Wednesday, March 16, 2016

krias hamegillah and krias haTorah on Purim -- one kiyum

1) The Rambam writes in Hil Tefilah 13:17

בחנוכה ביום ראשון קורין מברכת כהנים עד סוף קרבן המקריב ביום הראשון. וביום שני קורין קרבן נשיא שהקריב בשני. וכן עד יום השמיני. ביום שמיני קורין עד סוף הקרבנות עד סוף הסדר ומפטירין בשבת של חנוכה בנרות זכריה. ואם היו שתי שבתות בחנוכה מפטירין בשבת ראשונה בנרות זכריה. ובשנייה בנרות שלמה. והקורא בענין חנוכה הוא שמפטיר בנביא. בפורים קורין בשחרית ויבא עמלק:

Notice that when the Rambam speaks about the kriah on Purim he adds the word “b’shacharis,” but he omits this when he speaks about the kriah on Chanukah.

Similarly, in 12:16 the Rambam writes:
כמה הן הקוראין. בשבת בשחרית קוראין שבעה. וביוה"כ ששה. ובימים טובים חמשה. אין פוחתין מהן אבל מוסיפין עליהם. בראשי חדשים ובחולו של מועד קורין ארבעה. בשבת וביום הכפורים במנחה ובשני ובחמישי של כל השנה ובחנוכה ובפורים בשחרית ובימי התענית בשחרית ובמנחה קורין שלשה אין פוחתין ממנין זה ואין מוסיפין עליהן:

Here too, only with respect to Purim (excluding cases like Shabbos where there is a leining at mincha as well as shacharis and the Rambam needs to say which he is talking about) does the Rambam add the word "shacharis."

What is the Rambam driving at?

R’ Ya’akov Kaminetzki (in Emes l’Ya’akov on Megillah) suggests that the chiyuv krias haTorah on Purim perhaps is tied together with the chiyuv of krias hamegillah.  Therefore, one might have had a hava amina that krias haTorah can be done even at night when the megillah is read; kah mashma lan either that there is no link between the two, or, if you like the lomdus, the link is only to the primary krias hamegillah reading which is the one done during the day and not the reading at night.

In any case, it is an incredibly precise diyuk.

2) A few weeks ago I mentioned the expression found in a few places in Chazal that, "Event X was as tragic as the day the eigel was made," and I suggested a forced sevara to explain one such occurrence because I find the comparison difficult.  What could really be as bad as making an eigel?  I since found that R' Moshe Avigdor Amiel in a biographical essay on the Chasam Sofer offers an explanation.  When you see a calf, no one thinks of the proverbial "bull in a china factory."  It's just a cute little calf; it doesn't even have horns yet.  As I questioned, were any of the cases Chazal spoke about really be that bad?  The genius of Chazal is that they will able to see that the calf will grow into that bull; they were able to see how what appeared to be minor issues could grow to have major ramifications.  This was the genius, according to Rav Amiel, of the Chasam Sofer.  Each change the reformers of his time tried to implement was in truth a minor deviation, but the Chasam Sofer realized this was the eigel that would become a shor ha'hamazik.

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