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A Kosher Megillah:
A. Reading each word from the Kosher Megillah:
The reader must [initially] read the entire Megillah [i.e. every word] from a Kosher Megillah. If one read the Megillah from memory he does not fulfill his obligation. Likewise if one read from an invalid Megillah he does not fulfill his obligation. If the Megillah is Kosher and one read part of the Megillah from the scroll and part from memory, then [Bedieved] it is valid. This applies even if one read up to half of the Megillah from memory. [This applies even if one read the first and last verse of the Megillah from memory, or an entire episode from memory, due to him not looking inside. If however majority of the Megillah was read from memory, the reading is invalid even if the Megillah was Kosher.]
B. Missing words:
Initially use a Megillah without words missing: Initially the Megillah used for the reading must be complete and not have any words [or even letters] missing or unreadable.
Bedieved-Missing words: Bedieved [or if no other Megillah is available] a Megillah that contains missing, or unreadable, words remains kosher and the reader is to simply read the missing words from his memory [or from a Chumash]. This applies even if up to half of the Megillah is missing. If however the missing or illegible words exceed half of the Megillah, the Megillah and its subsequent reading is invalid. [This applies whether majority of the words are missing or majority of the letters are missing.] Likewise it may not be missing even a minority of content in the beginning or the end of the Megillah. [Thus if the first or last verse of the Megillah is missing or illegible, the Megillah is invalid. If however only a few words are missing or illegible, it is valid, even if it occurs within the first or last verse of the Megillah.] Likewise it may not be missing an entire episode of the Megillah. [Likewise it may not be missing the names of the sons of Haman.] All the above equally applies to illegible words, that if the words are illegible they are considered as if they are missing. [Likewise if a letter is split, it is considered missing. If any word contains an invalid letter then it is considered as if that word is invalid.] If any of the above conditions are not met the Megillah is invalid.
Reading in the missing words: Even in a case that the Megillah remains Kosher the reader must read the missing words from memory [or from a Chumash] as explained in Halacha 15 and 18.
Lechatchilah one may not read from a Megillah that has any words missing or illegible. Bedieved or in a time of need the following is the law:
The Megillah remains Kosher if all the following conditions are met:
C. May a Megillah be written by a scribe in other languages?
From the letter of the law a Megillah may be written in other languages. However it is disputed whether it must be written in Ashuris [Hebrew scribal script] or it may even be written in that language. Furthermore there are other restrictions involved regarding who can fulfill his obligation with this reading. [See Halacha 28] Practically the custom is to only write the Megillah in Ashuris in Lashon Hakodesh and read it in Lashon Hakodesh.
D. May a Megillah contain a translation?
A Megillah that is written in two languages, such as Hebrew with a translation into a different language, is valid. Nevertheless initially one is not to write a translation in the Megillah.
E. May a Megillah contain Nekudos; Brachos; Taamim?
A Megillah that contains Nekudos is valid. Similarly if the Sofer wrote the blessings and songs in the beginning of the Megillah it is valid. [Nevertheless, initially one is not to write the blessings or Nekudos in the Megillah. However if there is no one who knows how to read the Megillah with the Taamim by memory, then one may even initially write the Taamim in the Megillah.]
May one draw pictures in a Megillah?
Some Poskim rule it is permitted to do so in order to beautify the Megillah. Others rule it is not to be done initially. One may not draw pictures that depict the story of the Megillah.
F. The conditions needed for a Kosher Megillah:
Parchment: The Megillah must be written on parchment which is defined as Gevil or Klaf, just as is the law by a Sefer Torah. The parchment must be tanned.
Black Ink: It must be written with black ink as opposed to colored ink.
Sirtut: It must contain engraved lines just like a Sefer Torah.
Parchment Leshma: It is disputed whether the parchment must be tanned Leshma.
Writting Leshma: The Megillah must be written Leshma. Hence prior to writing one is to say “Lisheim Kedushas Megillah”. If it was not written Leshma it is invalid.
Chok Tachus: A Megillah is invalid if [majority of] the words are Chok Tachus.
Jew: It must be written by a Jew. If written by a gentile or Apikores it is invalid.
Hekef Gvil: Has the same law as a Sefer Torah.
Setumos: All its Parshiyos must be written Setumos. If one did not do so the Megillah is invalid. [Some Poskim rule if even one Parsha is a Pesucha it is invalid. However other Poskim argue that the Megillah is valid even if written Pesuchos. Practically one may rely on this opinion in a time of need.]
Chaseiros and Yiseiros: One must initially be particular about the Chaseiros and Yiseiros of the words of the Megillah. Nevertheless, Bedieved if the Chaseiros/Yiseiros were written inaccurately, it is valid, as it is no worse than if the entire word was actually omitted. [Thus if one does not have another Megillah available it may even initially be used.]
Ten sons of Haman: The portion of the ten sons of Haman must be written like a song which has one word on each end and an empty space in the middle. Each name is to be written at the beginning of the line and the word Vaes at the end of the line. If the ten sons were not written in this form of a song the Megillah is invalid. [There must be a space of nine letters between the first and last word on the line. Some rule it must contain double the amount of space that the letters take up on that line. The last word of that page is Aseres. It is not necessary to start a new page with the word Ish, and hence the ten sons may have other lines of script precede it. However many Poskim rule it is forbidden to have other lines of script follow the ten sons on that page, and if one continued writing further on that page, past the word Aseres, the Megillah is invalid. However other Poskim rule the Megillah remains valid, and some are accustomed to do so even initially. Practically the widespread custom is to write the ten sons on a separate page starting with the word Ish and ending with the word Aseres, without any verses preceding it or following it. Due to this the ten sons of Haman are written in large script in order to fill up the page. However the Chabad custom, based on the Megillah of the Rebbe Maharash, is to write the ten sons of Haman in regular script size, starting with the word Ish from the top of the page, and to continue writing words on the page after the ten sons.]
Elongating the Vav of Vayzasa: One must elongate the Vav of Vaysasa. Some explain this to mean that one must elongate the writing of the Vav. [Some explain this to mean that when writing the letter Vav one is to cut off the top of the Vav and make it bend downwards, hence implying that all the sons were hung the same day. Others hold it means that the Vav is to be written as a large letter [Osiyos Gedolos]. Practically the custom today is to write the Vav as a large letter.] Bedieved, if one did not enlarge the Vav of Vaysasa the Megillah nevertheless remains Kosher.
Amount of lines on each page: Some Poskim rule that each page is to contain 42 lines. Others write it is to contain 48 lines. Others write it is to contain 22 lines. Others write it is best to contain 11 lines. Practically it is not necessary to be particular in this matter.
Hamelech: Some have the custom to begin each page of the Megillah with the word Hamelech. This custom was not followed in the Megillah written by the Rebbe Maharash.
Must one wash his hands prior to touching a Megillah?
Some Poskim rule that one may not touch the parchment of a Kosher Megillah unless one washes his hands prior to doing so, or holds onto it using a cloth. Others however rule that there is no prohibition in touching the parchment. Practically the widespread custom is not to be stringent and people hence touch and hold the Megillah directly without washing hands. Nevertheless it is proper for every person to be stringent upon himself and avoid touching the parchment of a Kosher Megillah anytime, unless he washes his hands beforehand, or holds onto it using a cloth.
Must one re-wash his hands in middle of a meal if he touched a Kosher Megillah?
Some Poskim rule that if one touched the parchment of a Kosher Megillah during a meal of bread, then he must re-wash his hands. Others however rule it is not necessary. Practically it is proper to be stringent in this matter to avoid touching the parchment of a Megillah during a meal.
Must one fast if a Kosher Megillah fell on the floor?
May a woman write a Megillah?
Some Poskim rule a woman is valid to write a Megillah, and one may thus even initially read the Megillah from a Megillah written by a woman. Other Poskim rule a woman is invalid to write a Megillah. [Practically, one is not to initially use a Megillah written by a woman to fulfill the Mitzvah of Megillah reading, although in a time of need one may read from it without a blessing. Even in such a case, if another Megillah written by a man later becomes available, one is to read from it without a blessing.]
May a child below Bar Mitzvah write a Megillah?
Some Poskim rule a child is valid to write a Megillah. Other Poskim rule a child is invalid to write a Megillah. [Practically, one is not to initially use a Megillah written by a child to fulfill the Mitzvah of Megillah reading, although in a time of need one may read from it without a blessing. Even in such a case, if another Megillah written by a man later becomes available, one is to read from it without a blessing.]
Hashem’s name is not explicitly written in the Megillah. The reason for this is because the Megillah was originally also written in Persian, by the Empire of Achashveirosh, and the Sages did not desire the Persians to exchange G-d’s name in their translation, for the name of their deity and it was hence omitted all together. Nevertheless Hashem’s name is hinted to in seven different areas. In seven areas of the Megillah there are a set of four words in which the first letter of each word combined spells out the name Yud Kei Vav Kei.
The small letters of “Taf” “Shin” “Zayin”
It is customary to write in a smaller script three letters that are found within the names of the ten sons of Haman. These letters are: A small Taf in “Parshandasa”. A small Shin in “Parmashta” and a small Zayin in “Vayzasa”. It is unclear as to what the source is for writing these letters in small, although so has been done in Megillahs of many generations prior, including the Megillah of the Rebbe Maharash. The earliest dated source which relates to this custom can be found in the Hagahos Maimanis, which brings in the name of Maharam of Rothenberg, to write a small “Shin” “Taf” “Zayin”.
Nuremburg trials 1946:
An interesting fact to make note of in relation to the mysterious small letters is with regards to the famed execution of the ten Nazi leaders in October 16, 1946. All ten Nazis were hung on the same day in play of the Purim story which had all ten sons of Haman killed and then hung simultaneously. Interestingly the Nazi named Julius Streicher [ימ”ש] actually stated the following puzzling statement prior to being hung that day “Purim-Fest 1946”. Until today the meaning and intent of these words said by this Nazi leader remain a mystery. What does remain a fact though is that the three letters that are mysteriously written in small within the names of the ten sons of Haman that were hung spell out the year of the hanging of these ten Nazis. The year Taf Shin Zayin תש”ז was the Hebrew year of October 1946.
 690/3 and 690/7
As for the reason the Michaber repeats this Halacha in 690/7 some [M”B 690/24] say it is because he is quoting the ruling of the Rambam. Others [M”A 690/8] explain it is coming to include that even the listener does not fulfill his obligation if he heard it by heart. Others explain that it teaches that if one read from a Hebrew Megillah in a different language he does not fulfill his obligation. [Olas Shabbos 690/5] See Kaf Hachaim 690/43; M”B ibid
 Michaber ibid
 M”B 690/6; Kaf Hachaim 690/13; See Michaber 691/10
A Megillah with an invalidation? Some Poskim rule that a Pasul Megillah is valid in a time of need. [see Rama 143/4; M”A 691/10; Bach] Thus if a valid Megillah is not available but one has a Pasul Megillah, such as a Megillah written on parchment, and is sewed, and rolls like a Sefer Torah but has some invalidation, then one is to read from it without a blessing. [M”A ibid based on Michaber ibid]
A Chumash: One does not fulfill his obligation through reading from a Chumash. [M”A ibid] However some Poskim [Mateh Yehuda brought in Kaf Hachaim 691/35] rule that in a time of need one fulfills his obligation even through reading from a Chumash. Practically although we rule a printed Megillah is invalid even in a time of need [Beis Oved 691/23] nevertheless one is to read from a Chumash if nothing else is available. [Beis Oved ibid; Mamar Mordechai 691/5; Kaf Hachaim 691/35; P”M 691 A”A 10; M”B 691/27] See Halacha 18!
 Such as he did not look inside during this part of the reading, or the words were missing from the Megillah in a way the Megillah still remains Kosher.
 Kaf Hachaim 690/36; So is implied from Michaber ibid
 Michaber ibid regarding if the Megillah is missing more than half of the words; Vetzaruch Iyun if this ruling applies even if one read from a Kosher Megillah that is not missing majority of words, but one did not look inside and read more than half from memory, or only if the Megillah itself was missing more than half of the words. This scenario I have not found mentioned in Poskim. As for the ruling of the Michaber ibid, that is referring to a Megillah that is missing the words and not to a fully Kosher Megillah which one read majority by heart due to his failure to look inside. Vetzaruch Iyun! However from Biur Halacha 690 “Davka” it is implied that if majority was read by heart the reading is invalid even if the Megillah was Kosher, and so seems to be the obvious ruling from Poskim.
 Biur Halacha in next footnote
 Mateh Yehuda; Beis Oved 690/5; Kaf Hachaim 690/21; Biur Halacha 690 “Davka”; Piskeiy Teshuvos 689/78 If however the first or last verse was missing from the Megillah, then the Megillah is invalid as will be explained next.
Other Opinions: The Bigdei Yesha rules if one read the first or last verse from memory, or an entire episode from memory, the reading is invalid. The Biur Halacha ibid negates his opinion.
 See previous footnotes!
 Chayeh Adam 155/16; Kaf Hachaim 690/14
 M”B 690/8; Kaf Hachaim 690/15
 Michaber ibid
The reason: As a Megillah that is missing more than half of the words is considered an incomplete Sefer. If however a verse is missing from the middle of the Megillah then it is valid, as it is merely considered a complete book with some mistakes, and by a Megillah we are not particular about mistakes. If however the mistakes exceed half of the Megillah then it is invalid as the Megillah must be defined as an Igeres. [M”B 690/10 based on Rashba and Ran] The reason for why by a Megillah we are unconcerned about minority mistakes, in contrast to a Sefer Torah, is because the Megillah is also called an Igeres. [Levush brought in Kaf Hachaim 690/19]
If exactly half is missing: It requires further analysis in whether a Megillah that is missing exactly 50% of the Megillah is valid. [M”B 690/9; See Shaar Hatziyon 8 for a dispute in Rishonim on this matter] The simple implication of the Michaber is that if exactly half is missing, it is valid, and so rules the Rashba; Ran; Meiri; and Tur. However the Rambam; Raavad; Orchos Chaim; and Reah hold it is invalid. [Erech Hashulchan 690/3; Birkeiy Yosef 690/5] Practically one is to be stringent. [Kaf Hachaim 690/18]
 Mahriy Malko 35 brought in Birkeiy Yosef 690/6; Beis Oved 690/3; Kaf Hachaim 690/24
 Rama ibid; based on Rashba and Ran; see Biur Halacha “Aval” 690
The reason: As in such a case the Megillah looks like it is incomplete. [Mateh Yehuda; Kaf Hachaim 690/21]
Other Opinions: The Rosh is completely lenient regarding a Megillah that is missing a full episode or the first and last verse, and only invalidates the Megillah if it is missing majority of the words. So rules also Bach. [Biur Halacha “Aval” 690]
 Mateh Yehuda; M”B 690/11; Kaf Hachaim 690/20; Regarding if the words of the first or last verses were written in an invalid way-see Piskeiy Teshuvos 691/2
 Shaar Hatziyon 690/10; Kaf Hachaim ibid
 Rama ibid based on Orchos Chaim and so rules: Mateh Yehuda; Beis Oved 690/4; Chayeh Adam 155/16; Kaf Hachaim 690/22
The reason: As in such a case the Megillah looks like it is incomplete. [M”B 690/12]
Other Poskim: The Rosh and Peri Chadash rule that even if the Megillah is missing an entire episode of the story it is valid. [brought in Kaf Hachaim 690/22; See Biur Halacha “Aval” 690 regarding the opinion of the Rashba nad Ran in this matter]
 Eshkol; Pischeiy Olam 690/6; Kaf Hachaim 690/22
 Michaber ibid
 Chayeh Adam 155/16; Biur Halacha 690 “Metushtashos”; Kaf Hachaim 690/26
 Biur Halacha “Aval” 690
 See Halacha 28 and the footnotes there for the full details of this subject!
 Levush 690/11; Shulchan Gavoa 690/23; Kaf Hachaim 690/55-56; M”B 690/32
 Rama 690/10
 M”B 690/36
Other Opinions: Some Poskim rule that based on many Rishonim, a Megillah with Nekudos or Brachos is invalid. Therefore, one is to avoid using such a Megillah. [Shulchan Gavoa 691/29; Kol Yaakov 691/33]
 M”A 691/9; Shulchan Gavoa 691/28; Keses Hasofer 28/8; Beis Oved 691/22; M”B 691/26; Kol Yaakov 691/33
 M”A 691/10; M”B 691/25; Kol Yaakov 691/34; Thus if a Baal Korei needs a reminder by certain words he may write in the Nekudos for those words. [Vayivarech David 1/83] Similarly in a place that the word is read differently than the way it is written, if one needs, he may write in the different word. [See Sheivet Sofer 27 that the Chasam Sofer wrote both Nusschaos of Bifneihem and Lifneihem] Similarly one may write the Kabalistic Kavanas on the side of the Megillah in order to remind him of the intents. [Piskeiy Teshuvos 691/10]
 Zera Emes 1/100
 Elya Raba 691/7
 Mishnas Hasofer 28 brought in Piskeiy Teshuvos 691/10
 Michaber 691/1
 Michaber 691/2; See below for a dispute if it must be tanned Leshma. According to all it must be written on the skin of a Kosher animal. [Dovev Meisharim 1/40]
 Michaber 691/1
 Michaber 691/1
 The Michaber ibid records two opinions.
 Kol Yaakov 691/12; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 691/4 for details of this law.
 See Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid that initially one must say “Lesheim Kedushas Megillas Esther”
 M”A 691/1; Peri Chadash 691; M”B 691/6; See Admur 32/22;23;25;28 regarding the definition of Chok Tachus.
 Peri Chadash ibid; P”M 691 A”A 1
Other Opinions: Some rule that if even one word was written Chak Tachus it is invalid. [Opinions brought in Kol Yaakov 691/9]
 691/2; Regarding if it may be written by a woman or child-see Shaareiy Teshuvah 691/3; Keses Hasofer 28/3; Piskeiy Teshuvos 691/6 that there are Poskim that invalidate the Megillah if it was written by a woman and certainly if it was written by a child.
 Rama 691/2
Vatosef Esther: See Otzer Minhagei Chabad 12 regarding different dialects in whether the verse beginning Vatosef Esther is to begin a new Parsha or it is a continuation.
 The reason: As the Megillah is called a letter and hence must be written with all its paragraphs Setumos. [M”B 691/12]
 Shaareiy Efraim 6/53
 Moshe of Mintz brought in M”A 691/5
 M”A 691/5; M”B 691/13; Poskim brought in Kol Yaakov 691/11
 Rama 691/2; See Piskeiy Teshuvos 691/5 for details of this law.
The Nusschaos of Chaseiros-Megillah of the Rebbe Mahrash: Different opinions exist as to which words are to be Chaseiros and which words are to be Yiseiros. For example the word “Mishloach” is written in some Megillos without a Vav and in some Megillos with a Vav. In fact the Rebbe Maharash wrote two Megillos, each with a different Nussach of this word. [See Otzer Minhagei Chabad 120 and 122]
 M”B 691/14
 Michaber ibid
Writing the names in the same margin: The custom is to write all the names in the same margin, not allowing any name to extend further than another name on the page. Thus the long names must be written narrower while the large names must be written wider. The same applies for the ending word Vies, that each Vies is to follow the same margin. This margin applies for each side of the two words on each line for a total of four sides. [Beis Yosef based on Yerushalmi; Bach] If one did not do so and there are words that extend out of the margin, some Poskim invalidate the Megillah. [Beis Shlomo 2/124; 131] Practically however we do not rule like this opinion and the Megillah remains valid, and so was even initially accustomed in many Megillahs of G-d fearing Jews. Thus one must conclude that the above is only required as a Midas Chassidus. [Minchas Yitzchak 7/49] See Otzer Minhagei Chabad 116 that the Megillah of the Rebbe Maharash was written with exact margin on each side of the words with exception to the name Parshandasa.
 Michaber 691/4; See Kol Yaakov 691/23 in name of Shulchan Gavoa 691/19 that if one wrote Vies at the beginning and the name at the end it is also valid.
 Michaber ibid
 M”B 691/17; Kol Yaakov 691/21; Ashel Avraham Butchach 691; See Or Letziyon 1/47 that it suffices to contain the space of 9 Yuds. The above space follows the size of the letters written in that particular Megillah. [Ashel Avraham Butchach] If Bedieved one did not leave the space of nine letters some Poskim rule it is nevertheless valid. [Sheivet Hasofer 27; Daas Sofer 126] However there are Poskim that invalidate the Megillah. [See Ashel Avraham ibid]
 M”B 691/17; Kol Yaakov 691/21; See Minchas Yitzchak 3/55 that this refers to double the amount of one word and not both words [the name of the son and the word Vies] and that this is just a Hiddur and is not required from the letter of the law. [ibid]
 Beis Yosef brought in M”B 691/20
 Biur Hagr”a; Chasam Sofer 189-190 brought in Shaar Hatziyon 691/16. The Biur Hagr”a says that it is better to write it as a continuation in order so one does not need to enlargen the script of the ten sons and hence divert from the custom of only writing the large letters that come from Mesora.
 Kneses Hagedola brought in Peri Chadash brought in M”B 691/20; Kol Yaakov 691/25.
 Ginas Veradim brought in Beir Heiytiv; M”B 691/20; Kol Yaakov 691/25; Sheivet Sofer 27 writes the Chasam Sofer wrote the names of the sons in middle of the page and wrote beforehand and afterwards. The Megillah of the Rebbe Maharash contains many sentences written after the ten sons on the same page. [Sefer Haminhagim [English] p. 170; See Otzer Minhagei Chabad 114]
 Shaar Hatziyon ibid in name of Nishmas Adam on Chayeh Adam 154; Shaar Efraim; In the Megillah of the Rebbe Maharash the first word on the page began with the word Ish; The Shaar Hatziyon ibid concludes that although initially one is not to swerve from the custom, nevertheless Bedieved the Megillah is valid even if lines of script preceded the word Ish on that page, as so holds the Gr”a even initially, and so holds the Chasam Sofer ibid
 Shaar Hatziyon ibid in name of Poskim ibid; Some are accustomed due to the above mentioned problem in making the words large, to write only 11 lines on each page, hence allowing them to write the ten sons on a separate page in regular script. [See Piskeiy Teshuvos 691 footnote 44] Those that do not do so must be careful to not leave too much space between each line, as doing so is considered the next name a new Parsha which can invalidate the Megillah. Nevertheless if one did so the Megillah remains valid. [Sheivet Halevi 4/136; Chida and other Poskim mentioned in Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid footnote 48-49, however there are Rabbanim that invalidate the Megillah in such a case.]
 Sefer Haminhagim [English] p. 170; See Otzer Minhagei Chabad 113-115; See there that so also wrote the Rebbe Rashab.
The Gemara Megillah 16b states that the Vav of Vaysasa is to be elongated. There is a dispute amongst Rishonim as to the meaning of this statement. Some say it means that when writing this letter one is to cut off the top of the Vav and make it bend downwards, hence implying that all the sons were hung the same day. [Ran and Riah] Others hold it means that the Vav is to be written as a large letter [Osiyos Gedolos]. [Rosh] Others hold it means one is to stretch out the letter when reading from the Megillah. [Opinion brought in Rosh and Ran]. The Rama here records the first and last opinion as possible explanations. See Beis Yosef 691; Kol Yaakov 691/22
 Michaber ibid
 Rama ibid in name of Ran; Riah; Rosh
Other Opinions: Some rule one must elongate the reading of the Vav. [Rama ibid; See background]
 Ran and Riah brought in M”B 691/18
 Beis Oved 691/12; Levushei Serud 691; P”M 691 M”Z 3; Shaar Hatziyon 691/14; Chida on Miseches Sofrim; Kol Yaakov 691/22
 M”A 691/7; Elya Raba 691/9; Beis Oved 691/12; M”B 691/20; Shaar Hatziyon 691/20
Other Opinions: There are Poskim that invalidate the Megillah if the Vav was not written properly. [Peri Megadim 691 A”A 7]
 Meseches Sofrim; The Megillah of the Rebbe Maharash contains 42 lines. [Otzer Minhagei Chabad 118]
 Sefer Hateruma, just like a Sefer Torah
 This is done in order to allow one to write the ten sons of Haman on a separate page in a regular script and have it take up the entire page. [See Piskeiy Teshuvos 691 footnote 44]
 Lishkas Hasofer 28/4 brought in Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid
 See Kol Yaakov 691/28
 Sefer Haminhagim p. 170; However there is a second Megillah which is acclaimed to have been written by the Rebbe Maharash in which each page begins with Hamelech. [Oatzer Minhagei Chabad 122]
 For a general discussion: See Shaareiy Teshuvah 691/4; Kaf Hachaim 147/5; Piskeiy Teshuvos 691/7
 Rama 147/1 [stringency]; M”A 147/1 [forbidden]; Haeshkol Hilchos Talmud Torah 12; Mor Uketzia 691; Sheilas Yavetz [forbidden, brought in Machazik Bracha 691/3]; Elya Raba 147/1 [stringency] brought in Shaareiy Teshuvah 691/4
The Michaber 147/1 rules that it is forbidden to directly touch a Sefer Torah without a cloth. The Rama brings an opinion [Aguda and Tosafos] that extends this prohibition to all Kisvei Kodesh. The Rama concludes that the custom is unlike this opinion, although it is proper to be stringent if one did not wash his hands. The M”A ibid explains that in truth the reason that we are not accustomed to be stringent is because this prohibition only applies to Kisvei Kodesh that is written with ink on parchment and since our books are not written in this method it is thus permitted to touch them directly. The conclusion of the Rama that it is proper to be stringent is thus superfluous. However a Kosher Megillah which is written with ink on parchment retains the above restriction from the letter of the law and not just as a stringency. [M”A ibid] The Elya Raba ibid however concludes that the ruling of the Rama “it is proper to be stringent” is actually referring to a Kosher Megillah, and it is hence not required to be stringent from the letter of the law as rules the M”A.
 To note that this allowance of washing the hands beforehand only applies to a Megillah and not to a Sefer Torah. [See Kaf Hachaim 147/2-3]
 Radbaz 2/771; Shvus Yaakov 11; Panim Meiros 1/76; Shaareiy Teshuvah 691/4; Shev Yeak 11;
 Radbaz 2/771 [“we have never seen anyone stringent in this”]; Panim Meiros 1/76; Shaareiy Teshuvah 691/4
 Shaareiy Teshuvah ibid; Keses Hasofer 19; M”B 147/4; Kaf Hachaim 147/7; Hagahos Chasam Sofer that his teacher Reb Nassan Adler was careful not to touch it directly and so was the custom of the Chasam Sofer himself.
 Chayeh Adam 40/20
 The reason: As the Sages decreed that the hands become impure when they touch Kisveiy Kodesh. [ibid]
 Biur Halacha 165 “Lachzor” as only by Teruma was this decree made.
 Biur Halacha ibid
 Efrakasta Deanya 24; Piskeiy Teshuvos 691/3
 See Shaareiy Teshuvah 690/1; Kol Yaakov 690/6; See Admur 39/1 regarding Tefillin
 Peri Chadash 690/3; Mateh Yehuda 690/2; Machazik Bracha 690/2; Beis Oveid 6
 The reason: As women are obligated in the Mitzvah of Kerias Megillah and there is thus no reason to invalidate them from writing it. [Beis Oved ibid]
 Maaseh Rokeiach on Rambam Megillah 1; Mileches Shamayim 24/3
 See Shaareiy Teshuvah and Kol Yaakov ibid
 Shaareiy Teshuvah and Kol Yaakov ibid
 See Shaareiy Teshuvah 690/1; Kol Yaakov 690/6
 Peri Chadash 690/3; Mateh Yehuda 690/2; Machazik Bracha 690/2
 The reason: As a child is Rabbinically obligated in the Mitzvah of Kerias Megillah and there is thus no reason to invalidate them from writing it. [Beis Oved ibid]
 Maaseh Rokeiach on Rambam Megillah 1; Mileches Shamayim 24/3
 Beis Oved 6, brought in Kol Yaakov ibid
 Shaareiy Teshuvah and Kol Yaakov ibid
 Admur 334/12; Taz 334/11 in name of Mordechai; Even Ezra in his commentary on Megillah; See also Kedushas Levi.
 See Elya Raba 690/19; Siddur Yaavetz; Piskeiy Teshuvos 690/6
 I have not found it mentioned in any of the classical Sefarim that brings the letters of Mesores that are written big and small. This is in contrast to that these Sefarim mention writing other letters in small. Machzor Vitri [1100’s student of Rashi] p. 213 writes that the Zayin of Vayzasa and the Taf of Vetichtov Esther is to be written in small. See also Kol Yaakov 690/27 which does not make mention of this custom.
 It however has not been done in all previous Megillah’s, as is evident from the Poskim brought in previous footnote and other documented Megillah’s written. See Kapach edition of Tanach which only writes the Taf and Shin in small.
 Hilchos Megillah Chapter 2 Oas Ayin
 Meaning he says to first write the letter Shin of Parshandasa in small and then the Taf in small. This is unlike our custom today to write only the Taf in small while the shin is written in small in the name Parmashta.
 The Nuremberg trials were trials held by the four major allies [Britain, America, Russia; France] in the city of Nuremberg, Germany against the Nazi war criminals. It began on the 20th of November, 1945. The verdict was read on the 1st of October 1946. The trial took place against the 24 most leading Nazi political and Army personnel. All the other Nazi war criminals of lower stature were judged in subsequent trials of lower courts. Thus this trial represented the epitome of the judgment of the world against the Nazi regime. Twelve Nazi members from the 24 were found guilty of death by hanging. One however was killed prior to the trial and was hence judged in absentee while Herman Goring committed suicide the night before his execution. Hence in total there remained ten Nazi leaders that awaited hanging in the final verdict of the world’s trial against the Nazi regime. The hanging took place on October 16, 1946, which was the 21st of Tishrei, otherwise known as Hoshanah Raba.
 Streicher was hanged in the early hours of 16 October 1946. Streicher’s was the most melodramatic of the hangings carried out that night. Joseph Kingsbury-Smith, who was the lone American press representative at the executions, wrote a news report on the executions which was later published in every major newspaper. The following is an excerpt from his report: Julius Streicher made his melodramatic appearance at 2:12 a.m. While his manacles were being removed and his bare hands bound, this ugly, dwarfish little man, wearing a threadbare suit and a well-worn bluish shirt buttoned to the neck but without a tie (he was notorious during his days of power for his flashy dress), glanced at the three wooden scaffolds rising menacingly in front of him. Then he glanced around the room, his eyes resting momentarily upon the small group of witnesses. By this time, his hands were tied securely behind his back. Two guards, one on each arm, directed him to Number One gallows on the left of the entrance. He walked steadily the six feet to the first wooden step but his face was twitching. As the guards stopped him at the bottom of the steps for identification formality he uttered his piercing scream: ‘Heil Hitler!’ The shriek sent a shiver down my back. As its echo died away an American colonel standing by the steps said sharply, ‘Ask the man his name.’ In response to the interpreter’s query Streicher shouted, ‘You know my name well.’ The interpreter repeated his request and the condemned man yelled, ‘Julius Streicher.’ As he reached the platform, Streicher cried out, ‘Now it goes to God.’ He was pushed the last two steps to the mortal spot beneath the hangman’s rope. The rope was being held back against a wooden rail by the hangman. Streicher was swung suddenly to face the witnesses and glared at them. Suddenly he screamed, ‘Purim Fest 1946.’ [Purim is a Jewish holiday celebrated in the spring, commemorating the execution of Haman, ancient persecutor of the Jews described in the Testament.] The American officer standing at the scaffold said, ‘Ask the man if he has any last words.’ When the interpreter had translated, Streicher shouted, ‘The Bolsheviks will hang you one day.’ When the black hood was raised over his head, Streicher’s muffled voice could be heard to say, ‘Adele, my dear wife.’
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