There is a requirement to hear each word of the Megilah. What if someone has very sensitive hearing such that the loud noise of the graggers etc. after hearing Haman causes ringing in his ears and possible hearing deterioration. May this person wear ear plugs during the reading if there is a possibility that he may miss hearing some words while the plugs are in?

For purposes of this question, lets assume that it is too cumbersome to put in the plugs each time the graggers go and take them out when reading the Megillah continues.

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    For one in this situation, it may be easier to arrange for a private megillah reading, or at least a quiet one. The mitzvah of hearing the megillah means hearing every word. – Tatpurusha Feb 26 '15 at 4:09

The Halacha is very clear about this. For example, the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch in סימן קמא - הלכות מגלה says:

הַקוֹרֵא אֶת הַמְּגִלָּה, צָרִיךְ לְכַוֵּן לְהוֹצִיא אֶת כָּל הַשּׁוֹמְעִים. וְגַם הַשּׁוֹמֵעַ צָרִיךְ לְכַוֵּן לָצֵאת וְלִשְׁמֹעַ כָּל תֵּבָה וְתֵבָה, שֶׁאֲפִלּו אִם רַק תֵּבָה אַחַת לֹא שָׁמַע, אֵינוֹ יוֹצֵא. וְלָכֵן צָרִיךְ הַקּוֹרֵא לְהַשְׁגִיחַ מְאֹד, שֶׁבְּשָׁעָה שֶמַּרְעִישִׁין וּמְבַלְבְּלִין בְּהַכָּאַת הָמָן, יִשְׁתֹּק עַד יַעֲבֹר הָרַעַשׁ לְגַמְרֵי. וּמִכָּל מָקוֹם רָאוּי וְנָכוֹן שֶׁיִהְיֶה לְכָל אֶחָד מְגִלָּה כְּשֵׁרָה, כְּדֵי שֶׁיֹּאמַר בְּעַצְמוֹ מִלָּה בְמִלָּה בְּלַחַשׁ, פֶּן לֹא יִשְׁמַע תֵּבָה אַחַת מִן הַקּוֹרֵא. וְכֵן כָּל אִשָּׁה חַכְמַת לֵב שֶׁעוֹמֶדֶת בְּעֶזְרַת נָשִׁים, אִם אֶפְשָׁר, מַה טּוֹב לִהְיוֹת לָהּ מְגִלָּה כְּשֵׁרָה לִקְרוֹת מִתּוֹכָהּ, כִּי שָׁם קָשֶׁה לִשְׁמֹעַ, וְהַנָּשִׁים חַיָבוֹת כְּמוֹ הָאֲנָשִׁים‏

You have to have either heard or said every word.

His suggestion is to follow in a Kosher Megilla so as to catch up the words one may miss.

This is probably easier than taking the earplugs in and out all the time.

If the person has no Kosher Megailla, he may want to share the one the Chazzan is reading from.

  • I guess that I can infer from the above that the Ba'al Kri'ah may wear earplugs. Would you infer this, too? – DanF Feb 26 '15 at 15:35
  • @DanF - yes, I was thinking the same thing. (That said, my experience from wearing earplugs [at weddings and on busses with loud radios] is that one hears conversation better; as it blocks out the background noises.) – Danny Schoemann Mar 1 '15 at 8:43

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