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Mortality Strikes

We all know that if Purim falls out [I don't know about "falling out" but I know a lot of people who FALL DOWN on Purim] on Shabbos we read the Megilla on Friday instead of Shabbos [we are concerned lest someone carry the Megilla on Shabbos].

The following episode occurred some years ago: A man read the Megilla on Friday for the congregation. Everything was GREAT. La'yihudim hayisa orah vi'simcha vi'sasson veekar. Gevaldik!

Then that same day the ba'al koreh died. Sure put a damper on the simcha. Anyway I am sorry for sharing with you such a sad story but I wanted to discuss a halacha.

One of the luminaries of the previous generation ruled that everyone who heard the Megilla must hear it again. Since the reading took place on Friday in place of Shabbos, and on Shabbos the reader [who had read on everyone's behalf] was unable to fulfill his obligation [because he was no longer alive] the people for whom he read similarly do not fulfill their obligations. In Yeshivish "If the Motzi himself wasn't yotzei then the people he was being motzi are also not yotzei." This was strictly speaking a Shabbos reading done on Friday, if on Shabbos the reader was not fulfilling his obligation then everyone who was dependent on him was also not fulfilling his obligation.

I must say that have I given this psak much thought and have serious issues with it.
I will let you think about it.

More to come bli neder.

"If the Motzi himself wasn't yotzei then the people he was being motzi are also not yotzei."
- Rebbe is this true across the board? A ba'al korei is able to lane more than once in order to be motzei multiple minyanim just as a ba'al tokai'a may be motzei multiple minyanim. In these cases the motzi was already yotzei during his first motzi-ing action, so I would assume he's not yotzei himself during his second motzi'ing action.

what i wonder is when does the hiyuv and the kiyum actually begin? when we are makdim a hiyuv, is it only fulfilled when the date of original hiyuv passes? what other scenario do we have that would be a precedent as such?

if the rav will allow me to address binyamin naphtali, the baal korei must be m'huyav at some certain point, even if he was already yotzei by the time he read it for a 2nd time. however, in the current case, his hiyuv never came into fruition. or did it (see my question above)?

why do we have to take the extreme case of death? what if the ba'al korei fell ill (and presumably unconscious) on Shabbath but recovered afterward. (or if he was temporarily struck deaf or mute for the length of Shabbath)

also, does the ba'al koreh have to stay in Yerushalayim on shabbath if Shushan purim falls on shabbath? (this would seem related, and if the answer is yes, then it seems it helps to explain the psak)

but here's my question:
On Rosh HaShanah, if it falls out on shabbath, we don't blow the shofar, likewise with lulav+etrog.

So, if we are still reading the megillah on friday, then can't we presume the actual chiyuv is on friday and not on shabbath, otherwise why not just not read megillah that year?

although there is precedent for this case perhaps in the case of a karbon whose owner dies before it is offered. (or in the case of the 2 seirim on yom kippur, where one gets a mum or one dies prematurely)


Hubs is right. There must be a valid maáseh. In our case the maáseh wasn't a valid. But of course you are right, there is a din arvus that says that even if you were already yotzei you may be motzi someone else. But your act must be potentially motzi yourself [chiyuv bi'koach vilo bifo'al].

Good to hear from you!

Yitzi good points

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About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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