סירוסין לא יצא ר' מונא אומר משום רבי יהודה אף בסירוגין אם שהה כדי לגמור את כולה חוזר לראש אמר רב יוסף הלכה כר' מונא שאמר משום ר' יהודה
But if he reads it out of order, i.e., if he changes the order of the words or verses of the Megilla, he has not fulfilled his obligation. Rabbi Mona said in the name of Rabbi Yehuda: Even when he reads it at intervals, if he pauses and interrupts his reading long enough for one to finish reading the whole Megilla during that time, he must go back to the beginning and start again. Rav Yosef said: The halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Mona, who stated his opinion in the name of Rabbi Yehuda.
א"ל אביי לרב יוסף כדי לגמור את כולה מהיכא דקאי לסיפא או דלמא מרישא לסיפא א"ל מרישא לסיפא דא"כ נתת דבריך לשיעורין
Abaye said to Rav Yosef: When Rabbi Mona said: Long enough for one to finish reading the whole Megilla, did he mean from the verse where he is now until the end? Or perhaps he meant long enough to read the entire Megilla from the beginning until the end. He said to him: Rabbi Mona meant from the beginning until the end, as if it were so that he meant from where he paused until the end of the Megilla, you would be subjecting your statement to the varying circumstances of each case. There would be no standard principle to determine the length of a permitted pause; in each case, depending on where one stopped, it would take a different amount of time to finish the Megilla until the end. And the Sages did not institute measures that are not standardized.
אמר ר' אבא א"ר ירמיה בר אבא אמר רב הלכה כרבי מונא ושמואל אמר אין הלכה כרבי מונא בסורא מתנו הכי בפומבדיתא מתנו הכי אמר רב כהנא אמר רב הלכה כרבי מונא ושמואל אמר אין הלכה כר' מונא רב ביבי מתני איפכא רב אמר אין הלכה כר' מונא ושמואל אמר הלכה כר' מונא
Rabbi Abba said that Rabbi Yirmeya bar Abba said: Rav said that the halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Mona, but Shmuel said that the halakha is not in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Mona. The Gemara elaborates: This is how they taught the opinions of the Sages in Sura. However, in Pumbedita they taught it slightly differently, like this: Rav Kahana said that Rav said that the halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Mona, but Shmuel said that the halakha is not in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Mona. Rav Beivai taught the opposite: Rav said that the halakha is not in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Mona, but Shmuel said that the halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Mona.
אמר רב יוסף נקוט דרב ביבי בידך דשמואל הוא דחייש ליחידאה דתנן שומרת יבם שקידש אחיו את אחותה משום ר' יהודה בן בתירה אמרו אומרים לו המתן עד שיעשה אחיך הגדול מעשה
Rav Yosef said: Grasp the version of Rav Beivai in your hand, i.e., accept it as the most authoritative one. It appears to be correct, as we know that Shmuel takes into consideration even an individual dissenting opinion when it is more stringent than the majority opinion. The Gemara proves its assertion about Shmuel: As we learned in a mishna (Yevamot 41a) with regard to a different matter, the case of a widow whose husband died childless and who was waiting for one of his surviving brothers to perform the required levirate marriage with her or, alternatively, to release her with the ḥalitza ceremony: In a case where a woman was waiting for her brother-in-law and in the meantime one of her deceased husband’s brothers betrothed this woman’s sister, they said in the name of Rabbi Yehuda ben Beteira: We say to this brother: Wait before marrying your betrothed until your older brother acts, performing the levirate marriage or ḥalitza.
אמר שמואל הלכה כר' יהודה בן בתירה
The reason for this is that before levirate marriage or ḥalitza is performed, all the brothers are considered, by rabbinic decree, to have a quasi-marital connection with the widow. Consequently, just as one may not marry his wife’s sister, he may not marry the sister of a woman who is waiting for him to perform levirate marriage. The Sages, however, disagree with Rabbi Yehuda ben Beteira and maintain that only the oldest of the brothers is considered bound to the widow, as he is the primary candidate to perform these acts. Consequently, the widow has no connection at all with the other brothers. And Shmuel said: The halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda ben Beteira. This demonstrates that Shmuel takes into consideration the opinion of a single Sage against the majority when that minority opinion is more stringent than the majority opinion.
ת"ר השמיט בה סופר אותיות או פסוקין וקראן הקורא כמתורגמן המתרגם יצא
§ The Sages taught in a baraita: If the scribe who wrote the Megilla omitted letters or even complete verses when he wrote it, and the reader read these missing items as a translator would do when translating, i.e., he recited the missing parts by heart, he has fulfilled his obligation. Missing material in a Megilla and reading words or verses by heart do not invalidate the reading.
מיתיבי היו בה אותיות מטושטשות או מקורעות אם רשומן ניכר כשרה ואם לאו פסולה לא קשיא הא בכולה הא במקצתה
The Gemara raises an objection from another baraita: If a Megilla contains letters that are blurred or torn, the following distinction applies: If their imprint is still visible, the Megilla is fit for reading, but if not, it is unfit. This baraita indicates that even the omission of several letters invalidates the Megilla. The Gemara resolves the contradiction between the two baraitot: This is not difficult. This second baraita, which says that a Megilla with blurred or torn letters is unfit, is referring to a case where this is so throughout the whole of the Megilla; whereas this first baraita, which says that a Megilla is fit even if whole verses are missing, is referring to a case where the missing material is in only part of it.
ת"ר השמיט בה הקורא פסוק אחד לא יאמר אקרא את כולה ואח"כ אקרא אותו פסוק אלא קורא מאותו פסוק ואילך נכנס לבית הכנסת ומצא צבור שקראו חציה לא יאמר אקרא חציה עם הצבור ואח"כ אקרא חציה אלא קורא אותה מתחילתה ועד סופה:
The Sages taught in a baraita: If the reader of the Megilla omitted one verse, he may not say: I will continue to read the whole of the Megilla in order, and afterward I will go back and read that verse that I omitted. Rather, he must go back and read from that verse that he omitted and continue from there to the end of the Megilla. Similarly, if one enters a synagogue and encounters a congregation that has already read half of the Megilla, he may not say: I will read the second half of the Megilla with the congregation, and afterward I will go back and read the first half. Rather, he must go back and read it in its proper order from the beginning until the end.
מתנמנם יצא וכו': היכי דמי מתנמנם אמר רב אשי נים ולא נים תיר ולא תיר דקרו ליה ועני ולא ידע לאהדורי סברא וכי מדכרו ליה מידכר:
§ It is taught in the mishna: If one read the Megilla while he is dozing off, he has fulfilled his obligation. The Gemara asks: What are the circumstances of the case of dozing off? Rav Ashi said: It is referring to a situation in which one is asleep yet not fully asleep, awake yet not fully awake. If someone calls him he answers. And he is in a mental state in which he does not know how to provide an answer that requires logical reasoning, but when people remind him about something that has happened, he remembers it.
היה כותבה דורשה ומגיהה אם כוון לבו יצא וכו': היכי דמי אי דקא מסדר פסוקא פסוקא וכתב לה כי כוון לבו מאי הוי על פה הוא אלא דכתב פסוקא פסוקא וקרי ליה
§ The mishna continues: If one was writing a Megilla, or expounding upon it, or correcting it, and he read all its words as he was doing so, if he had intent to fulfill his obligation with that reading he has fulfilled his obligation. The Gemara asks: What are the circumstances of this case? If he was articulating each verse of the Megilla and then writing it down, what of it that he intended to fulfill his obligation with that reading, since he recited those words by heart? Rather, it must be that he first wrote each verse in the Megilla and then read it out.
ומי יצא והאמר רבי חלבו אמר רב חמא בר גוריא אמר רב הלכה כדברי האומר כולה ואפי' למ"ד מאיש יהודי צריכה שתהא כתובה כולה
The Gemara asks: But does one really fulfill his obligation in this way? Didn’t Rabbi Ḥelbo say that Rav Ḥama bar Gurya said that Rav said: The halakha is in accordance with the statement of the one who says that the Megilla must be read in its entirety in order to fulfill one’s obligation. And moreover, he said that even according to the one who said that one need not read the entire Megilla, but only from “There was a certain Jew” (Esther 2:5) and onward, the Megilla itself must nevertheless be written in its entirety. How, then, can it be suggested that one who is reading each verse as he writes it can fulfill his obligation by reading from a Megilla that is not yet written to the end?
אלא דמנחה מגילה קמיה וקרי לה מינה פסוקא פסוקא וכתב לה לימא מסייע ליה לרבה בר בר חנה דאמר רבה בר בר חנה א"ר יוחנן אסור לכתוב אות אחת שלא מן הכתב דלמא דאתרמי ליה אתרמויי
The Gemara answers: Rather, this is a case in which a complete Megilla is lying before him and he is copying from it, and he was reading from that complete Megilla verse by verse and then writing each verse in his new copy. The Gemara proposes: Let us say that this supports the opinion of Rabba bar bar Ḥana, as Rabba bar bar Ḥana said that Rabbi Yoḥanan said: It is prohibited to write even a single letter of the Bible when not copying from a written text. Since it was necessary to explain the mishna as addressing a case in which one was copying a Megilla out of a written text lying before him, this supports Rabbi Yoḥanan’s ruling. The Gemara rejects this: This is not a proof, as perhaps the mishna is merely dealing with a case where this is what happened to be what occurred, that one happened to be copying the text from an existing Megilla, but it is not a requirement to do this.
גופא אמר רבה בר בר חנה א"ר יוחנן אסור לכתוב אות אחת שלא מן הכתב מיתיבי אמר רשב"א מעשה בר' מאיר שהלך לעבר שנה בעסיא ולא היה שם מגילה וכתבה מלבו וקראה
The Gemara examines Rabba bar bar Ḥana’s statement. With regard to the matter itself, Rabba bar bar Ḥana said that Rabbi Yoḥanan said: It is prohibited to write even a single letter of the Bible when not copying from a written text. The Gemara raises an objection from a baraita: Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar said: One Adar there was an incident involving Rabbi Meir, who went to intercalate the year in Asia Minor, as, owing to persecutory decrees, he could not do this in Eretz Yisrael. And there was no Megilla there when Purim arrived, so he wrote a Megilla by heart and read from it.
א"ר אבהו שאני רבי מאיר דמיקיים ביה (משלי ד, כה) ועפעפיך יישירו נגדך אמר ליה רמי בר חמא לרבי ירמיה מדפתי מאי ועפעפיך יישירו נגדך אמר לו אלו דברי תורה דכתיב בהו (משלי כג, ה) התעיף עיניך בו ואיננו ואפילו הכי מיושרין הן אצל ר' מאיר
Rabbi Abbahu said: Rabbi Meir is different, as in him is fulfilled the verse: “And let your eyelids look straight before you” (Proverbs 4:25), and with regard to this verse, Rami bar Ḥama said to Rabbi Yirmeya of Difti: What is the meaning of the phrase “and let your eyelids [afapekha],” from the root a-p-p, “look straight [yaishiru] before you”? He said to him: This is referring to the words of the Torah, which are difficult to remember exactly, and with regard to which it is written: “Will you glance upon it fleetingly [hata’if ], from the root a-p-p, with your eyes? It is already gone” (Proverbs 23:5), but nevertheless they remain exact [meyusharin] in the memory of Rabbi Meir, since he knows them all by heart.
רב חסדא אשכחיה לרב חננאל דהוה כתב ספרים שלא מן הכתב אמר ליה ראויה כל התורה כולה ליכתב על פיך אלא כך אמרו חכמים אסור לכתוב אות אחת שלא מן הכתב מדקאמר כל התורה כולה ראויה שתיכתב על פיך מכלל דמיושרין הן אצלו והא רבי מאיר כתב שעת הדחק שאני
It was related that Rav Ḥisda once found Rav Ḥananel writing Torah scrolls, but he was not copying them from a written text, as he knew it all by heart. He said to him: It is fitting for the entire Torah to be written by your mouth, i.e., relying on your memory, but this is what the Sages said: It is prohibited to write even a single letter of the Bible when not copying from a written text. The Gemara asks: Since Rav Ḥisda said to him: The entire Torah is fitting to be written by your mouth, it may be concluded by inference that the words of the Torah were exact in his memory, i.e., that Rav Ḥananel enjoyed total mastery of the text. But didn’t we say that Rabbi Meir wrote a Megilla without copying from a text due to similar proficiency? The Gemara answers: A time of exigent circumstances is different; since there was no other option available, he was permitted to rely on his expertise, but otherwise this must not be done.
אביי שרא לדבי בר חבו למיכתב תפלין ומזוזות שלא מן הכתב כמאן כי האי תנא דתניא ר' ירמיה אומר משום רבינו תפלין ומזוזות נכתבות שלא מן הכתב ואין צריכות שרטוט
It was further related that Abaye permitted the scribes of the house of ben Ḥavu to write phylacteries and mezuzot when they were not copying from a pre-existing text. The Gemara asks: In accordance with whose opinion did he issue this allowance? The Gemara explains: In accordance with the opinion of the following tanna, as it is taught in a baraita: Rabbi Yirmeya said in the name of our master, Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi: Phylacteries and mezuzot may be written when they are not copied from a written text, and they do not require scoring, i.e., the parchment is not required to have lines etched in it.
והלכתא תפלין אין צריכין שרטוט מזוזות צריכין שרטוט אידי ואידי נכתבות שלא מן הכתב מ"ט מיגרס גריסין:
The Gemara concludes: And the halakha is as follows: Phylacteries do not require scoring, whereas mezuzot require scoring. And unlike biblical books, both these and those, phylacteries and mezuzot, may be written when the scribe is not copying from a written text. What is the reason for this exception? These short texts are well known to all scribes, and therefore it is permitted to write them by heart.
היתה כתובה בסם כו': סם סמא סקרא אמר רבה בר בר חנה סקרתא שמה קומוס קומא
§ The mishna teaches: If one reads from a Megilla that was written with sam or with sikra or with komos or with kankantom, he has not fulfilled his obligation. The Gemara identifies these writing materials: Sam is what is called in Aramaic samma. With regard to sikra, Rabba bar bar Ḥana said: Its name in Aramaic is sikreta, a type of red paint. Komos is what is called koma, a tree resin.