Halacha for Monday 10 Adar 5781 February 22 2021

Reading the Megillah- “Zoom”

As a result of the Coronavirus, many people will have to read the Megillah at home alone. We have spoken about this yesterday and now, we shall discuss some more relevant laws.

Hearing Megillah Via Zoom
Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l writes that it is quite clear that sounds heard over a microphone system, and certainly over the phone or internet, are not the human voice of the person talking and is merely a new, electronically-generated sound. That being the case, one who hears the Megillah being read by phone, life stream, “Zoom”, and the like has not fulfilled one’s obligation at all. One should not rely on such a Megillah reading no matter what.

One Who Cannot Procure a Kosher Megillah
If one is in quarantine and cannot procure a kosher Megillah under any circumstances, Hagaon Harav Chaim Palagi zt”l writes in his Sefer Ruach Chaim that one should at least read the Megillah from a printed Chumash or Megillat Esther. It goes without saying that one may not recite a blessing on such a reading since this is not a kosher Megillah. (Chazon Ovadia-Purim, page 98)

Hallel for One Who Does Not Have a Megillah
The Gemara (Megillah 14a) discusses why it is that we do not recite Hallel on Purim as we do on Chanukah. The Gemara explains that, in essence, reading the Megillah on Purim is itself a form of Hallel, for the Megillah discusses all the wonders and miracles Hashem performed for us in those days during this time. The Rambam and other great Rishonim rule likewise.

Based on this, Hagaon Harav Shlomo Kluger zt”l writes in his Responsa Shenot Chaim (Chapter 336, numerical value of “Purim”) that one who does not have a Megillah on Purim should indeed recite Hallel as we do on Chanukah, for such a person has not read from a kosher Megillah as per the enactment of our Sages. Several other Acharonim write similarly. Indeed, this idea can be found on the works of the Meiri (one of the great Rishonim) that one who does not have a kosher Megillah on Purim should recite Hallel. Nevertheless, Maran Ha’Chida writes in his Birkei Yosef (Chapter 693) that since most Poskim did not mention this law, it seems that Hallel is never recited on Purim.

Halachically speaking, Maran zt”l rules that one who does not have a kosher Megillah and is reading out of a printed Megillah should recite the complete Hallel without a blessing. The reason for this is because there is another opinion in the Gemara for why we do not recite Hallel on Purim and it has nothing to do with the reading of the Megillah. Thus, although this individual does not have a kosher Megillah and it would seem like he is obligated to recite the Hallel, it is nevertheless still a doubt, and thus, one should recite the Hallel without a blessing. (ibid. page 97)

Commemoration of the Half-Shekel
During these days, there is a prevalent custom among the Jewish nation to donate money to Tzedakah Yitzchak Yosef Shlit”a has ruled that the appropriate sum to donate is approximately $8 or 26 NIS per person. If one’s financial situation does not allow one to donate as much, one may donate half a dollar or a half Israeli shekel per person, at the very least.

Ask the Rabbi


8 Halachot Most Popular

The Laws of Mentioning “Mashiv Ha’Ruach”

We Begin Reciting “Mashiv Ha’Ruach” “Mashiv Ha’Ruach U’Morid Ha’Geshem” is a praise we recite to Hashem during the winter months within the “Mechayeh Ha’Metim” blessing of the Amidah as is printed in all Siddurim. We begin recitin......

Read Halacha

The Laws of One Who Forgets to Mention “Ve’Ten Tal U’Matar” in the “Blessing of the Years”

In the previous Halacha, we have discussed in a general manner that our Sages enacted that beginning from the Seventh of Marcheshvan (outside of Israel from the Fourth or Fifth of December), one begins reciting “Ve’Ten Tal U’Matar” (a request for dew and rain) in the “B......

Read Halacha

Eating and Washing One’s Self Yom Kippur

Some Laws of Yom Kippur All are obligated to fast on Yom Kippur, including pregnant and nursing women. Any woman whose health is at risk due to the fast should consult a prominent Torah scholar who is well-versed in these laws and he should render his ruling whether or not she must fast. One whose ......

Read Halacha

“The Blessing of the Years”

Beginning from last night, the Seventh of Marcheshvan, we have begun to request rain in the Amida prayer (only in the Land of Israel; the law for those outside of Israel will be discussed further). Let us therefore review some of these pertinent laws. The Enactment of the Sages to Request Rain O......

Read Halacha


When the Sanctity of Shevi’it Will Apply to Fruits and Vegetables and More on “Heter Mechira”

In the previous Halachot we have explained that any produce grown in Jewish-owned fields in the Land of Israel this year (5782) retain the sanctity of Shevi’it. We have likewise discussed the ramifications of this sanctity and the proper way to treat such produce. This sanctity rests even on f......

Read Halacha

The Laws of Shevi’it in a Cooperative Garden

This year (5782) is the Shemitta year. In previous Halachot, we have already explained the basic laws of Shemitta including the fact that one may not plant in or work (in any manner) any land within the Land of Israel unless the work is meant to protect the crops from harm that will befall them if t......

Read Halacha

Sprouting Avocado Pits During Shevi’it and the Blessing on Hydroponic Produce

Question: What is the blessing on vegetables that grow from the water (and not from the ground)? Likewise, is it permissible to plant such hydroponic produce during Shevi’it? Answer: The Blessing on Mushrooms and Truffles The Mishnah in Masechet Berachot (40b) states: “On things whi......

Read Halacha

Forbidden and Permissible Forms of Work During Shevi’it

In this Halacha and the next, we shall discuss the basic laws of tending to a garden during Shevi’it. We shall not discuss all of the details of these laws, for these laws do not apply to those residing outside of Israel. Works Forbidden by Torah Law and Rabbinic Enactment Some works forbi......

Read Halacha