Megillah 21bמגילה כ״א ב
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21bכ״א ב

תנא מה שאין כן בתורה תנו רבנן בתורה אחד קורא ואחד מתרגם ובלבד שלא יהא אחד קורא ושנים מתרגמין ובנביא אחד קורא ושנים מתרגמין ובלבד שלא יהו שנים קורין ושנים מתרגמין ובהלל ובמגילה אפילו עשרה קורין ועשרה מתרגמין

It was taught: This is not the case with regard to reading the Torah, which may be read only by a single person. The Sages taught (Tosefta, Megilla 3:20): When reading from the Torah, one person reads and one may translate the reading into Aramaic for the congregation, provided that there are not one person reading and two people translating, because two voices cannot be heard simultaneously. And when reading from the Prophets, one person reads and two may translate, as there is less of a need to ensure that everyone hears the precise translation, as the Prophets do not teach halakha. This is the case provided that there are not two people reading and two translating. And when reciting hallel and reading the Megilla, even ten people may read and ten may translate.

מאי טעמא כיון דחביבה יהבי דעתייהו ושמעי:

The Gemara asks: What is the reason that the Megilla may be read by several people at once? Since the Megilla is cherished by the congregation, they will pay close attention and hear it, and they will not become distracted by the different voices.

מקום שנהגו לברך יברך: אמר אביי לא שנו אלא לאחריה אבל לפניה מצוה לברך דאמר רב יהודה אמר שמואל כל המצות כולן מברך עליהן עובר לעשייתן

§ We learned in the mishna: In a place where the people are accustomed to recite a blessing over the reading, one should recite a blessing. Abaye said: They taught that the matter depends upon local custom only with regard to the blessing that is recited after the reading of the Megilla. But as for the blessing that is recited before the reading, it is a mitzva to recite the blessing according to all opinions, as Rav Yehuda said that Shmuel said: With regard to all the mitzvot, one recites a blessing over them prior to [over] their performance.

מאי משמע דהאי עובר לישנא דאקדומי הוא אמר רב נחמן בר יצחק אמר קרא (שמואל ב יח, כג) וירץ אחימעץ דרך הככר ויעבר את הכושי אביי אמר מהכא (בראשית לג, ג) והוא עבר לפניהם ואיבעית אימא מהכא (מיכה ב, יג) ויעבר מלכם לפניהם וה' בראשם

The Gemara asks: From where may it be inferred that the word over is the language of precedence? Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak said that the verse states: “And Ahimaaz ran by the way of the plain, and overran [vaya’avor] the Cushite” (II Samuel 18:23), i.e., Ahimaaz overtook the Cushite. Abaye said: It is derived from here: “And he passed [avar] before them” (Genesis 33:3). And if you wish, say instead that the proof is from here: “And their king passed [vaya’avor] before them and the Lord at their head” (Micah 2:13).

לפניה מאי מברך רב ששת מקטרזיא איקלע לקמיה דרב אשי ובריך מנ"ח

The Gemara asks: What blessing is recited before the reading of the Megilla? The Gemara relates that Rav Sheshet from Katrazya once happened to come before Rav Ashi, and he recited three blessings, alluded to by the letters mem, nun, ḥet: Concerning the reading [mikra] of the Megilla; Who has performed miracles [nissim] for our fathers; and Who has given us life [sheheḥeyanu].

לאחריה מאי מברך ברוך אתה ה' אלהינו מלך העולם (האל) הרב את ריבנו והדן את דיננו והנוקם את נקמתנו והנפרע לנו מצרינו והמשלם גמול לכל אויבי נפשנו ברוך אתה ה' הנפרע לישראל מכל צריהם רבא אמר האל המושיע אמר רב פפא הלכך נימרינהו לתרוייהו ברוך אתה ה' הנפרע לישראל מכל צריהם האל המושיע:

The Gemara asks: What blessing is recited after the reading of the Megilla in places where it is customary to recite such a blessing? The Gemara answers that the following blessing is recited: Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, the God Who pleads our cause, and Who judges our claim, and Who avenges our vengeance, and Who punishes our foes, and Who brings retribution to our enemies. Blessed are You, Lord, Who, on behalf of Israel, exacts punishment from all of their foes. Rava said: The conclusion of the blessing is as follows: Blessed are you, Lord, the God who brings salvation. Rav Pappa said: Therefore, since there are two opinions on the matter, we should say both of them: Blessed are you, Lord, Who, on behalf of Israel, exacts punishment from all their foes; the God Who brings salvation.

בשני ובחמישי בשבת במנחה קורין שלשה וכו': הני שלשה כנגד מי אמר רב אסי כנגד תורה נביאים וכתובים רבא אמר כנגד כהנים לוים וישראלים

We learned in the mishna: On Mondays and on Thursdays during the morning service and on Shabbat during the afternoon service, three people read from the Torah. The Gemara asks: Corresponding to what were these three readers instituted? Rav Asi said: They correspond to the three sections of the Bible: Pentateuch, Prophets, and Writings. Rava said: They correspond to the three components of the Jewish people: Priests, Levites, and Israelites.

אלא הא דתני רב שימי אין פוחתין מי' פסוקין בבית הכנסת וידבר עולה מן המנין הני עשרה כנגד מי

The Gemara raises a question: But with regard to this baraita that Rav Shimi taught: One may not decrease to fewer than ten the number of verses read during a public Torah reading in the synagogue, and a generic verse, e.g., “And God spoke to Moses saying,” is included in the count, to what do these ten verses correspond? Why specifically the number ten?

א"ר יהושע בן לוי כנגד עשרה בטלנין שבבית הכנסת רב יוסף אמר כנגד עשרת הדברות שנאמרו למשה בסיני (רבי לוי אמר כנגד עשרה הילולין שאמר דוד בספר תהלים) ורבי יוחנן אמר כנגד עשרה מאמרות שבהן נברא העולם

Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said: They correspond to the ten idlers that are in the synagogue, i.e., ten men who have the leisure not to work, and instead sit in the synagogue and are available to attend to communal needs. Rav Yosef said: They correspond to the Ten Commandments that were spoken to Moses at Sinai. Rabbi Levi said: They correspond to the ten psalms of praise that David said in the book of Psalms. And Rabbi Yoḥanan said: They correspond to the ten utterances with which the world was created.

הי נינהו ויאמר דבראשית הני תשעה הוו בראשית נמי מאמר הוא דכתיב (תהלים לג, ו) בדבר ה' שמים נעשו וברוח פיו כל צבאם

The Gemara asks: What are these ten utterances? Presumably, they are the utterances introduced by the words “and God said” in the story of Creation in the first chapter of Genesis. However, there are only nine of these utterances and not ten. The Gemara answers: The expression: “In the beginning” (Genesis 1:1) is also considered an utterance, as it is written: “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth” (Psalms 33:6), which indicates that the first utterance of Creation was the general creation of the entire universe.

אמר רבא ראשון שקרא ד' משובח שני שקרא ד' משובח שלישי שקרא ד' משובח

Rava said: Since ten verses must be read, if the first of the three readers called to the Torah read four verses, he is praiseworthy; if the second one read four verses, he is praiseworthy; and if the third one read four verses, he is praiseworthy.

ראשון שקרא ד' משובח דתנן בשלש קופות של שלש סאין שבהן תורמין את הלשכה והיה כתוב עליהן אב"ג לידע איזו מהן נתרמה ראשון להקריב ממנה ראשון שמצוה בראשון

Rava explains: If the first of the three readers called to the Torah read four verses, he is praiseworthy because the first in a series is privileged, as we learned in a mishna (Shekalim 8a): One removes the funds from the Temple treasury chamber, in order to use them for purchasing communal offerings and attending to other needs of the Temple, with three large baskets, each measuring three se’a. On the baskets is written, respectively, alef, beit, gimmel, in order to know which of them was removed first, in order to sacrifice offerings purchased with money from that basket first, as it is a mitzva to use the money collected with the first basket before the money collected with the others.

אמצעי שקרא ארבעה משובח דתניא (במדבר ח, ב) אל מול פני המנורה יאירו מלמד שמצדד פניהם כלפי נר מערבי ונר מערבי כלפי שכינה ואמר רבי יוחנן מכאן שאמצעי משובח

If the middle one read four verses, he is also praiseworthy, as the middle position is also dignified, as it is taught in a baraita: “The seven lamps shall give light in front of the candelabrum” (Numbers 8:2); this teaches that the priest turns the front of each lamp toward the western lamp of the candelabrum, i.e., the middle lamp, and the western lamp faces toward the Divine Presence. And Rabbi Yoḥanan said: It is derived from here that the middle one is especially praiseworthy.

ואחרון שקרא ארבעה משובח משום מעלין בקדש ולא מורידין רב פפא איקלע לבי כנישתא דאבי גובר וקרא ראשון ארבעה ושבחיה רב פפא:

And if the last one called to the Torah read four verses, he too is praiseworthy, due to the principle that one elevates to a higher level of sanctity and does not downgrade. If the last reader reads more verses than did the first two, this is an elevation in sanctity. The Gemara relates that Rav Pappa happened to come to the synagogue of the place called Avi Gover, and the first person called to the Torah read four verses, and Rav Pappa praised him.

אין פוחתין מהן ואין מוסיפין: תנא הפותח מברך לפניה והחותם מברך לאחריה

We learned in the mishna that one may neither decrease the number of readers nor add to them. The one who begins the reading and the one who concludes the reading from the Torah each recite a blessing. It is taught in a baraita: The one who begins the reading recites a blessing before reading from the Torah, and the one who concludes the reading recites a blessing after the reading.

והאידנא דכולהו מברכי לפניה ולאחריה היינו טעמא דתקינו רבנן גזירה משום הנכנסין ומשום היוצאין:

The Gemara comments: And now that all who read from the Torah recite blessings both before and after reading from the Torah, this is the reason that the Sages instituted this policy: It is a decree due to both those who enter the synagogue in middle of the reading and do not hear the first reader’s initial blessing and due to those who leave the synagogue early and do not hear the final reader’s concluding blessing, lest they come to the erroneous conclusion that one blessing suffices.

בראשי חדשים ובחולו של מועד קורין ארבעה וכו': בעא מיניה עולא בר רב מרבא פרשת ראש חודש כיצד קורין אותה (במדבר כח, ב) צו את בני ישראל ואמרת אליהם את קרבני לחמי דהויין תמניא פסוקי היכי נעביד

We learned in the mishna: On the days of the New Moon and on the intermediate days of a Festival, four people read from the Torah. Ulla bar Rav raised a dilemma before Rava: The Torah portion read on the New Moon consists of three short consecutive paragraphs (Numbers 28:1–8, 9–10, 11–15). How does one read it in order to divide it among four readers? With regard to the first paragraph, which includes the verse: “Command the children of Israel and say to them, My offering, the provision of My sacrifices made by fire” (Numbers 28:2), and which is eight verses, what shall we do?

ניקרי תרי תלתא תלתא פסוקין פשו להו תרי ואין משיירין בפרשה פחות משלשה פסוקין ניקרי ארבעה ארבעה פשו להו שבעה וביום השבת הויין תרי ובראשי חדשיכם הויין חמשה היכי נעביד ניקרי תרי מהא וחד מהנך

If you say that the first two readers should read three verses each, there will remain only two more verses until the end of the paragraph, and one may not leave fewer than three verses before the end of a paragraph at the conclusion of a reading. If you say that the first two readers should read four verses each and complete the first paragraph, then seven verses will be left until the end of entire portion; the second paragraph of “And on Shabbat day” (Numbers 28:9) is two verses, and the third paragraph of “And on the beginnings of your months” (Numbers 28:11) is five verses. What shall we do with them? If the third reader reads the two verses from this paragraph and one of those verses in the following paragraph, this is improper due to the principle that