Monday, February 22, 2010

Reading Megillat Esther

Today is the 8th of Adar, 5770
During Purim we read Megillat Esther twice: the book that relates the story of Purim.

The first time at night (Saturday, February 27th) and the second time during the day (Sunday, February 28th). For exact times of readings in our community see:

Women are normallyexempted from Mitzvot triggered by time, but Purim is an exception: because 1. women were also saved from the danger and 2. a woman, Queen Esther, had a critical role in saving the Jews from a sure end.

Children, although not technically obligated to listen to the Megillah, are expected to attend Synagogue during Purim. Parents should make sure that their small children do not misbehave, perturbing the public reading of the Megillah.

There is no Halakhic objection to use a microphone when reading the Megillah in public, provided one could otherwise hear the Megillah anyway. However, for example, if somebody is listening from a different room, where he would not have heard the Megillah at all without the microphone, then for him the reading is not valid. Obviously, listening through all other wireless media (TV, radio, phone) is not valid for fulfilling the Mitzvah of Megillah.
While the Baal Kore reads the Megillah everybody should listen to him and follow, reading silently from a scroll or from a printed Megillah.