuel b. Shilat say in the name of Rav: If Purim falls on Shabbat, Friday is the proper time?

Friday is the proper time! Surely Shabbat is the proper time! What Rav must have meant is this: The alternative time is like the proper time. Just as at the proper time [the Megillah may be read] by an individual, so at the alternative time [it may be read] by an individual.

 

The Talmud now cites another statement by Rav which they (at first) interpret as contradicting the previous statement. Rav said that if Purim falls on Shabbat, "Friday is the proper time." This does not make sense because if Purim falls on Shabbat, Shabbat is the proper time.

Therefore, the Talmud corrects the statement to read that the "alternative" time is like the proper time just as proper time can be read by an individual, so too the alternative time can be read by an individual. This contradicts what Rav said above.

לא, לענין מקרא מגילה בעשרה. אלא, מאי ערב שבת זמנםלאפוקי מדרבי, דאמר הואיל ונדחו עיירות ממקומן ידחו ליום הכניסההא קא משמע לן דערב שבת זמנם הוא.

 

No. For the reading of the Megillah Rav requires ten.

What then did he mean by saying "Friday is the proper time"? His was rejecting the opinion of Rabbi, who said that since the towns had to shift their time they should shift to the day of gathering. Therefore Rav teaches us that Friday is the proper day [to which they should shift].

 

The Talmud rejects that reading of Rav’s second statement. Rav still maintains that reading the Megillah on an alternative day requires a minyan. When he said that "Friday is the proper time" he was ruling against the opinion of Rabbi that we saw in last week’s daf. When Purim falls on Shabbat Rav says that the Megillah is read on Friday, not moved up to Thursday as Rabbi held.