Megillah 7aמגילה ז׳ א
The William Davidson Talmudתלמוד מהדורת ויליאם דוידסון
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7aז׳ א

השנית ואיצטריך למיכתב בכל שנה ושנה דאי מבכל שנה ושנה הוה אמינא כי קושין קא משמע לן השנית ואי אשמועינן השנית הוה אמינא בתחילה בראשון ובשני קמ"ל בכל שנה ושנה

the term: The second, and it was also necessary to write the phrase: In each and every year; proof from one of the verses would have been insufficient. As, if I had derived the halakha only from the phrase: In each and every year, I would have said my conclusion according to our question raised earlier: Why not celebrate Purim in the Adar adjacent to Shevat? Therefore, it teaches us using the term: The second. And had it taught us only the term: The second, I would have said that Purim must be celebrated both in the first Adar and in the second Adar, ab initio. Therefore, it teaches us: In each and every year, indicating that even in an intercalated year, just as in an ordinary year, Purim is to be celebrated only once.

ורבי אליעזר בר' יוסי האי השנית מאי עביד ליה מיבעי ליה לכדרב שמואל בר יהודה דאמר רב שמואל בר יהודה בתחילה קבעוה בשושן ולבסוף בכל העולם כולו

The Gemara asks: And Rabbi Eliezer, son of Rabbi Yosei, what does he do with this term: The second? Since he holds that the Megilla is read in the first Adar, what does he derive from the verse? The Gemara answers: He requires the term to derive that statement of Rav Shmuel bar Yehuda, as Rav Shmuel bar Yehuda said: Initially, they established the observance of Purim in the city of Shushan alone, and ultimately they established it throughout the world, according to the second letter of Purim.

אמר רב שמואל בר יהודה שלחה להם אסתר לחכמים קבעוני לדורות שלחו לה קנאה את מעוררת עלינו לבין האומות שלחה להם כבר כתובה אני על דברי הימים למלכי מדי ופרס

Apropos the statement of Rav Shmuel bar Yehuda with regard to the establishment of the holiday of Purim, the Gemara cites a related statement. Rav Shmuel bar Yehuda said: Esther sent to the Sages: Establish me for future generations. Esther requested that the observance of Purim and the reading of the Megilla be instituted as an ordinance for all generations. They sent to her: You will thereby arouse the wrath of the nations upon us, as the Megilla recounts the victory of the Jews over the gentiles, and it is best not to publicize that victory. She sent back to them: I am already written in the chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia, and so the Megilla will not publicize anything that is not already known worldwide.

רב ורב חנינא ורבי יוחנן ורב חביבא מתנו בכוליה סדר מועד כל כי האי זוגא חלופי רבי יוחנן ומעייל רבי יונתן שלחה להם אסתר לחכמים כתבוני לדורות שלחו לה (משלי כב, כ) הלא כתבתי לך שלישים שלישים ולא רבעים

It was related that Rav and Rabbi Ḥanina and Rabbi Yoḥanan and Rav Ḥaviva taught the statement cited below. The Gemara comments: Throughout the order of Moed, wherever this latter pair of Sages is mentioned, exchange Rabbi Yoḥanan and insert Rabbi Yonatan in his place. They said: Esther sent to the Sages: Write me for future generations and canonize my book as part of the Bible. They sent to her that it is written: “Have I not written for you three times” (Proverbs 22:20), indicating that Israel’s battle with Amalek is to be mentioned three times in the Bible and not four times? Since it is already mentioned three times (Exodus 17:8–16; Deuteronomy 25:17–19; I Samuel 15), there is no need to add a fourth source.

עד שמצאו לו מקרא כתוב בתורה (שמות יז, יד) כתב זאת זכרון בספר כתב זאת מה שכתוב כאן ובמשנה תורה זכרון מה שכתוב בנביאים בספר מה שכתוב במגלה

The Sages did not accede to Esther’s request until they found a verse written in the Torah: “Write this for a memorial in the book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: That I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under the heavens” (Exodus 17:14). The Sages interpreted the verse: “Write this,” that which is written in the Torah here in Exodus, and in Deuteronomy; “a memorial,” that which is written in the Prophets, i.e., in I Samuel, on this matter; “in the book,” that which is written in the Megilla. The Megilla is the third mention of Amalek and not the fourth, as both mentions in the Torah pertaining to Amalek are considered one; therefore, Esther would be the third, not the fourth source.

כתנאי כתב זאת מה שכתוב כאן זכרון מה שכתוב במשנה תורה בספר מה שכתוב בנביאים דברי רבי יהושע ר' אלעזר המודעי אומר כתב זאת מה שכתוב כאן ובמשנה תורה זכרון מה שכתוב בנביאים בספר מה שכתוב במגילה

The Gemara comments: This matter is parallel to a dispute between the tanna’im, as it was taught in a baraita: “Write this,” that which is written here, in the book of Exodus; “a memorial,” that which is written in Deuteronomy; “in the book,” that which is written in the Prophets; this is the statement of Rabbi Yehoshua. Rabbi Elazar HaModa’i disagrees and says: “Write this,” that which is written in the Torah here in Exodus, and in Deuteronomy; “a memorial,” that which is written in the Prophets on this matter; “in the book,” that which is written in the Megilla. Here too, the tanna’im disagreed whether or not the book of Esther has the same force and sanctity as that of the canonized books of the Bible.

אמר רב יהודה אמר שמואל אסתר אינה מטמאה את הידים

Rav Yehuda said that Shmuel said: The book of Esther does not render the hands ritually impure. Although the Sages issued a decree that sacred scrolls render hands ritually impure, the book of Esther was not accorded the sanctity of sacred scrolls.

למימרא דסבר שמואל אסתר לאו ברוח הקודש נאמרה והאמר שמואל אסתר ברוח הקודש נאמרה נאמרה לקרות ולא נאמרה ליכתוב

The Gemara asks: Is this to say that Shmuel maintains that the book of Esther was not stated with the inspiration of the Divine Spirit? But didn’t Shmuel himself say elsewhere that the book of Esther was stated with the inspiration of the Divine Spirit? The Gemara answers: It was stated with the Divine Spirit that it is to be read in public; however, it was not stated that it is to be written. Therefore, the text was not accorded the sanctity of sacred scrolls.

מיתיבי רבי מאיר אומר קהלת אינו מטמא את הידים ומחלוקת בשיר השירים ר' יוסי אומר שיר השירים מטמא את הידים ומחלוקת בקהלת ר' שמעון אומר קהלת מקולי ב"ש ומחומרי ב"ה אבל רות ושיר השירים ואסתר מטמאין את הידים הוא דאמר כר' יהושע

The Gemara raises an objection from a baraita. Rabbi Meir says: The book of Ecclesiastes does not render the hands ritually impure, as it was not accorded the sanctity of sacred scrolls; however, there is a dispute with regard to whether or not the Song of Songs renders the hands impure. Rabbi Yosei says: The Song of Songs renders the hands ritually impure, but there is a dispute with regard to the book of Ecclesiastes. Rabbi Shimon says: The ruling with regard to Ecclesiastes is among the leniencies of Beit Shammai and among the stringencies of Beit Hillel, as according to Beit Hillel it renders the hands impure and according to Beit Shammai it does not. However, everyone agrees that the books of Ruth, and the Song of Songs, and Esther render the hands ritually impure, contrary to the opinion of Shmuel. The Gemara answers: It was Shmuel who stated his opinion in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yehoshua cited earlier that the book of Esther was not accorded the sanctity of sacred scrolls.

תניא ר' שמעון בן מנסיא אומר קהלת אינו מטמא את הידים מפני שחכמתו של שלמה היא אמרו לו וכי זו בלבד אמר והלא כבר נאמר (מלכים א ה, יב) וידבר שלשת אלפים משל ואומר (משלי ל, ו) אל תוסף על דבריו

It is taught in a baraita: Rabbi Shimon ben Menasya says: The book of Ecclesiastes does not render the hands ritually impure because it is the wisdom of Solomon, and not divinely inspired. They said to him: It was certainly divinely inspired and that is the reason that the book of Ecclesiastes was added to the canon; as was it this alone that Solomon said? Wasn’t it already stated: “And he spoke three thousand proverbs, and his poems were a thousand and five” (I Kings 5:12)? Solomon spoke many proverbs, but only a portion of them were canonized in the Bible. Apparently, what is unique about those in Ecclesiastes is that they were divinely inspired. And it says: “Add you not unto his words” (Proverbs 30:6).

מאי ואומר וכי תימא מימר טובא אמר דאי בעי איכתיב ודאי בעי לא איכתיב תא שמע אל תוסף על דבריו

The Gemara asks: What is added by the proof introduced with the phrase: And it says? Why wasn’t the first proof sufficient? The Gemara answers: And if you would say that in terms of what he said, he said a great deal, with regard to which, if he so desired, it was written, and if he so desired, it was not written; then that is why not all of his statements were preserved. Therefore, come and hear: Add you not unto his words. Apparently, the reason that it is prohibited to add to the proverbs is that the book of Ecclesiastes was divinely inspired.

תניא ר' אליעזר אומר אסתר ברוח הקודש נאמרה שנאמר (אסתר ו, ו) ויאמר המן בלבו ר' עקיבא אומר אסתר ברוח הקודש נאמרה שנאמר (אסתר ב, טו) ותהי אסתר נשאת חן בעיני כל רואיה

It is taught in a baraita that Rabbi Eliezer says: The book of Esther was said with the inspiration of the Divine Spirit, as it is stated: “And Haman thought in his heart” (Esther 6:6). If the book of Esther was not divinely inspired, how was it known what Haman thought in his heart? Rabbi Akiva says: The book of Esther was said with the inspiration of the Divine Spirit, as it is stated: “And Esther obtained favor in the sight of all those who looked upon her” (Esther 2:15); this could have been known only through divine inspiration.

ר"מ אומר אסתר ברוח הקודש נאמרה שנאמר (אסתר ב, כב) ויודע הדבר למרדכי רבי יוסי בן דורמסקית אומר אסתר ברוח הקודש נאמרה שנאמר (אסתר ט, י) ובבזה לא שלחו את ידם

Rabbi Meir says: The book of Esther was said with the inspiration of the Divine Spirit, as it is stated with regard to the conspiracy of Bigtan and Teresh against Ahasuerus: “And the thing became known to Mordecai” (Esther 2:22). This too could have been known only through divine inspiration. Rabbi Yosei ben Durmaskit says: The book of Esther was said with the inspiration of the Divine Spirit, as it is stated: “But they did not lay their hands on the plunder” (Esther 9:15). The only way that could have been stated with certainty is through divine inspiration.

אמר שמואל אי הואי התם הוה אמינא מלתא דעדיפא מכולהו שנאמר קימו וקבלו קימו למעלה מה שקיבלו למטה

Shmuel said: Had I been there among the tanna’im, I would have stated a matter that is superior to them all, as it is stated: “They confirmed, and took upon themselves” (Esther 9:27), which was interpreted to mean: They confirmed above in heaven what they took upon themselves below on earth. Clearly, it is only through divine inspiration that this could have been ascertained.

אמר רבא לכולהו אית להו פירכא לבר מדשמואל דלית ליה פירכא דרבי אליעזר סברא הוא דלא הוה איניש דחשיב למלכא כוותיה והאי כי קא מפיש טובא ואמר אדעתיה דנפשיה קאמר

Rava said: There is a refutation for all of these proofs, except for the proof cited by Shmuel, for which there is no refutation. The Gemara elaborates. That which Rabbi Eliezer said with regard to knowledge of what Haman was thinking in his heart can be refuted, as it is based on logical reasoning to conclude that this was his thinking. There was no other person as important to the king as he was; and the fact is that when he elaborated extensively and said: “Let the royal apparel be brought” (Esther 6:8), he said it with himself in mind.

דר"ע דלמא כר' אלעזר דאמר מלמד שכל אחד ואחד נדמתה לו כאומתו

That which Rabbi Akiva said with regard to the knowledge that Esther found favor in the eyes of all, perhaps it can be understood and refuted in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Elazar, who said: This teaches that she appeared to each and every one as one of his nation, and they expressed that sentiment aloud.

והא דרבי מאיר דלמא כרבי חייא בר אבא דאמר בגתן ותרש שני טרשיים היו

And that which Rabbi Meir said, i.e., that the divine inspiration of the book of Esther is clear from the fact that Mordecai exposed the conspiracy against Ahasuerus, perhaps this can be explained and refuted in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Ḥiyya bar Abba, who said: Bigtan and Teresh were both members of the Tarsi people and conversed in their own language. Mordecai, who was a member of the Sanhedrin and therefore fluent in many languages, understood what they were saying.

והא דרבי יוסי בן דורמסקית דלמא פריסתקי שדור דשמואל ודאי לית ליה פירכא אמר רבינא היינו דאמרי אינשי טבא חדא פלפלתא חריפתא ממלי צני קרי

And that which Rabbi Yosei ben Durmaskit said with regard to the knowledge that no spoils were taken, perhaps this can be explained and refuted by the fact that they dispatched messengers who informed them of the situation. However, with regard to Shmuel’s proof from the fact that they confirmed above what they took upon themselves below, there is certainly no refutation. Ravina said: This explains the folk saying that people say: One sharp pepper is better than a basketful of pumpkins, as the quality of the pepper’s taste is more significant than the quantity of the pumpkins.

רב יוסף אמר מהכא (אסתר ט, כח) וימי הפורים האלה לא יעברו מתוך היהודים רב נחמן בר יצחק אומר מהכא וזכרם לא יסוף מזרעם:

Rav Yosef said: Proof that the book of Esther was divinely inspired may be cited from here: “And these days of Purim shall not cease from among the Jews” (Esther 9:28), an assertion that could have been made only with divine inspiration. Rav Naḥman bar Yitzḥak says: Proof may be cited from here, at the end of that verse: “Nor the memorial of them perish from their seed” (Esther 9:28).

ומתנות לאביונים: תני רב יוסף ומשלוח מנות איש לרעהו שתי מנות לאיש אחד ומתנות לאביונים שתי מתנות לשני בני אדם

The mishna mentions: And gifts distributed to the poor. Rav Yosef taught a baraita that the verse states: “And of sending portions one to another” (Esther 9:22), indicating two portions to one person. The verse continues: “And gifts to the poor” (Esther 9:22), indicating two gifts to two people.

רבי יהודה נשיאה שדר ליה לרבי אושעיא אטמא דעיגלא תלתא וגרבא דחמרא שלח ליה

The Gemara relates that, on Purim, Rabbi Yehuda Nesia sent to Rabbi Oshaya the leg of a third-born calf and a jug of wine. Rabbi Oshaya sent him a message of gratitude: