Occasionally people hold additional megillah readings in someone's home on Purim.

Assuming there's no prayers other than the megillah reading and its associated brachas, must/should there be a mechitza between the men and women for the reading? If not, should they still sit in separate places, or does it not matter?


According to Rav Moshe Feinstein no mehitzah is required for even davening (as long as the men and women are separated) in a gathering that is not open to the public.

In the case of Megillah reading it will depend on whether it is a family affair or it is open to the public.

(If anyone has a problem with the volume that I quoted from, it fits with what Rav Moshe writes in his other volumes. It is just more concise and to the point.)

  • Hm. So if I'm reading Rav Moshe correctly: for davening at a private event, no mechitza is required but they should sit separately, "for better concentration." As far as mixed seating at a parsha class, "it is discouraged, but I'm not getting into that now." So R' Moshe would recommend separate (non-mechitza) seating for megilla reading, no worse than a parsha class. Would he absolutely require it?
    – Shalom
    Feb 15 '11 at 16:50
  • 1
    Shalom, it is possible that he would require a mehitzah anyway since there is an inyan of tzibbur being a ma'aleh for it. I would ask a she'ailah on this one.
    – Yahu
    Feb 15 '11 at 19:25
  • 1
    Two questions, actually. A.) As you're indicating, is Megillah reading more analogous to davening at a shiva house, or attending a parsha class? B.) In the davening case, R' Moshe didn't indicate whether completely-mixed seating would be a deal-breaker if the women insisted on sitting in the middle of the men. I don't know how he'd hold there. But this is great background, thanks!
    – Shalom
    Feb 15 '11 at 20:55
  • Shalom, those are precisely the reasons why I wrote that a she'ailah should be asked on this one. I was only raising the possibility le'humrah, but that would not be an hora'ah, would it?:-)
    – Yahu
    Feb 16 '11 at 4:58

If it is all close family members then sitting separate should suffice.

  • Source, please? Or is the "should" meant to indicate that this is a guess?
    – msh210
    Feb 14 '11 at 20:40
  • Korban Pesach in the Bais HaMikdash Feb 14 '11 at 23:31
  • Where do you find that women were generally present during the offering of the Korban Pesach anyway? Generally only one representative from each group would be there.
    – Alex
    Feb 15 '11 at 0:00
  • the families ate together without a Mechitza. Feb 15 '11 at 1:11
  • 3
    Same way as today we have a Seder (or for that matter, any meal) together. Still doesn't prove anything about Megillah reading.
    – Alex
    Feb 15 '11 at 3:27

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