Megillah, Chapter Two, Mishnah Two

 

Introduction

The first part of this mishnah deals with having proper intention while reading the Megillah.  The second part deals with the physical material with which the Megillah is written. 

 

Mishnah Two

1)      If one reads it with breaks, or naps [in between readings], he has fulfilled his obligation.

2)      If he was copying it, explaining it or correcting [a scroll of Esther], if he directed his heart, he has fulfilled his obligation, but if not, he has not fulfilled his obligation.

3)      If it was written with arsenic, with red chalk, with gum or with sulfate of copper, or on paper or on scratch paper, he has not fulfilled his obligation, unless it is written in Assyrian on parchment and in ink.

 

Explanation

Section one:  In yesterday’s mishnah we learned that one must read the Megillah in its proper order.  Our mishnah teaches that it need not be read without breaks. One may read some of the Megillah, stop for a while, and then continue on and thereby fulfill one’s obligation. Similarly, one may read, take a nap and then continue where one has left off [no, this is not permission to sleep in shul]. 

Section two: When one reads the Megillah, or hears it being read, he must have in mind that he is fulfilling the religious obligation to hear the Megillah on Purim.  The mishnah describes other activities in which a person might be engaged that count as reading the Megillah only if he has the proper intent.  A person who was copying a scroll, explaining it or correcting it and did not remember that it was Purim has not fulfilled his obligation.  While doing any of these activities he must have the intention of fulfilling his obligation.  Assumedly, he must also read it out loud.

Section three:  One cannot write a Megillah with these types of dyes or on these types of paper because it is not permanent.  In order for the Megillah to be valid for a religious occasion, it must be written in Hebrew, on parchment (made from animal skins) and with permanent ink. 

 

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