Wednesday, February 26, 2014

all seforim will be bateil except Megillah Esther

Yesterday I posted the Kotzker’s hesber that the Torah speaks at such length about the Mishkan because the cheit ha’eigel distanced Klal Yisrael from G-d.  When people are close, a word, a small gesture, suffices to convey what they mean; when people are distant, it is much harder to communicate.

 Maybe this same idea is what the Rambam (Megillah 2:18) brings based on the Yerushalmi:
כל ספרי הנביאים וכל הכתובים, עתידין ליבטל לימות המשיח, חוץ ממגילת אסתר--הרי היא קיימת כחמישה חומשי תורה, וכהלכות של תורה שבעל פה, שאינן בטילין, לעולם. 

After the final redemption we will no longer need all the kisvei kodesh we have now.  Once we have a close relationship with G-d, we will no longer books and books to communicate (similar to the gemara Nedarim 22 that had we not sinned with the eigel, Chumash and Sefer Yehoshua would be the only seforim we have). 

It’s interesting that Megillas Esther will still be with us.  Of all the seforim in Tanach, Megillah stands out for it’s not once mentioning G-d’s name.  There is also no overt miracle mentioned in the Megillah; there is nothing in the story that stands out and announces itself as G-d’s handiwork.  I think this also fits with the same yesod of the Kotzker.  When you are so close to someone, less needs to be said.  G-d doesn’t need to put his name in the Megillah; G-d doesn’t need to jump out of the story and announce himself to us.  We know he is there anyway. 

The Ra’avad disagrees with the Rambam and writes that every sefer has a limud, a lesson, to teach us, and therefore they will all  always be with us.  I never fully grasped the focal point of the machlokes here.  The Rambam cannot mean that the limudim of Tanach will disappear – Torah is eternal.  What he must mean is that these teachings will be understood from Chumash alone or they will be incorporated in torah sheba’al peh.  It’s the din sefer that will be bateil.  What is the Ra’avad argument?  What does the eternal message of the limud have to do with the canonization of a book as part of kitvei kodesh? 

Rav Zolti has a different analysis here, in which he reads the Ra’avad like I just explained the Rambam.  There is a discussion in the Kuntres Chanukah u’Purim as well with a few possible hesbeirim.


  1. The reason megilas ester alone could be because the episode there was a second kabalas hatorah. And as we know kabalas hatorah was considered our chupa with hashem and the torah was our kesuba. So since purim was our second kabalas hatorah so its a second chupa which needs a second kesuba. So maybe That's why for the rambam only ester will be saved, still difficult for the raavad though.

    1. Derushy, but I hear what you are saying.

  2. I would suggest the opposite, that according to the Rambam, the sefarim may be in print, but with no limudim,  like Gemara Nedarim that you quoted, whereas Raavad holds that all of Torah is nitzchi. Agav, is Rambam based on Medrash Mishlei that all Yomim Tovim will be bateil except for Purim?

    1. I don't understand -- what do you mean the Torah is nitzchi? If there is a limud that is not present elsewhere, then even the Rambam should be maskim that you need the sefer. If the limud is present elsewhere, then I don't understand how you read the words of the Ra'avad that every sefer has a limud.
      The Midrash Mishlei is another makor.