May one hear Megillah prior to Davening Shacharis?

  1. Question: [Tuesday, 14th Adar 5783]

I walked in late for Shacharis. May I hear Megillah reading first and Daven later, or must I wait for the next Minyan?



Your choice. According to Halacha, in such a case you should hear Megillah first. According to Kabbalah, you are to always Daven first.

Explanation: Initially one is to hear Megillah after Davening Shacharis, as was the institution of the Sages. If, however, one entered into Shul and the Minyan has reached the Megillah reading, one should first hear the Megillah with the congregation and then Daven, even if he is able to read the Megillah on his own after Davening. This applies even if the 4th hour of the day will pass by the time the reading is finished, and he will hence have to Daven past Zman Tefila. Nevertheless, he must say Shema within its proper time prior to the reading. The above is the ruling based on the legal aspects of Torah, however based on Kabalah one is to always Daven before hearing the Megillah, even if this will cause him to read or hear the Megillah later on without a Minyan. If, however, he will not be able to hear Megillah later on than obviously he must hear Megillah before Davening.

Sources: Shaar Hakavanos p. 109; Nehar Shalom; Kaf Hachaim 687:18

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