קַנְקַנְתּוֹם חַרְתָּא דְאוּשְׁכָּפֵי דִּיפְתְּרָא דִּמְלִיחַ וּקְמִיחַ וְלָא עֲפִיץ נְיָיר מְחָקָא: Kankantom is what is called in Aramaic ḥarta de’ushkafei, a black dye used by shoemakers. Diftera is hide that was processed with salt and flour, but not with gallnuts. Neyar is known in Aramaic as maḥaka, paper made from reeds.
עַד שֶׁתְּהֵא כְּתוּבָה אַשּׁוּרִית דִּכְתִיב כִּכְתָבָם וְכִזְמַנָּם: § It was taught in the mishna: He does not fulfill his obligation unless the Megilla is written in Ashurit. The Gemara explains the reason for this: As it is written concerning the Megilla: “According to their writing and according to their time” (Esther 9:27), i.e., the way it was originally written.
עַל הַסֵּפֶר וּבִדְיוֹ וְכוּ׳ מְנָלַן אַתְיָא כְּתִיבָה כְּתִיבָה כְּתִיב הָכָא וַתִּכְתֹּב אֶסְתֵּר הַמַּלְכָּה וּכְתִיב הָתָם וַיֹּאמֶר לָהֶם בָּרוּךְ מִפִּיו יִקְרָא אֵלַי אֵת כׇּל הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה וַאֲנִי כּוֹתֵב עַל הַסֵּפֶר בַּדְּיוֹ: The mishna concludes: He does not fulfill his obligation unless the Megilla is written upon parchment and with ink.” The Gemara asks: From where do we derive this? The Gemara answers: It is derived by way of a verbal analogy between one instance of writing and another instance of writing. It is written here in the book of Esther: “Then Esther the queen, the daughter of Abihail, and Mordecai the Jew, wrote all the acts of power, to confirm this second letter of Purim” (Esther 9:29), and it is written there: “Then Baruch answered them: He pronounced all these words to me with his mouth, and I wrote them with ink on the parchment” (Jeremiah 36:18). Just as there the writing was with ink on parchment, so too here, a Megilla must be written with ink on parchment.
מַתְנִי׳ בֶּן עִיר שֶׁהָלַךְ לִכְרַךְ וּבֶן כְּרַךְ שֶׁהָלַךְ לְעִיר אִם עָתִיד לַחְזוֹר לִמְקוֹמוֹ קוֹרֵא כִּמְקוֹמוֹ וְאִם לָאו קוֹרֵא עִמָּהֶן MISHNA: With regard to a resident of an unwalled town who went to a walled city, where the Megilla is read on the fifteenth of Adar, and conversely, a resident of a walled city who went to an unwalled town where it is read on the fourteenth, the following distinction applies: If he is destined to return to his original place, he reads it according to the halakha governing his own place, and if not, i.e., if he is not destined to return to his place, he reads with them, the residents of his current location.
וּמֵהֵיכָן קוֹרֵא אָדָם אֶת הַמְּגִילָּה וְיוֹצֵא בָּהּ יְדֵי חוֹבָה רַבִּי מֵאִיר אוֹמֵר כּוּלָּהּ רַבִּי יְהוּדָה אוֹמֵר מֵאִישׁ יְהוּדִי רַבִּי יוֹסֵי אוֹמֵר מֵאַחַר הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה: Beginning from where must a person read the Megilla in order to fulfill his obligation? Rabbi Meir says: He must read all of it. Rabbi Yehuda says: He need read only from “There was a certain Jew” (Esther 2:5). Rabbi Yosei says: From “After these things” (Esther 3:1).
גְּמָ׳ אָמַר רָבָא לֹא שָׁנוּ אֶלָּא שֶׁעָתִיד לַחְזוֹר בְּלֵילֵי אַרְבָּעָה עָשָׂר אֲבָל אֵין עָתִיד לַחְזוֹר בְּלֵילֵי אַרְבָּעָה עָשָׂר קוֹרֵא עִמָּהֶן אָמַר רָבָא מְנָא אָמֵינָא לַהּ דִּכְתִיב עַל כֵּן הַיְּהוּדִים הַפְּרָזִים הַיּוֹשְׁבִים בְּעָרֵי הַפְּרָזוֹת מִכְּדֵי כְּתִיב הַיְּהוּדִים הַפְּרָזִים לְמָה לִי לְמִיכְתַּב הַיּוֹשְׁבִים בְּעָרֵי הַפְּרָזוֹת הָא קָא מַשְׁמַע לַן דְּפָרוּז בֶּן יוֹמוֹ נִקְרָא פָּרוּז GEMARA: Rava said: They taught the mishna that one who is destined to return to his own place reads according to the halakha governing his own place only with regard to one who is destined to return to his own place on the night of the fourteenth of Adar. But if he is not destined to return on the night of the fourteenth, although he does intend to return to his own place eventually, he reads with the residents of his current location. Rava said: From where do I say this? As it is written: “Therefore the Jews of unwalled towns, who dwell in the unwalled towns, make the fourteenth day of the month Adar a day of gladness and feasting” (Esther 9:19). Since it is already written: “The Jews of unwalled towns,” why do I need it to write further, “who dwell in the unwalled towns”? It comes to teach us this: That one who is in an unwalled town even for the day is also called one who lives in an unwalled town.
אַשְׁכְּחַן פָּרוּז מוּקָּף מְנָא לַן סְבָרָא הוּא מִדְּפָרוּז בֶּן יוֹמוֹ קָרוּי פָּרוּז מוּקָּף בֶּן יוֹמוֹ קָרוּי מוּקָּף The Gemara asks: We have found proof for a resident of a walled city who is temporarily located in an unwalled town. But from where do we derive the opposite case, that one from an unwalled town who is temporarily in a walled city is governed by a similar halakha? The Gemara answers: It is based on logical reasoning: Since one who is in an unwalled town for the day is called someone from an unwalled town, so too conversely, one who is in a walled city for a day is called someone from a walled city.
וְאָמַר רָבָא בֶּן כְּפָר שֶׁהָלַךְ לְעִיר בֵּין כָּךְ וּבֵין כָּךְ קוֹרֵא עִמָּהֶן מַאי טַעְמָא הַאי כִּבְנֵי הָעִיר בָּעֵי לְמִקְרֵי וְרַבָּנַן הוּא דַּאֲקִילּוּ עַל הַכְּפָרִים כְּדֵי שֶׁיְּסַפְּקוּ מַיִם וּמָזוֹן לַאֲחֵיהֶם שֶׁבַּכְּרַכִּין הָנֵי מִילֵּי כִּי אִיתֵיהּ בְּדוּכְתֵּיהּ אֲבָל כִּי אִיתֵיהּ בְּעִיר כִּבְנֵי עִיר בָּעֵי לְמִקְרֵי And Rava said further: Someone from a village, where the Megilla is read on the Monday or Thursday prior to Purim (2a), who went to a town, reads the Megilla with the residents of the town, even if he had already read it in his own place. He does so in all circumstances, whether or not he will be returning to his own village. The Gemara explains: What is the reason for this ruling? This villager should actually have read at the same time as the residents of the towns, but the Sages showed leniency toward the people of the villages and allowed them to advance their reading of the Megilla to the previous day of assembly so that they would be free to supply water and food to their brethren in the cities on the day of Purim. This, however, applies only when the villager is in his place, in the village, but when he is in a town, he is required to read like the residents of the town, and not like the villagers.
אֵיתִיבֵיהּ אַבָּיֵי בֶּן כְּרַךְ שֶׁהָלַךְ לְעִיר בֵּין כָּךְ וּבֵין כָּךְ קוֹרֵא כִּמְקוֹמוֹ בֶּן כְּרַךְ סָלְקָא דַּעְתָּךְ בְּאִם עָתִיד לַחְזוֹר תַּלְיָא מִילְּתָא אֶלָּא לָאו בֶּן כְּפָר Abaye raised an objection to Rava from a baraita: A resident of a walled city who went to an unwalled town, in all circumstances, whether or not he will be returning to his own city, reads the Megilla according to the halakha governing his permanent place. The Gemara first questions the text of the baraita as it is currently worded: Can it enter your mind that the resident of a walled city always reads in accordance with the halakha governing his own place, even if he is currently situated in an unwalled town? But doesn’t the matter depend on whether or not he will be returning on Purim to his hometown, as stated in the mishna? Therefore, it is clear that the baraita must be emended. Rather, is it not to be changed to: A resident of a village who went to an unwalled town? The baraita therefore teaches that a resident of a village who is visiting in a town must read the Megilla according to the halakha governing his own place, the village, unlike Rava’s teaching.
וְלָאו תָּרוֹצֵי מְתָרְצַתְּ תְּנִי קוֹרֵא עִמָּהֶן: The Gemara rejects this: But did you not emend the reading in the baraita? Since you admit that the baraita in any event requires revision, change it further and teach: He reads the Megilla with the residents of the town. This wording in the baraita would then support the opinion of Rava.
מֵהֵיכָן קוֹרֵא אָדָם אֶת הַמְּגִילָּה וְכוּ׳ תַּנְיָא רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן בַּר יוֹחַאי אוֹמֵר מִבַּלַּיְלָה הַהוּא § The mishna teaches that three Sages disagree about the question: Beginning from where must a person read the Megilla in order to fulfill his obligation? It is taught in a baraita that there is a fourth opinion as well: Rabbi Shimon bar Yoḥai says: One must start to read from “On that night” (Esther 6:1).
אָמַר רַבִּי יוֹחָנָן וְכוּלָּן מִקְרָא אֶחָד דָּרְשׁוּ וַתִּכְתֹּב אֶסְתֵּר הַמַּלְכָּה וּמׇרְדֳּכַי הַיְּהוּדִי אֶת כׇּל תּוֹקֶף מַאן דְּאָמַר כּוּלָּהּ תּוֹקְפּוֹ שֶׁל אֲחַשְׁוֵרוֹשׁ Rabbi Yoḥanan said: And all of these tanna’im, in arriving at their respective opinions, were expounding the same verse. As it is stated: “Then Esther the queen, the daughter of Abihail, and Mordecai the Jew, wrote about all the acts of power to confirm this second letter of Purim” (Esther 9:29). The one who said that the Megilla must be read in its entirety interprets “acts of power” as referring to the power of Ahasuerus, and so the Megilla must be read from the beginning, where the power of Ahasuerus is recounted.
וּמַאן דְּאָמַר מֵאִישׁ יְהוּדִי תּוֹקְפּוֹ שֶׁל מָרְדֳּכַי וּמַאן דְּאָמַר מֵאַחַר הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה תּוֹקְפּוֹ שֶׁל הָמָן וּמַאן דְּאָמַר מִבַּלַּיְלָה הַהוּא תּוֹקְפּוֹ שֶׁל נֵס And the one who said that it needs to be read from “There was a certain Jew” explains that “acts of power” is referring to the power of Mordecai. And the one who said that it needs to be read from “After these things” maintains that “acts of power” is referring to the power of Haman. And the one who said that it needs to be read from “On that night” understands that the expression is referring to the power of the miracle, which began on that night when Ahasuerus could not sleep, and therefore one must begin reading the Megilla from there.
רַב הוּנָא אָמַר מֵהָכָא וּמָה רָאוּ עַל כָּכָה וּמָה הִגִּיעַ אֲלֵיהֶם Rav Huna said: The four Sages derived their respective opinions from here: “Therefore, because of all the words of this letter, and of that which they saw concerning this matter, and that which had befallen them, the Jews ordained...that they would keep these two days” (Esther 9:26–27).
מַאן דְּאָמַר כּוּלָּהּ מָה רָאָה אֲחַשְׁוֵרוֹשׁ שֶׁנִּשְׁתַּמֵּשׁ בְּכֵלִים שֶׁל בֵּית הַמִּקְדָּשׁ עַל כָּכָה מִשּׁוּם דְּחַשֵּׁיב שִׁבְעִים שְׁנִין וְלָא אִיפְּרוּק וּמָה הִגִּיעַ אֲלֵיהֶם דִּקְטַל וַשְׁתִּי Rav Huna continued: The one who said that the Megilla must be read in its entirety explains the verse as follows: “They saw” refers to what Ahasuerus saw, in that he used the vessels of the Temple. “Concerning this matter” was because he had calculated seventy years from the Babylonian exile and the Jews were still not redeemed, and he consequently thought that they would never enjoy deliverance. “And that which had befallen them” is referring to the fact that he had killed Vashti. Since the Megilla was written and continues to be read in order to inform future generations of all these events and what had happened to the people who were involved, and these are detailed at the beginning of the Megilla, it must be read in its entirety.
וּמַאן דְּאָמַר מֵאִישׁ יְהוּדִי מָה רָאָה מָרְדְּכַי דְּאִיקַּנִּי בְּהָמָן עַל כָּכָה דְּשַׁוִּי נַפְשֵׁיהּ עֲבוֹדָה זָרָה וּמָה הִגִּיעַ אֲלֵיהֶם דְּאִתְרְחִישׁ נִיסָּא And the one who said that the Megilla needs to be read from “There was a certain Jew” interprets this verse as follows: That which Mordecai “saw” in that he acted so zealously concerning Haman. “Concerning this matter” was because Haman had made himself an object of idol worship. “And that which had befallen them” is referring to the fact that a miracle took place. Therefore one must read the Megilla from “There was a certain man,” where all this is recounted.
וּמַאן דְּאָמַר מֵאַחַר הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה מָה רָאָה הָמָן שֶׁנִּתְקַנֵּא בְּכׇל הַיְּהוּדִים עַל כָּכָה מִשּׁוּם דְּמָרְדְּכַי לֹא יִכְרַע וְלֹא יִשְׁתַּחֲוֶה וּמָה הִגִּיעַ אֲלֵיהֶם וְתָלוּ אוֹתוֹ וְאֶת בָּנָיו עַל הָעֵץ And the one who said that it needs to be read from “After these things” interprets the verse in this way: That which Haman “saw” in that he became incensed with all the Jews. “Concerning this matter” was because “Mordecai did not bow down, nor prostrate himself before him” (Esther 3:2). “And that which had befallen them” is referring to the fact that “he and his sons were hanged on the gallows” (Esther 9:25). Accordingly, the Megilla must be read from the first mention of Haman.
וּמַאן דְּאָמַר מִבַּלַּיְלָה הַהוּא מָה רָאָה אֲחַשְׁוֵרוֹשׁ לְהָבִיא אֶת סֵפֶר הַזִּכְרוֹנוֹת עַל כָּכָה דְּזַמֵּינְתֵּיהּ אֶסְתֵּר לְהָמָן בַּהֲדֵיהּ וּמָה הִגִּיעַ אֲלֵיהֶם דְּאִתְרְחִישׁ נִיסָּא And the one who said that the Megilla must be read from “On that night” offers the following explanation: That which Ahasuerus “saw” in that he commanded to bring the book of chronicles before him. “Concerning this matter” was because Esther had invited Haman along with him to the banquet she made. “And that which had befallen them” is referring to the fact that a miracle took place. And therefore one must read the Megilla from “On that night the king could not sleep and he commanded to bring the book of chronicles.”
אָמַר רַבִּי חֶלְבּוֹ אָמַר רַב חָמָא בַּר גּוּרְיָא אָמַר רַב הֲלָכָה כְּדִבְרֵי הָאוֹמֵר כּוּלָּהּ וַאֲפִילּוּ לְמַאן דְּאָמַר מֵאִישׁ יְהוּדִי צְרִיכָה שֶׁתְּהֵא כְּתוּבָה כּוּלָּהּ Rabbi Ḥelbo said 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. And moreover, even according to the one who said that it need be read only from “There was a certain Jew” and onward, the Megilla itself must nevertheless be written in its entirety.
וְאָמַר רַבִּי חֶלְבּוֹ אָמַר רַב חָמָא בַּר גּוּרְיָא אָמַר רַב מְגִילָּה נִקְרֵאת סֵפֶר וְנִקְרֵאת אִגֶּרֶת נִקְרֵאת סֵפֶר שֶׁאִם תְּפָרָהּ בְּחוּטֵי פִשְׁתָּן פְּסוּלָה וְנִקְרֵאת אִגֶּרֶת שֶׁאִם הֵטִיל בָּהּ שְׁלֹשָׁה חוּטֵי גִידִין כְּשֵׁרָה אָמַר רַב נַחְמָן וּבִלְבַד שֶׁיְּהוּ מְשׁוּלָּשִׁין And Rabbi Ḥelbo said further that Rav Ḥama bar Gurya said that Rav said: The Megilla is referred to as a “book” (Esther 9:32), and it is also referred to as a “letter” (Esther 9:29). It is called a book, indicating a comparison to the book of the Torah, i.e., to a Torah scroll, to teach us that if one sewed its parchment sheets together with flax threads the Megilla is unfit, just as a Torah scroll sewn in this manner is unfit. And it is called a letter to teach us that if one stitched the Megilla sheets together with only three threads of sinew, in the manner of a letter, the Megilla is fit for use, as it does not have to be completely stitched like a Torah scroll. Rav Naḥman said: This is true provided that the stitches are made in three parts.
אָמַר רַב יְהוּדָה אָמַר שְׁמוּאֵל הַקּוֹרֵא בִּמְגִילָּה הַכְּתוּבָה בֵּין הַכְּתוּבִים לֹא יָצָא אָמַר רָבָא לָא אֲמַרַן אֶלָּא דְּלָא מְחַסְּרָא וּמְיַיתְּרָא פּוּרְתָּא אֲבָל מְחַסְּרָא וּמְיַיתְּרָא פּוּרְתָּא לֵית לַן בַּהּ Rav Yehuda said that Shmuel said: If one reads from a Megilla that was written together with the rest of the Writings he has not fulfilled his obligation, as it must be evident that one is reading specifically from the Megilla rather than simply reading ordinary passages from the Bible. Rava said: We said this only in a case where the parchment of the Megilla is not a little shorter or longer than the parchment of the other biblical books on the scroll and are consequently not plainly discernible among them. But if it is a little shorter or longer than the other sheets of parchment of the other biblical books, we have no problem with it, and one may read from such a scroll.
לֵוִי בַּר שְׁמוּאֵל הֲוָה קָא קָרֵי קַמֵּיהּ דְּרַב יְהוּדָה בִּמְגִילָּה It was related that Levi bar Shmuel was once reading before Rav Yehuda from a Megilla