I've been hearing multiple opinions as to what someone in quarantine for Coronavirus should do for Megillas Esther.

The RCA quotes Rav Hershel Schachter as saying:

“In a situation in which it is impossible to have an in person mikra megillah due to pikuach nefesh considerations caused by coronavirus, it is permissible to hear mikra megillah via a live phone call or video. We follow the rule that sha’as had-chak ke-di’eved dami; in a sha’as had-chak we allow le-chatchila what is usually only accepted bidi’eved. The beracha of ha-rav es rivainu however should not be made unless there is a minyan present where the megillah is actually being read.”

On the other hand, the Chief Rabbi, Rabbi David Lau said that there is no value having people hear the Megillah digitally.

Rabbi Lau stressed that it is not possible to keep the commandment of hearing the Megillah by listening to the live Megillah reading on a cell phone, on radio, or on television, because the mitzvah is to hear the voice of the person reading the scroll. He explained that “when it comes to telephone or radio and television broadcasts, the sound is converted into an electrical signal and then transformed back into a sound, and since this is not the original voice, one would not keep the mitzvah.”

Does anyone have any more sources that discuss this (preferably ones that explain the background and don't just give a ruling)? Are there any other possibilities that one can do that might be a better option?

  • You already have the options. Read it yourself, possibly permit over the phone, and if you can't then you're stuck and God will forgive you (oneis rachmana patrei). Anyone in the situation should ask their rabbi for a ruling. What else could we provide? Psak??
    – Double AA
    Mar 6, 2020 at 4:24
  • If you want background for the issue of microphone/skype megillah reading issue, we have that elsewhere.
    – Double AA
    Mar 6, 2020 at 4:56
  • I also want to know if there are other better options.
    – Eliyahu
    Mar 6, 2020 at 5:06
  • If you ask two separate questions in one post (already not a great idea) and one is a duplicate, we have to close the whole post as a duplicate to prevent redundant work. If you edit out the duplicate question somehow, the remaining question can be opened. That's generally site policy, and is pretty fair IMO.
    – Double AA
    Mar 6, 2020 at 5:26
  • koltorah.org/halachah/…
    – Loewian
    Mar 6, 2020 at 6:15

1 Answer 1


Obviously one should ask their personal Rabbi in this situation. However, one piece of practical advice: If you can get your hands on a kosher Esther scroll, you can play a recording slowly and read along, which certainly is a better option.

  • בשיחה עם מקורבו העסקן יוסי רפאלי אמר הרב עדס: "אני שומע שהולך ומחריף נגיף הקורונה וכל מי שיש בו חשש של הידבקות בנגיף נכנס לבידוד - איפה כתוב בידוד בתורה? בפרשת תזריע פרק יג' פסוקים מה' ומו', "והצרוע אשר בו הנגע וכו' בדד ישב מחוץ למחנה מושבו" "'צרוע' זה בגימטריה קורונה עם הכולל. הגמרא אומרת על מה בא צרעת, על שבעה דברים: גזל, גילוי עריות, גסות הרוח, לשון הרע, צרות העין, שבועת שווא ושפיכות דמים"
    – interested
    Mar 9, 2020 at 15:32

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