THE ORDER OF THE EIGHTEEN BERACHOS
Acceptance of prayer - "I will bring them to My Kodesh mountain and make them rejoice in My house of prayer."
Avodah - the previous verse continues "Oloseihem v'Zivcheihem".
Hoda'ah - follows Avodah, for "Zevach Todah Yechabdaneni."
Birkas Kohanim - because "Aharon blessed the people ... Me'asos (from having done) ha'Chatas... "
Question: If so, Birkas Kohanim should follow Avodah!
Answer: Hoda'ah follows Avodah, for "Zevach Todah Yechabdaneni."
Question: Why does that override the verse of Aharon?
Answer: Avodah and Hoda'ah are one matter.
Shalom follows Birkas Kohanim, because "They will put my name on Yisrael, and I will bless them"; Hash-m's Berachah is Shalom.
Question: If Nevi'im were among the Chachamim who ordered the Berachos, why did Shimon ha'Pekuli need to order them? (Yavneh was 400 years after the last Nevi'im!)
Answer: The order was forgotten, and he re-established it.
One may not compose a Berachah on his own.
(R. Elazar): "Who will recount Gevuros Hash-m and make known all His praise?" (Only) one who can make known all His praise is fitting to recount His great acts (we should rely on Berachos that Chachamim composed).
(Rabah bar bar Chanah): One who discusses Hash-m's praise too much is uprooted from the world.
(R. Yehudah of Giborya): "To You, silence is praise" - the best spice (to praise Hash-m) is silence (because one cannot recount all His praise).
(Rav Dimi): In Eretz Yisrael, they say that one should pay twice as much for silence as for a word.
ONE MUST READ FROM A MEGILAH WRITTEN IN ASHURIS
(Mishnah): If one read by heart, he was not Yotzei.
(Rava): We learn this from a Gezeirah Shavah Zechirah-Zechirah from remembering Amalek, which must be in a Sefer.
Question: How do we know that Zechirah regarding Amalek is reciting it? Perhaps it suffices to think about it!
Answer: "Remember, don't forget" - forgetting is in the heart, so "remember" must come to obligate reciting it.
(Mishnah): One who reads an Arameic translation was not Yotzei.
Question: If it is written in Hebrew and he reads it in Arameic, this is by heart (so why was it needed to teach this)!
Conclusion: Rather, even if it was written and read in Arameic, he was not Yotzei.
(Mishnah): We may read in La'az to a Lo'ez.
Question: The Mishnah said that one who reads in any language was not Yotzei!
Answer: (Rav and Shmuel): One is Yotzei in Yevanis.
Question: If it was written in Ashuris, and he read in Yevanis, that is by heart!
Answer (R. Acha citing R. Elazar): It was written in Yevanis.
(R. Acha citing R. Elazar): "Va'Yikra Lo El Elokei Yisrael" - Hash-m called Yakov 'El'. Had Yakov called the Mizbe'ach 'El', it would have said "Yakov called ..." (the Gemara teaches together Rav Acha's teachings in the name of R. Elazar).
Question (Beraisa): One who read in Giftis, Ivris, Ilmis, Midis or Yevanis was not Yotzei.
Answer #1: That is if he does not understand the language. Rav and Shmuel discuss one who understands Yevanis;
(Beraisa): If speakers of Giftis, Ivris, Ilmis or Yevanis heard in their language, they were Yotzei.
Objection: Why did Rav and Shmuel discuss Yevanis if the same applies to any language?!
Answer #2: Rav and Shmuel teach that anyone is Yotzei in Yevanis. They did not come to explain the Mishnah. The Mishnah discusses one who understands the language.
Question (Beraisa): (Only) Yevanim are Yotzei in Yevanis.
Answer: Rav and Shmuel hold like R. Shimon ben Gamliel, who permits writing Seforim in Yevanis.
Question: If so, they should have said 'the Halachah follows R. Shimon ben Gamliel!'
Answer: If so, we would have thought that they permit Yevanis for other Seforim, but not for Megilas Esther, which says "Ki'Chsavam". Therefore, they explicitly taught that one is Yotzei Keri'as ha'Megilah in Yevanis.
(Mishnah): A Lo'ez who heard Ashuris was Yotzei.
Question: He doesn't understand it!
Answer: One is Yotzei even without understanding, like women and Amei ha'Aretz.
Objection (Ravina): Even we (Chachamim) do not know what "ha'Achashteranim Benei ha'Ramachim" means! Rather, one publicizes the miracle by reading it, even without understanding.
(Mishnah): One who read Seirugin (intermittently) was Yotzei.
Chachamim didn't know the meaning of the following words until they overheard Rebbi's maid-servant say them, then they understood from context.
Seirugin - with pauses in the middle.
Chaluglagos - portulak (a type of vegetable).
Salsalah - turn about.
Yehavcha - your burden.
Titasiha - I swept it.
(Beraisa): One who read intermittently was Yotzei, but not if he read out of order;
(R. Muna): If he paused long enough to finish it, he was not Yotzei.
(Rav Yosef): The Halachah follows R. Muna.
Question (Abaye): Does 'to finish it' mean from where he paused, or from beginning to end?
Answer (Rav Yosef): It is from beginning to end. If not, the Shi'ur would vary according to where he paused (and this is unreasonable)!
(R. Aba): In Sura they taught that Rav says that the Halachah follows R. Muna and that Shmuel disagrees. In Pumbedisa Rav Kahana also taught like this, but Rav Bivi taught oppositely, i.e. Shmuel rules like R. Muna and Rav disagrees.
(Rav Yosef): One should follow Rav Bivi, for we know that Shmuel is concerned for the opinion of an individual.
(Mishnah - R. Yehudah ben Beseirah): If Reuven was Mekadesh the sister of his Yevamah, we tell him to wait until his brother does Yibum or Chalitzah. Afterwards, Reuven may make Nisu'in.
(Shmuel): The Halachah follows R. Yehudah ben Beseirah.
(Beraisa #1): If the scribe omitted letters or verses, and the reader said them like a translator (by heart), he was Yotzei.
Question (Beraisa #2): If letters were faded or torn:
If their image is recognizable, it is Kosher; if not, not.
Answer: It is Kosher if it is partially, but not if it is totally (Rambam - mostly faded or torn).
(Beraisa): If the reader omitted a verse, he may not finish and later say the verse; rather, he returns to that verse and reads in order;
If one enters a Beis ha'Keneses in the middle of the reading, he may not hear the second half and later read the first half. Rather, he reads the entire Megilah in order.
(Mishnah): One who dozed in the middle was Yotzei.
(Rav Ashi): 'Dozing' is half asleep, half awake. If one calls to him he responds, but he cannot answer anything that requires understanding.
HALACHOS OF WRITING THE MEGILAH
(Mishnah): If one was writing, expounding or proofreading, he was Yotzei only if he intended.
Question: If he said each verse by memory before writing it he should not be Yotzei, for this is by heart!
Answer: Rather, he said each verse after writing it.
Question: R. Chelbo said that (the Halachah follows the opinion that requires reading the entire Megilah, and) all agree that the entire Megilah must be written!
Answer: Rather, a complete Megilah was in front of him, and he read from it while he wrote.
(Rabah bar bar Chanah): One may copy, but one may not write even one letter from memory.
Suggestion: Our Mishnah supports this. This is why a Megilah was in front of him!
Rejection: Perhaps the law is not true. The Mishnah discusses whether or not he is Yotzei in such a case.
Question (Beraisa): R. Meir went to Asya to make a leap year. There was not a Megilah there, so he wrote one from memory, and read it.
Answer (R. Avahu): R. Meir is an exception. Normally, "If you close your eyes on it (Torah) it is gone". Regarding R. Meir, "(Even when) your eyelids (are closed) it is straight in front of you".
Rav Chisda found Rav Chananel writing by memory. He said "the whole Torah is proper to be written through your mouth, but Chachamim forbade to write by heart."
Question: The praise shows that he does not forget. Why was R. Meir different?
Answer: R. Meir's case was a pressed circumstance; there was no other solution.
Abaye allowed people of Bar Chavo's house to write from memory. He holds like a different Tana.
(Beraisa - R. Yirmeyah): Tefilin and Mezuzos may be written by heart, and do not require Sirtut (scratch lines to ensure straight writing).
The Halachah is, Tefilin doesn't need Sirtut, but Mezuzos do. Both may be written by heart, because everybody is familiar with (the verses written in) them.
(Mishnah): If it was written with Sam ... only ink is Kosher.
The Mishnah disqualified a Megilah written with Sam, Sikra, Kumus, or Kankantom. These are paint, a red dye, tree sap, and a paint used for shoes, respectively.