Megillah 2aמגילה ב׳ א
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2aב׳ א

מתני׳ מגילה נקראת בי"א בי"ב בי"ג בי"ד בט"ו לא פחות ולא יותר כרכין המוקפין חומה מימות יהושע בן נון קורין בט"ו כפרים ועיירות גדולות קורין בי"ד אלא שהכפרים מקדימין ליום הכניסה

MISHNA: The Megilla is read on the eleventh, on the twelfth, on the thirteenth, on the fourteenth, or on the fifteenth of the month of Adar, not earlier and not later. The mishna explains the circumstances when the Megilla is read on each of these days. Cities [kerakin] that have been surrounded by a wall since the days of Joshua, son of Nun, read the Megilla on the fifteenth of Adar, whereas villages and large towns that have not been walled since the days of Joshua, son of Nun, read it on the fourteenth. However, the Sages instituted that the villages may advance their reading to the day of assembly, i.e., Monday or Thursday, when the rabbinical courts are in session and the Torah is read publicly, and the villagers therefore come to the larger towns.

כיצד חל להיות י"ד בשני כפרים ועיירות גדולות קורין בו ביום ומוקפות חומה למחר חל להיות בשלישי או ברביעי כפרים מקדימין ליום הכניסה ועיירות גדולות קורין בו ביום ומוקפות חומה למחר

How so? If the fourteenth of Adar occurs on Monday, the villages and large towns read it on that day, and the walled cities read it on the next day, the fifteenth. If the fourteenth occurs on Tuesday or Wednesday, the villages advance their reading to the day of assembly, i.e., Monday, the twelfth or thirteenth of Adar; the large towns read it on that day, i.e., the fourteenth of Adar, and the walled cities read it on the next day, the fifteenth.

חל להיות בחמישי כפרים ועיירות גדולות קורין בו ביום ומוקפות חומה למחר חל להיות ע"ש כפרים מקדימין ליום הכניסה ועיירות גדולות ומוקפות חומה קורין בו ביום

If the fourteenth occurs on Thursday, the villages and large towns read it on that day, the fourteenth, and the walled cities read it on the next day, the fifteenth. If the fourteenth occurs on Shabbat eve, the villages advance their reading to the day of assembly, i.e., Thursday, the thirteenth of Adar; and the large towns and the walled cities read it on that day, i.e., the fourteenth of Adar. Even the walled cities read the Megilla on the fourteenth rather than on the fifteenth, as they do not read it on Shabbat.

חל להיות בשבת כפרים ועיירות גדולות מקדימין וקורין ליום הכניסה ומוקפות חומה למחר חל להיות אחר השבת כפרים מקדימין ליום הכניסה ועיירות גדולות קורין בו ביום ומוקפות חומה למחר:

If the fourteenth occurs on Shabbat, both the villages and large towns advance their reading to the day of assembly, i.e., Thursday, the twelfth of Adar; and the walled cities read it on the day after Purim, the fifteenth. If the fourteenth occurs on Sunday, the villages advance their reading to the day of assembly, i.e., Thursday, the eleventh of Adar; and the large towns read it on that day, i.e., the fourteenth of Adar; and the walled cities read it on the next day, the fifteenth.

גמ׳ מגילה נקראת בי"א מנלן מנלן כדבעינן למימר לקמן חכמים הקילו על הכפרים להיות מקדימין ליום הכניסה כדי שיספקו מים ומזון לאחיהם שבכרכים

GEMARA: We learned in the mishna: The Megilla is read on the eleventh of Adar. The Gemara asks: From where do we derive this halakha? The Gemara expresses surprise at the question: What room is there to ask: From where do we derive this halakha? The reason is as we intend to say further on: The Sages were lenient with the villages and allowed them to advance their reading of the Megilla to the 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. Accordingly, the Megilla is read on the eleventh due to a rabbinic enactment.

אנן הכי קאמרינן מכדי כולהו אנשי כנה"ג תקנינהו דאי ס"ד אנשי כנה"ג י"ד וט"ו תקון אתו רבנן ועקרי תקנתא דתקינו אנשי כנה"ג והתנן אין ב"ד יכול לבטל דברי ב"ד חבירו אא"כ גדול ממנו בחכמה ובמנין

The Gemara explains: This is what we said, i.e., this is what we meant when we asked the question: Now, all of these days when the Megilla may be read were enacted by the members of the Great Assembly when they established the holiday of Purim itself. As, if it enters your mind to say that the members of the Great Assembly enacted only the fourteenth and fifteenth as days for reading the Megilla, is it possible that the later Sages came and uprooted an ordinance that was enacted by the members of the Great Assembly? Didn’t we learn in a mishna (Eduyyot 1:5) that a rabbinical court cannot rescind the statements of another rabbinical court, unless it is superior to it in wisdom and in number? No subsequent court was ever greater than the members of the Great Assembly, so it would be impossible for another court to rescind the enactments of the members of the Great Assembly.

אלא פשיטא כולהו אנשי כנה"ג תקינו היכא רמיזא

Rather, it is obvious that all these days were enacted by the members of the Great Assembly, and the question is: Where is the allusion to this in the Bible? The Megilla itself, which was approved by the members of the Great Assembly, mentions only the fourteenth and fifteenth of Adar.

אמר רב שמן בר אבא א"ר יוחנן אמר קרא (אסתר ט, לא) לקיים את ימי הפורים האלה בזמניהם זמנים הרבה תקנו להם

Rav Shemen bar Abba said that Rabbi Yoḥanan said: It is alluded to when the verse states: “To confirm these days of Purim in their times” (Esther 9:31). The phrase “in their times” indicates that they enacted many times for them and not only two days.

האי מיבעיא ליה לגופיה א"כ לימא קרא זמן מאי זמניהם זמנים טובא

The Gemara objects: This verse is necessary for its own purpose, to teach that the days of Purim must be observed at the proper times. The Gemara responds: If so, let the verse say: To confirm these days of Purim in its time. What is the significance of the term “their times,” in the plural? It indicates that many times were established for the reading of the Megilla.

ואכתי מיבעי ליה זמנו של זה לא כזמנו של זה א"כ לימא קרא זמנם מאי זמניהם שמעת מינה כולהו

The Gemara objects: But still, the plural term is necessary to indicate that the time of this walled city is not the same as the time of that unwalled town, i.e., Purim is celebrated on different days in different places. The Gemara answers: If so, let the verse say: Their time, indicating that each place celebrates Purim on its respective day. What is the significance of the compound plural “their times”? Learn from this term that although the verse (Esther 9:21) specifies only two days, the Megilla may, at times, be read on all of the days enumerated in the mishna.

אימא זמנים טובא זמניהם דומיא דזמנם מה זמנם תרי אף זמניהם תרי

The Gemara asks: If so, say that the plural term indicates many times, and the Megilla may be read even earlier than the eleventh of Adar. The Gemara rejects this argument: The compound plural “their times,” should be understood as similar to the simple plural term, their time. Just as the term their time can be understood to refer to two days, indicating that each location reads the Megilla in its respective time on the fourteenth or the fifteenth of Adar, so too, “their times” should be understood as referring to only two additional days when the Megilla may be read.

ואימא תריסר ותליסר כדאמר רב שמואל בר יצחק י"ג זמן קהילה לכל היא ולא צריך לרבויי הכא נמי י"ג זמן קהילה לכל היא ולא צריך לרבויי

The Gemara asks: Say that these two added days are the twelfth and the thirteenth of Adar. How is it derived that the Megilla may be read on the eleventh as well? The Gemara answers: It is as Rav Shmuel bar Yitzḥak said in a different context: The thirteenth of Adar is a time of assembly for all, as it was on that day that the Jews assembled to fight their enemies, and the main miracle was performed on that day. Consequently, there is no need for a special derivation to include it as a day that is fit for reading the Megilla. Here too, since the thirteenth of Adar is a time of assembly for all, there is no need for a special derivation to include it among the days when the Megilla may be read.

ואימא שיתסר ושיבסר (אסתר ט, כז) ולא יעבור כתיב

The Gemara objects: And say that the two additional days are the sixteenth and the seventeenth of Adar. The Gemara responds: It is written: “And it shall not pass” (Esther 9:27), indicating that the celebration of Purim is not delayed until a later date.

ור' שמואל בר נחמני אמר אמר קרא (אסתר ט, כב) כימים אשר נחו בהם היהודים ימים כימים לרבות י"א וי"ב

Having cited and discussed the opinion of Rav Shemen bar Abba, the Gemara cites another answer to the question of where the verses allude to the permissibility of reading the Megilla on the days enumerated in the mishna. And Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani said: These dates are alluded to when the verse states: “As the days on which the Jews rested from their enemies” (Esther 9:22). The term “days” is referring to the two days that are explicitly mentioned in the previous verse, i.e., the fourteenth and the fifteenth. The term “as the days” comes to include two additional days, i.e., the eleventh and twelfth of Adar.

ואימא תריסר ותליסר אר"ש בר יצחק י"ג זמן קהילה לכל היא ולא צריך לרבויי ואימא שיתסר ושיבסר ולא יעבור כתיב

The Gemara asks: And say that the two additional days are the twelfth and thirteenth of Adar. How is it derived that the Megilla may be read on the eleventh as well? In answer to this question, Rav Shmuel bar Yitzḥak said: The thirteenth of Adar is a time of assembly for all, and there is no need for a special derivation to include it as a day fit for reading. The Gemara objects: Say that these additional days are the sixteenth and seventeenth of Adar. This suggestion is rejected: It is written: “And it shall not pass.”

ר"ש בר נחמני מ"ט לא אמר מבזמניהם זמן זמנם זמניהם לא משמע ליה

Since two derivations were offered for the same matter, the Gemara asks: What is the reason that Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani did not state that the days enumerated in the mishna are fit for reading the Megilla based upon the term “in their times,” in accordance with the opinion of Rav Shemen bar Abba? The Gemara answers: He does not learn anything from the distinction between the terms time, their time, and their times. Therefore, the verse indicates only that there are two days when the Megilla may be read.

ורב שמן בר אבא מ"ט לא אמר מכימים אמר לך ההוא לדורות הוא דכתיב

The Gemara asks: And what is the reason that Rav Shemen bar Abba did not state that the days enumerated in the mishna are fit for reading the Megilla based upon the term “as the days,” in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani? The Gemara answers: He could have said to you: That verse is written as a reference to future generations, and it indicates that just as the Jews rested on these days at that time, they shall rest and celebrate on these days for all generations.

אמר רבה בר בר חנה א"ר יוחנן זו דברי ר"ע סתימתאה דדריש זמן זמנם זמניהם אבל חכ"א אין קורין אותה אלא בזמנה

§ With regard to the mishna’s ruling that the Megilla may be read on the day of assembly, Rabba bar bar Ḥana said that Rabbi Yoḥanan said: This is the statement of Rabbi Akiva the unattributed. Most unattributed statements of tanna’im were formulated by Rabbi Akiva’s students and reflect his opinions. As, he derives halakhot based on the distinction that he draws between the terms time, their time, and their times. However, the Sages say: One may read the Megilla only in its designated time, i.e., the fourteenth of Adar.

מיתיבי א"ר יהודה אימתי בזמן שהשנים כתיקנן וישראל שרויין על אדמתן אבל בזמן הזה הואיל ומסתכלין בה אין קורין אותה אלא בזמנה

The Gemara raises an objection based upon the following baraita. Rabbi Yehuda said: When is one permitted to read the Megilla from the eleventh to the fifteenth of Adar? One may read on these dates at a time when the years are established properly and the Jewish people dwell securely in their own land. However, nowadays, since people look to the reading of the Megilla and use it to calculate when Passover begins, one may read the Megilla only in its designated time, so as not to cause confusion with regard to the date of Passover, which is exactly one month from the day after Purim.

רבי יהודה אליבא דמאן אילימא אליבא דר"ע אפילו בזמן הזה איתא להאי תקנתא

The Gemara analyzes this baraita: In accordance with whose opinion did Rabbi Yehuda issue his ruling? If we say that it is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Akiva, whose opinion is expressed in the mishna, there is a difficulty, as Rabbi Akiva holds that even nowadays this ordinance applies. According to Rabbi Akiva, it is permitted for residents of villages to read the Megilla on the day of assembly even nowadays, as he did not limit his ruling to times when the Jewish people dwell securely in their land.

אלא לאו אליבא דרבנן ובזמן שהשנים כתיקנן וישראל שרויין על אדמתן מיהא קרינן תיובתא דרבי יוחנן תיובתא

Rather, is it not in accordance with the opinion of the Sages, who disagreed with Rabbi Akiva? And, nevertheless, at least when the years are established properly and the Jewish people dwell securely in their land, the Megilla is read even prior to the fourteenth, as the Sages disagree only about the halakha nowadays. This contradicts the statement of Rabbi Yoḥanan, who holds that the Megilla could never be read earlier than the fourteenth of Adar. The Gemara concludes: The refutation of the opinion of Rabbi Yoḥanan is indeed a conclusive refutation.

א"ד אמר רבה בר בר חנה אמר ר' יוחנן זו דברי ר"ע סתימתאה אבל חכמים אמרו בזמן הזה הואיל ומסתכלין בה אין קורין אותה אלא בזמנה

There are those who say a different version of the previous passage. Rabba bar bar Ḥana said that Rabbi Yoḥanan said: This is the statement of Rabbi Akiva, the unattributed. However, the Sages said: Nowadays, since people look to the reading of the Megilla and use it to calculate when Passover begins, one may read the Megilla only in its designated time.

תניא נמי הכי אמר רבי יהודה אימתי בזמן שהשנים כתיקנן וישראל שרויין על אדמתן אבל בזמן הזה הואיל ומסתכלין בה אין קורין אותה אלא בזמנה

The Gemara comments: This is also taught in a baraita: Rabbi Yehuda said: When is one permitted to read the Megilla from the eleventh to the fifteenth of Adar? At a time when the years are established properly and the Jewish people dwell securely in their own land. However, nowadays, since people look to the reading of the Megilla and use it to calculate when Passover begins, one may read the Megilla only in its designated time. According to this version, Rabbi Yehuda’s statement is consistent with the opinion of the Sages, as cited by Rabbi Yoḥanan.

רב אשי קשיא ליה דר' יהודה אדר' יהודה

The Gemara adds: Rav Ashi poses a difficulty based on an apparent contradiction between the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda in the aforementioned baraita and a ruling cited in a mishna in the name of Rabbi Yehuda,