הכתובה בין הכתובים אמר ליה הרי אמרו הקורא במגילה הכתובה בין הכתובים לא יצא
that was written together with the rest of the Writings. Rav Yehuda said to him: The Sages have said: If one reads from a Megilla that was written together with the rest of the Writings he has not fulfilled his obligation.
א"ר חייא בר אבא א"ר יוחנן הקורא במגילה הכתובה בין הכתובים לא יצא ומחו לה אמוחא בצבור שנו
Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Abba said that Rabbi Yoḥanan said: If one reads from a Megilla that was written together with the rest of the Writings he has not fulfilled his obligation. But they hit this halakha on its head, i.e., immediately after reporting this ruling they added a qualification that removed much of its force: They taught this halakha only with respect to reading the Megilla for a congregation. An individual who reads the Megilla in private fulfills his obligation even if the Megilla was written together with the rest of the Writings. Only when it is read in public must it be from a Megilla that is a separate scroll.
ואמר רבי חייא בר אבא א"ר יוחנן שיור התפר הלכה למשה מסיני ומחו לה אמוחא ולא אמרו אלא כדי שלא יקרע
Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Abba also said that Rabbi Yoḥanan said: The halakha of leaving a space without stitches, i.e., that the parchment sheets of a Torah scroll must not be sewn all the way to the edge, but rather a small margin must be left at the top and at the bottom, is a halakha transmitted to Moses from Sinai, i.e., it was not written in the Torah but was received in the framework of the Oral Law. But they immediately hit this halakha on its head, explaining that this halakha is not due to the special sanctity of a Torah scroll; rather, they said that it is only so that it not rip. If the scroll is wound too forcefully, the sheets of parchment will begin to spread apart since they are not sewn together at their extremities, and the one who is winding will cease to wind it so forcefully. If the stitching went all the way to the end there would be no such warning and the stitches would cause the parchment to rip.
ואמר רבי חייא בר אבא א"ר יוחנן אלמלי נשתייר במערה שעמד בה משה ואליהו כמלא נקב מחט סדקית לא היו יכולין לעמוד מפני האורה שנאמר (שמות לג, כ) כי לא יראני האדם וחי
And Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Abba also said that Rabbi Yoḥanan said: Had there been left open a crack so much as the size of small sewing needle in the cave in which Moses and Elijah stood when God’s glory was revealed to them, as it is written: “And it shall come to pass, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in a cleft of the rock” (Exodus 33:22), and: “And he came there to a cave…and, behold, the Lord passed by” (I Kings 19:9–11), they would not have been able to endure due to the intense light that would have entered that crack, as it is stated: “For no man shall see Me and live” (Exodus 33:20).
ואמר ר' חייא בר אבא א"ר יוחנן מאי דכתיב (דברים ט, י) ועליהם ככל הדברים אשר דבר ה' עמכם בהר מלמד שהראהו הקב"ה למשה דקדוקי תורה ודקדוקי סופרים ומה שהסופרים עתידין לחדש ומאי ניהו מקרא מגילה:
And Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Abba further said that Rabbi Yoḥanan said: What is the meaning of that which is written: “And the Lord delivered to me two tablets of stone written with the finger of God; and on them was written according to all the words which the Lord spoke with you in the mountain” (Deuteronomy 9:10)? This teaches that the Holy One, Blessed be He, showed Moses on the mountain all the inferences that can be derived from the words of the Torah; and all the inferences that can be derived from the words of the Scribes, the early Sages; and also all the new halakhot that the Scribes were destined to introduce in the future in addition to the laws of the Torah. And what is it specifically that the Scribes would introduce in addition to the laws of the Torah? The reading of the Megilla.
מתני׳ הכל כשרין לקרות את המגילה חוץ מחרש שוטה וקטן ר' יהודה מכשיר בקטן:
MISHNA: Everyone is fit to read the Megilla, except for a deaf person, an imbecile, and a minor. Rabbi Yehuda disagrees and says that a minor is fit to read the Megilla.
גמ׳ מאן תנא חרש דיעבד נמי לא אמר רב מתנה ר' יוסי היא דתנן הקורא את שמע ולא השמיע לאזנו יצא רבי יוסי אומר לא יצא
GEMARA: The Gemara asks: Who is the tanna that taught that the reading of a deaf person, even after the fact, no, it is not valid? Rav Mattana said: It is Rabbi Yosei, as we learned in a mishna elsewhere (Berakhot 15a): If one recites the Shema but does not make it audible to his ears, he has nevertheless fulfilled his obligation. This is the statement of Rabbi Yehuda. Rabbi Yosei said: He has not fulfilled his obligation. Rabbi Yosei’s statement implies that one who does not hear what he is saying does not fulfill his obligation. Presumably the halakhot for Shema recitation and Megilla reading are equivalent.
וממאי דרבי יוסי היא ודיעבד נמי לא דלמא רבי יהודה היא ולכתחלה הוא דלא הא דיעבד שפיר דמי
The Gemara questions the assumption on which the previous discussion is based: But from where do you know that the mishna, which states that a deaf person may not read the Megilla, reflects the opinion of Rabbi Yosei, and that it means to say that even after the fact, no, one does not fulfill his obligation if the Megilla is read by a deaf person? Perhaps the mishna was taught in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda, and it should be understood as saying that a deaf person may not read ab initio, but after the fact his reading is valid.
לא סלקא דעתך דקתני חרש דומיא דשוטה וקטן מה שוטה וקטן דיעבד נמי לא אף חרש דיעבד נמי לא
The Gemara rejects this proposal: This should not enter your mind, as the mishna teaches the halakha of a deaf person, an imbecile, and a minor together, implying that a deaf person is similar to an imbecile or a minor. Therefore, it may be inferred that just as the readings of an imbecile and a minor are not valid even after the fact, so too, even after the fact, no, the reading of a deaf person is not valid.
ודלמא הא כדאיתא והא כדאיתא מדקתני סיפא רבי יהודה מכשיר בקטן מכלל דרישא לאו ר' יהודה היא
The Gemara asks: But perhaps it is not so that all three cases are equivalent. Perhaps with regard to the imbecile and the minor, this halakha is as it is, and with regard to a deaf person, that halakha is as it is. Although all three cases are taught together, this may be merely because in all three cases he may not read ab initio; there may be a difference between them with regard to their status after the fact. It is possible that the mishna means that the reading of a deaf person is valid after the fact, and is citing the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda. The Gemara rejects this: It is impossible to say that the anonymous first tanna of the mishna is Rabbi Yehuda, as from the fact that the latter clause teaches: Rabbi Yehuda says that a minor is fit, it may be inferred that the first clause of the mishna was not taught by Rabbi Yehuda.
ודלמא כולה ר' יהודה היא מי דמי רישא לפסולה וסיפא לכשירה
The Gemara continues to ask: But perhaps the mishna in its entirety was taught by Rabbi Yehuda after all, but the first clause of the mishna was taught anonymously, whereas the latter clause was taught explicitly in the name of Rabbi Yehuda. The Gemara rejects this argument: Are the two parts of the mishna comparable, that they can be associated with a single Sage? The first clause of the mishna comes to disqualify the reading of a minor, whereas the latter clause comes to declare a minor fit. These two contradictory opinions therefore cannot be understood as the statement of a single Sage.
ודלמא כולה ר' יהודה היא ותרי גווני קטן קתני לה וחסורי מיחסרא והכי קתני הכל כשרין לקרות את המגילה חוץ מחרש שוטה וקטן בד"א בקטן שלא הגיע לחינוך אבל בקטן שהגיע לחינוך אפילו לכתחלה שר' יהודה מכשיר בקטן
The Gemara asks: But perhaps the mishna in its entirety expresses the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda after all. And it is teaching the halakha concerning two different types of minors, and the mishna is incomplete, lacking some words of elaboration, and is teaching the following: Everyone is fit to read the Megilla except for a deaf person, an imbecile, and a minor. In what case is this statement said? Only with regard to a minor who has not reached the age of training in mitzvot. But a minor who has reached the age of training in mitzvot may read the Megilla even ab initio, as Rabbi Yehuda says that a minor who has reached that requisite age is fit to read the Megilla.
במאי אוקימתא כר' יהודה ודיעבד
The Gemara raises a difficulty with this interpretation of the mishna: In what manner did you establish the mishna? You established it as being in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda, and you understand the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda to be that a deaf person is disqualified from reading the Megilla ab initio, but after the fact his reading is valid.
אלא הא דתני (ר') יהודה בריה דרבי שמעון בן פזי חרש המדבר ואינו שומע תורם לכתחלה מני אי רבי יהודה דיעבד אין לכתחלה לא אי רבי יוסי דיעבד נמי לא
But then that which Rabbi Yehuda, son of Rabbi Shimon ben Pazi, taught will present a difficulty, as he taught a baraita: A deaf person who can speak but cannot hear may set aside teruma even ab initio, although he cannot hear himself reciting the blessing that is recited before setting aside teruma. Upon whose opinion is this baraita based? If you say it is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda, that cannot be, as you have established that Rabbi Yehuda maintains that if one recites something and does not hear it, after the fact, yes, his action is valid, but he should not do so ab initio. And if you say it is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yosei, this is even more difficult, as he maintains that even after the fact, no, his action is not valid. Who, then, is the Sage who would say that a deaf person may set aside teruma even ab initio?
ואלא מאי ר' יהודה ואפי' לכתחלה אלא הא דתניא לא יברך אדם ברכת המזון בלבו ואם בירך יצא מני לא רבי יהודה ולא רבי יוסי אי ר' יהודה אפי' לכתחלה אי ר' יוסי אפי' דיעבד נמי לא
The Gemara rejects this reasoning: Rather, what then do you propose to say, that this baraita is in accordance with Rabbi Yehuda and that Rabbi Yehuda permits a deaf person to read even ab initio, whereas Rabbi Yosei would disqualify him even after the fact? But then whose is the opinion that is represented in that which is taught in a baraita: A person should not recite the Grace after Meals in his heart, i.e., inaudibly, but if he recited it in this manner, he has fulfilled his obligation. It is the opinion of neither Rabbi Yehuda nor Rabbi Yosei. As, if it follows the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda, it should be permitted even ab initio, and if it follows the opinion of Rabbi Yosei, then even after the fact, no, this should not be valid.