מגילה  פרק  שלישי   הקורא עומד  ( כב· )       Megilah 22a  ❃

אין מתחילין בפרשה פחות משלשה פסוקים.

ליקרי תרי מהא ותלתא מהך - פשו להו תרי אמר לו: זו לא שמעתי, כיוצא בה שמעתי.

דתנן: ביום הראשון בראשית, ויהי רקיע, ותני עלה: בראשית - בשנים, יהי רקיע - באחד.

והוינן בה: בשלמא יהי רקיע, באחד - דתלתא פסוקי הוו, אלא בראשית בשנים?

חמשה פסוקי הוו, ותניא: הקורא בתורה לא יפחות משלשה פסוקים ואיתמר עלה: רב אמר: דולג, ושמואל אמר: פוסק.

רב אמר דולג, מאי טעמא לא אמר פוסק?

קסבר: כל פסוקא דלא פסקיה משה אנן לא פסקינן ליה.

ושמואל אמר: פסקינן ליה.

- והא אמר רבי חנניא קרא: צער גדול היה לי אצל רבי חנינא הגדול, ולא התיר לי לפסוק אלא לתינוקות של בית רבן, הואיל ולהתלמד עשויין - התם טעמא מאי - משום דלא אפשר, הכא נמי - לא אפשר.

ושמואל אמר פוסק, מאי טעמא לא אמר דולג?

- גזירה משום הנכנסין ומשום היוצאין.

מיתיבי: פרשה של ששה פסוקים קורין אותה בשנים, ושל חמשה פסוקים - ביחיד.

קרא ראשון שלשה - השני קורא שנים מפרשה זו ואחד מפרשה אחרת, ויש אומרים: שלשה, לפי שאין מתחילין בפרשה פחות משלשה פסוקים.

ואם איתא, למאן דאמר דולג - נדלוג, ולמאן דאמר פוסק - נפסוק - שאני התם, דאפשר בהכי.

אמר רבי תנחום אמר רבי יהושע בן לוי: הלכה כיש אומרים.

ואמר רבי תנחום אמר רבי יהושע בן לוי: כשם שאין מתחילין בפרשה פחות משלשה פסוקים - כך אין משיירין בפרשה פחות משלשה פסוקים.

פשיטא השתא ומה אתחלתא, דקא מקיל תנא קמא - מחמירי יש אומרים, שיור דמחמיר תנא קמא, לא כל שכן דמחמירי יש אומרים?

- מהו דתימא: נכנסין - שכיחי, יוצאין - לא שכיחי דמנחי ספר תורה ונפקי, קמשמע לן.

ותנא קמא מאי שנא שיורי דלא - משום יוצאין, אתחולי נמי - גזירה משום הנכנסין - אמרי: מאן דעייל - שיולי שייל.

שלח ליה רבה בריה דרבא לרב יוסף: הלכתא מאי שלח ליה: הלכתא דולג, ואמצעי דולגן.

- זה הכלל כל שיש בו מוסף וכו'.

איבעיא להו: תענית צבור בכמה?

ראש חדש ומועד דאיכא קרבן מוסף - ארבעה, אבל הכא דליכא קרבן מוסף - לא, או דלמא: הכא נמי איכא מוסף תפלה?

- תא שמע: בראשי חדשים ובחולו של מועד קורין ארבעה, הא בתענית צבור - שלשה - אימא רישא: בשני ובחמישי, ובשבת במנחה קורין שלשה, הא תענית צבור - ארבעה אלא, מהא ליכא למישמע מינה.

תא שמע, דרב איקלע לבבל בתענית צבור, קם קרא בסיפרא, פתח בריך, חתים ולא בריך.

נפול כולי עלמא אאנפייהו.

ורב לא נפל על אפיה.

מכדי רב בישראל קרא, מאי טעמא חתם ולא בריך?

לאו משום דבעי למיקרי אחרינא בתריה?

- לא, רב בכהני קרא, דהא רב הונא קרי בכהני.

בשלמא רב הונא קרי בכהני - דהא אפילו רב אמי ורב אסי, דכהני חשיבי דארעא ישראל, מיכף כייפו ליה לרב הונא.

אלא רב, הא איכא שמואל, דכהנא הוה ודבר עליה - שמואל נמי מיכף הוה כייף ליה לרב, ורב הוא דעבד ליה כבוד.

וכי עביד ליה - בפניו, שלא בפניו - לא עביד ליה.

הכי נמי מסתברא דרב בכהני קרא, דאי סלקא דעתך בישראל קרא - לפניה מאי טעמא בריך?

- לאחר תקנה.

- אי הכי לאחריה נמי לבריך?

- שאני היכא דיתיב רב, דמיעל עיילי


[This is not right], since we do not read less than three verses together at the beginning of a paragraph.(1)

Shall the reader read two from one and three from the other?

Then only two verses are left [to the end of the second paragraph]! - He replied: On this point I have not heard [any pronouncement], but I have learnt the rule in a somewhat similar case, as we have learnt: 'On Sundays, [the ma'amad(2) read the paragraph] "In the beginning" and "let there be a firmament",(3) and to this a gloss was added, "In the beginning" is read by two and "let there be a firmament" by one', and we were somewhat perplexed by this.

For that [the paragraph] 'let there be a firmament' can be read by one we understand, since it has three verses, but how can 'In the beginning, be read by two, seeing that it has only five verses, and it has been taught, 'He who reads in the Torah should not read less than three verses'?

And it was stated [in answer] to this [question] that Rab says he should repeat,(4) and Samuel says he should divide a verse.

Rab said he should repeat.

Why should he not say 'divide'? - He was of opinion that any verse which Moses had not divided, we may not divide, whereas Samuel held that we may divide.

But surely, R`Hananiah the Bible teacher(5) said, I was in great pain in the house of R`Hanina the great, and he would not allow me to make [additional verse] divisions save for the school children, because they are there to be taught? - Now what was the reason there [why he was allowed to make divisions]?

Because it could not be avoided; here(6) too it cannot be avoided.

Samuel said that he divides.

Why did he not say that he repeats?

It is a precaution to prevent error on the part of those coming in and going out.(7)

An objection [against both these views](8) was brought from the following: 'A section of six verses may be read by two persons, a section of five verses must be read by one.

If the first reads three verses, the second reads the remaining two from this section and one from the next; some, however, say that he reads three from the next, because not less than three verses should be read at the beginning of a section'.(9)

Now if it is as you said,(10) then according to the one who says he should repeat, let him repeat, and according to the one who says he should divide, let him divide? - It is different here,(11) because this method is open to him.(12)

R`Tanhum, said in the name of R`Joshua B`Levi: The halachah follows the alternative opinion(13) mentioned.

R`Tanhum also said in the name of R`Joshua B`Levi: Just as at the beginning of a section not less than three verses should be read, so at the end of a section not less than three verses should be left.

Surely this i obvious! Seeing that in regard to the beginning of a section where the First Tanna is not so strict the alternative opinion is strict, is it not certain that in regard to the verses left [at the end of the section] w the First Tanna is strict the alternative opinion will also be strict? - You might argue that it is usual for people to come in [to synagogue during the reading of the law],(14) but it is not usual for them to go out and leave the scroll of the law while it is being read;(15) therefore we are told [that we do not argue thus].

But now with regard to the First Tanna: Why does he forbid [less than three verses] to be left [at the end of the section]?

On account of people going out of synagogue,(16) is it not?

Then with regard to the beginning also he should take precautions on account of people coming in? - I can answer that a person coming in enquires [how much has been read].(17)

Rabbah the son of Raba sent to enquire of R`Joseph: What is the law?(18)

He sent him back word: The law is that the verse is repeated, and it is a middle reader(19) who repeats.

THIS IS THE GENERAL RULE: WHENEVER THERE IS A MUSAF etc. The question was raised: How many read on a public fast day?(20)

Shall we say that on New Moon and the intermediate days of the festival when there is an additional sacrifice four read, but here where there is no additional sacrifice this is not the case?

Or shall we argue that here also there is an additional prayer?(21) - Come and hear: ON NEW MOONS AND ON THE INTERMEDIATE DAYS OF FESTIVALS FOUR READ', from which we conclude that on public fasts only three read.

Look now at the preceding clause: 'ON MONDAYS AND THURSDAYS AND ON SABBATH AT MINHAH THREE READ', from which we may conclude that on a public fast four read! The truth is that we cannot decide from here.

Come then and hear [this]: 'Rab happened to be at Babylon(22) during a public fast.

He came forward and read in the scroll of the law.

Before commencing he made a blessing but after finishing he made no blessing.

The whole congregation [afterwards] fell on their faces,(23) but Rab did not fall on his face'.

Let us now see.

Rab read as a lay Israelite.(24)

Why then did he say no blessing after finishing?

Was it not because another was to read after him? - No.

Rab read as kohen,(25) for R`Huna also read as kohen.(26)

I can understand R`Huna reading as kohen, because even R`Assi and R`Ammi who were distinguished kohanim of Eretz Israel showed deference to R`Huna.(27)

But as to Rab there was Samuel [his Babylonian contemporary] who was a kohen and who took precedence of him?(28) - Samuel also showed deference to Rab, and it was Rab(29) who of his own accord paid him special honour(30) and this he did only in his presence, but not when he was not present.

It is reasonable also to assume that Rab read as kohen, because if you presume that he read as a layman, why did he say a blessing before reading? - It was after the regulation(31) had been made.

If so, he should have said a blessing after reading also? - Where Rab was present there was a difference, because people came in [late]


(1) V. infra.

(2) V. Glos.

(3) Gen. I, 1-5, and 6-8; v. Ta'an. 26a.

(4) The last verse read by the predecessor. Lit., 'skip', 'go back'. tre

(5) Heb. , a Bible teacher who appears to have been also a professional reader of the Scripture, with proper vowels, stops and accents, as the tanna (v. Glos. s.v.) was a professional memorizer of the Mishnah or Baraitha.

(6) In the readings of the ma'amad.

(7) V. supra p. 132, n. 3.

(8) Of Rab and Samuel.

(9) V. Ta'an 27b.

(10) That he either divides or repeats.

(11) Which deals with the Biblical reading on Mondays and Thursdays.

(12) Whereas on New Moon the next paragraph deals with a different subject and therefore cannot be read.

(13) Lit., 'the "some say"'; viz., that three verses are read from the next paragraph.

(14) And therefore, if they hear only the first verse of a section read, may not know that at least three verses have been read.

(15) And therefore, even if only one verse of a section is left, they will see that three are read.

(16) Who might think that if two verses to the end of a section had been left by a reader at the point when he went out, only those two will have been read by the next reader. Cf. n. 7.

(17) Supposing he finds when he comes in that someone reads three verses beginning from the third verse of a paragraph, he inquires whether the previous reader read only the preceding two verses or more.

(18) With respect to the reading by the ma'amad and on the New Moon readings.

(19) I.e., not the one who reads last.

(20) Other than the day of Atonement. ubhbg

(21) Inserted in the Amidah - the prayer , v. P. B. p. 47.

(22) [Babylon stands here, as in other places in the Talmud, for Sura which was in the neighbourhood of the old great city of Babylon, and in contradistinction to Nehardea where Samuel had his seat, v. Obermeyer p. 306].

(23) To say propitiatory prayers - tahanun, v. P.B. p. 62.

(24) I.e., third, being neither kohen nor Levite.

(25) I.e., first.

(26) Although only a lay Israelite.

(27) Cf. Git. 59b.

(28) V. B.K. 80a.

(29) In giving him precedence.

(30) V. Shab. 108a.

(31) That a blessing should be said both before and after each reading. V. supra, p. 132.