27 02, 2021

Berakhot for Latecomers to Megillah

February 27th, 2021|Berakhot, Orach Chayim, Purim|

QUESTION

New York, NY

I said berakhot and started leining megillah, for a small group of people, when one minute in, a few people show up. are any of the following workable solutions, for how they can be yotzei?

  • Restart from the beginning of the Megillah. If so, the new arrivals would say the berakhot, before we restart?
  • Pause, and have them read to themselves the first minute of the megillah, from their chumash, until they catch up. Here too, would they make sure to say the berakhot before doing that?

ANSWER

Either of those would work. Given that whichever solution you adopt, the rest of the people […]

26 02, 2021

Repeating Berakhot for Megillah if Interrupted for a Medical Call

February 26th, 2021|Berakhot, Orach Chayim, Purim|

QUESTION

Canada

If a ba’al korei gets an important call mid-megillah that they can’t ignore, can they continue the megillah from when the call came in or do they need to repeat the megillah? Should they repeat the berakhot?

ANSWER

The general halakha is that even a large interruption – כדי לגמור את כולה – is bedieved okay in the case of megillah (and pretty much everything else) – see Shulchan Arukh OC 690:5 and Rema. However, as Mishnah Berurah 690:18 points out, we find in Hilkhot Keriat Shema (Shulchan Arukh OC 65:1) that if the interruption was מחמת אונס, due to something out of your control, you do have to go […]

25 02, 2021

Megillah Reading between Shekiah and Tzeit HaKokhavim

February 25th, 2021|Marriage and Family, Orach Chayim, Purim|

QUESTION

New York, NY

If we take our baby to an early reading that’s between Shekiah and Tzeit, do my husband and I have to also take turns going to readings that are actually at night while the baby sleeps?

ANSWER

The first question is whether someone is yotzei during Bein HaShemashot. See Shulchan Arukh OC 692:4 where for a case of serious ones or illness, we allow one to read even from Plag! But see Mishnah Berurah and Biur Halakha, where the Achronim are pretty machmir in a normal case, even regarding Bein HaShemashot. That being said, I think that if it started 14 minutes after Shekiah, […]

21 02, 2021

Afternoon Purim Seudah Going into Shabbat Dinner

February 21st, 2021|Berakhot, Kiddush, Seudah, Havdalah, Orach Chayim, Purim|

QUESTION

New York, NY

Can one have a Purim Seudah late in the day, and have it enter into the Shabbat meal?

ANSWER

Yes. This is the principle of poreis mapah umekadeish (Shulchan Arukh OC 271:4), that if one is in the middle of the meal on Friday towards sunset, he or she can spread a cloth over the bread, make Kiddush, and continue eating. The following is a guide for how to do this.

SHORT VERSION (for long version, with sources and discussion, see below)

  1. One may have the Purim seudah in the late afternoon
  2. Stop eating before sunset
  3. Bring out two loaves of bread
  4. Spread a […]
19 02, 2021

Zoom Crashing in Middle of Megillah

February 19th, 2021|Orach Chayim, Purim|

QUESTION

Maryland, USA

Generally we say that if someone misses part of the megillah reading because something drew their attention away, they need to read the words they missed and catch up to the reader. What happens though if Zoom crashes? I assume someone would have to read a few words to themselves and catch up as they would in person – but how long would be “too long” for zoom to crash for someone to lose out on the mitzvah?

(Mishnah Berurah 690:7 says “אבל אם קרא מקצתה כשרה” – wondering if that means just less than half?)

ANSWER

Yes. As I discussed in my […]

13 02, 2021

Men and Women Counting for Minyan for HaRav et Riveinu

February 13th, 2021|Berakhot, Orach Chayim, Purim, Women|

QUESTION

Canada

Can women and men be counted together for a minyan for megillah reading for the purposes of saying הרב את ריבנו?

ANSWER

You mean would it be different than Rema (Shulchan Arukh OC 690:18) regarding the preferences for 10 where he writes – הגה: ויש להסתפק אם נשים מצטרפות לעשרה? Or are you asking whether we rule that way? I would say that the halakhot of berakhot and preference for 10 in general should definitely be the same. As to do we rule that way – one could argue ספק ברכות להקל, but also see Biur Halakha 692 ד״ה אלא בציבור who quotes shitot that you can make the berakhah even ביחיד. Given the […]

8 02, 2021

Megillah Over Zoom

February 8th, 2021|Orach Chayim, Purim|

QUESTION

Can you please share your thoughts on megillah reading over Zoom and associated issues. Specifically:

  1. Is one yotzei the mitzvah if they hear it read over Zoom? Must they follow, read along, and recite every word from a chumash? While there is no requirement for a minyan for keriat HaMegillah, do considerations of hearing it over Zoom change if there is a minyan present at the place of the reading?
  2. Do all readers have to be physically present in the same place or could some read via Zoom from their home?
  3. If readers reading remotely is […]
7 02, 2021

Rolling Out a Megillah for Reading and Preparing on Shabbat for Megillah Reading

February 7th, 2021|Orach Chayim, Prohibitions, Purim|

QUESTION

Maryland, USA

Wondering if we can roll out the entire Megillah across two tables, instead of folding it igeret style. We have multiple readers for each of the readings, and this would minimize contact and allow us only to have one person at the table (as opposed to having others helping to hold the klaf – especially for the women’s reading). I am wondering if it is ok to have it pre-rolled out like this? Also, can we practice the Shabbat before (after davening) with an actual megillah? (Is there a muktzeh she’eilah?) Shabbat is really the only time […]

5 02, 2021

Collective Mishloach Manot

February 5th, 2021|Orach Chayim, Purim|

QUESTION

Chicago, IL

Any guidance on how a shul collective mishloach manot that is distributed to each household in the shul can fulfill the mitzvah for someone who donates towards the cost? If there is no cost in sending a basket through the shul, does the sender still fulfill their chiyuv?

ANSWER

In terms of ownership (whether they paid or not), it is not a big deal. You can just hand the baskets to a third-party (someone who cannot be considered the original owner of them), and they would […]

30 01, 2021

Listening to a Recording of Keriat Megillah

January 30th, 2021|Orach Chayim, Purim|

QUESTION

New York, NY

Regarding megillah reading, for those who cannot hear it in person, and don’t have Zoom access, would it be possible to listen to a recording of someone leining megillah?

ANSWER

Not a recording of the reading, since it has to be hearing the reading itself. They could, however, listen to live audio. See here, where it is quite clear that the pesak that it is considered a person’s voice is based on the immediacy of hearing it.

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