Tuesday, February 27, 2007

A Purim Kler

There are a number of pesukim of the meggilah that are recited aloud by the whole tzibbur. Among them is the pasuk that contains the names of the ten sons of Haman.

The Mishna Berura quotes the Chaye Adam that the minhag that the entire congragation says the eseres bnai haman out loud during the meggila reading, is not a [valid] minhag.

However, the Ragatchover famously held that it is required. His reasoning is, since the gemorah rules that the names of the ten sons of haman must be said in a single breath (b'nishima achas), the rule of shomeia k'oneh (hearing words can halachicly be considered as if those words were spoken by the listener) can only work for the actual words of the meggila but not for the method in which they are to be read. In other words, by listening to the korei read the eseres bnei haman, halachicly it would be considered as if I actually read them but it would not be considered as if I read them in a single breath. Therefore, the requirement of nishima achas demands that each and every listener read those words himself, in a single breath.

I believe that this machlokes can be explained as follows:

The basis for the requirement of nishima achas is (as mentioned above) the Gemorah in Meggilah [16B]:

עשרת בני המן ועשרת צריך לממרינהו בנשימה אחת מאי טעמא כולהו בהדי הדדי נפקו נשמתיהו

The mitzvah of kriyas hamiggilah contains in it two components. There is the aspect of kriyah, similar to krias hatorah and there is also the aspect of pirsumei nisa. The Gemorah quoted above is unclear as to the reason for the requirement of nishima achas. The Rambam however, quotes the Gemorah as follows:

וצריך הקורא לקרות עשרת בני המן ועשרת, בנשימה אחת, כדי להודיע לעם, שכולם נתלו ונהרגו כאחד.

The Rambam adds the words כדי להודיע לעם. The implication is that the words are read in a single breath in order to demonstrate that they were all hanged at one time. This clearly is a persumai nisa requirement. (See also Rambam, Hilchos Chanuka 4:12 where he uses very similar language in referance to persumei nisa).

If the requirement is a part of persumai nisa it would follow that only the korei would be required to do it. Just as the korei fulfills the requirement of persumei nisa by reading the meggila in public, he can also fulfill this additional persumei nisa requirement by reading these words in a single breath publicly. There is no reason to require each listener to say the words himself. (A careful reading of the Rambam in fact shows that the Rambam only requires the korei to say these words.)

The Rogatchover however, understood that the requirement of nishima achas is a part of the Halachos of kriyas hameggilah. It is not to serve the function of persumai nisa. Therefore he required each listener to say the words themselves because shmea keoneh cannot work for nishima achas (as explained above).

If the above was not clear, I'll try writing it in a language that I am more comfortable with.

We can kler a shayla, is the din of nishima achas a din in persumei nisa or is it a din in kriyas hameggilah. If it's a din in prsumei nisa then just like the korei is mikayem persumei nisa by layning the megilah betzibur he can also be mikayim this din nosef of persumei nisa (dhaynu, nishima achas) through his maisah kriyah. For persumei nisa we don't have to come onto shomea keoneh, we just need to be mefarsem the nes. Ma shein ken, if you hold that it's a din in kriah. Kriah is mechayev that each yochid layns. The only was to be mikayem the din kriyah (without layning yourself) is through the din of shomea keoneh. But shomea keoneh can only work for the etzem kriyah, to say that the kriyah of the korai is nisyaches to the shomea. It cannot shtel tzu the oyfen hakriah - nishima achas. Mimela the Ragotchover held that everyone has to layn eseres bnei haman themselves in order to be mikayem the din of kriyah bnishima achas.

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