MEGILAH 23 (7 Av) - Dedicated in memory of Dr. Simcha Bekelnitzky (Simcha Gedalya ben Shraga Feibush) of Queens, N.Y., Niftar 7 Av 5757, by his wife and daughters. G-d-fearing and knowledgeable, Simcha was well known in the community for his Chesed and Tzedakah. He will long be remembered.


(a)(Mishnah): Five read on Yom Tov, and six on Yom Kipur.

(b)Question: Our Mishnah is unlike both of the coming Tana'im!

(c)(Beraisa - R. Yishmael): Five read on Yom Tov, six on Yom Kipur, and seven on Shabbos. We may not detract nor add to these.

(d)R. Akiva says, seven read on Yom Kipur and six on Shabbos.

1.Our Mishnah allows adding readers, unlike R. Yishmael. The number of readers is unlike R. Akiva!

(e)Answer (Rava): The following Tana taught our Mishnah:

1.(Beraisa - Tana d'Vei R. Yishmael): Five read on Yom Tov, six on Yom Kipur, and seven on Shabbos. We may add to these, but we may not detract.

(f)Question: This is unlike R. Yishmael's opinion in our Mishnah!

(g)Answer: Tana'im argue about the opinion of R. Yishmael.

(h)(Beraisa): On Yom Tov we come late to the Beis ha'Keneses and leave early. On Yom Kipur we come early and leave late. On Shabbos, we come early and leave early.

1.Suggestion: This is like R. Akiva, who says that more read on Yom Kipur than on Shabbos.

(i)Rejection: It can be like R. Yishmael. The prayers of Yom Kipur are longer. (Note: nowadays Tefilas Yom Kipur is much longer due to the many Piyutim we say. In the days of the Tana'im, it was only slightly longer due to Viduy and Avodah.)

(j)Question: What do the three, five and seven Olim (on Monday, Thursday and Shabbos afternoon, Yom Tov, and Shabbos, respectively) correspond to?

(k)Answer #1 (R. Yitzchak bar Nachmani or R. Shimon ben Pazi): They correspond to the numbers of words in the three verses of Birkas Kohanim.

(l)Answer #2 (The other of R. Yitzchak and R. Shimon): They correspond to the three who guard the gates (or Kelim) of the Mikdash, the five who (regularly) see the king, and the seven who see him (i.e. including the two scribes - Tosfos).

(m)Rav Yosef taught like Answer #1. Abaye asked why he didn't teach this earlier.

1.(Rav Yosef): I didn't realize that you needed to know. Did you ever ask me anything that I didn't answer?

(n)Question (Yakov Minah): What do the six of Yom Kipur correspond to?

(o)Answer (Rav Yehudah): They correspond to the six who stood to the right of Ezra and to his left.

(p)Question: The verse lists seven to his left!

(q)Answer: Zecharyah is Meshulam. He is called Meshulam because he was Mishlam (complete) in his deeds.


(a)(Beraisa): All count towards the seven, even a child or woman, but Chachamim said that a woman should not read for it is dishonorable to the Tzibur.

(b)Question: Does Maftir count towards the seven?

(c)Rav Huna and Rav Yirmeyah bar Aba argued about this. One said yes, and one said no.

1.One opinion says yes, for he reads;

2.The other opinion says no, like Ula taught:

i.(Ula): The Maftir first reads in the Torah only to show honor to the Torah (above the Nevi'im). Therefore, he does not count towards the seven.

(d)Question (Beraisa): The Maftir must read at least 21 verses in the Navi, corresponding to the seven who read in the Torah. If the Maftir is not among the seven, a total of eight read, and 24 verses should be required!

(e)Answer: Since the Maftir reads the Torah only to honor the Torah, he need not read corresponding to himself.


(f)Question (Rava): We read a Haftorah "Oloseichem Safu" (for Parshas Tzav) with less than 21 verses!

(g)Answer: That is permitted because the subject is completed.

(h)Question: Even when the subject is not completed, we do not require 21!

1.Many times, Rav Shmuel bar Aba read in front of R. Yochanan, and was told to stop after 10 verses.

(i)Answer: The Halachah is different where there is a translator;

1.(Rav Tachlifa bar Shmuel): We read 21 only where there is no translator. Where there is a translator, we read less.


(a)(Mishnah): The following require at least 10 men:

1.To be Pores Al Shema (to say Kaddish, Borechu, and the first Berachah before Keri'as Shema);

2.Chazaras ha'Shatz (the Shali'ach Tzibur's repetition of Shemoneh Esre);

3.Birkas Kohanim;

4.Keri'as ha'Torah (b'Tzibur);

5.Haftorah in the Navi;

6.Ma'amad u'Moshav (interruptions during a funeral procession);

7.Birkas Avelim (to console mourners);

8.A reception line to greet mourners;

9.Birkas Chasanim;

10.'Zimun' with Hash-m's name;

11.Pidyon (redemption) of land or of people.

i.For this last case, one of the 10 must be a Kohen.

(b)(Gemara - R. Chiya bar Aba): We learn (the first five subjects in the Mishnah) from "V'Nikdashti b'Soch Benei Yisrael", that matters of Kedushah require 10.

(c)Question: How do we learn this?

(d)Answer: We learn from a Gezeirah Shavah "Toch-Toch" from Adas Korach; it says there "mi'Toch ha'Edah". We learn "Edah-Edah" from "la'Edah ha'Ra'ah ha'Zos", which refers to the evil Meraglim; there were 10 of them.

(e)(Mishnah): Ma'amad u'Moshav requires 10.

1.This is because we say 'stop, dear ones', and it is improper to say this to less than 10.

(f)Question: What is Birkas Avelim?

(g)Answer: This is what is said in the street;

1.(R. Yitzchak): Birkas Avelim requires 10, and mourners do not count towards the 10. Birkas Chasanim requires 10, and the Chasan counts towards the 10.

(h)(Mishnah): Zimun with Hash-m's name requires 10.

1.This is because we say 'Nevarech lEi'lokeinu', and it is improper to say this amidst less than 10.

(i)(Shmuel): Pidyon of land is learned from the 10 times it says "Kohen" in the Parshah.

1.Whenever there are two Mi'utim for the same matter, they come to include (i.e. the last nine need not be Kohanim).

(j)Question: We should require five Kohanim! (The first "Kohen" requires a Kohen, the second "Kohen" allows a Yisrael. The third "Kohen" requires a Kohen...

(k)This question is unresolved.

(l)(Mishnah): Pidyon of man is like of land.

(m)Question: What Pidyon applies to man? Man cannot become Hekdesh!

(n)Answer (R. Avahu): One vowed to give to Hekdesh his own value, so he must be evaluated.

1.(Beraisa): One who vows his value to Hekdesh is evaluated like a slave.

2.Slaves are equated to land, therefore 10 are needed.