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I read the majority of Megillat Esther in my shul.

At night, a few teenagers like to read a few verses from the Megillah, as well. Last year, I used my personal Megillah. When one of the boys came up to read his portion, he looked at my Megillah and was completely lost because the layout in my Megillah was not the same as the shul's Megillah that he had practiced from. (The teenagers are novices, so they can't transition as easily as I can.)

While I didn't do it, I'm wondering if it would have been permissible for me to switch the Megillah in the middle of the reading and use another Megillah? Or must run read only from one Megillah?

Possible considerations / problems why not:

  • People may think that the first was passul (non-kosher)
  • Intention was to read from the 1st one and bracha was made on that
  • Tircha Detzibbur
  • Unnecessary interruption (hefsek)
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The first question that needs to be addressed is whether you can have two people read the megillah to be yotzei.The Rivevos Ephraim 7:209 was asked this question. The Magen Avraham 692:2 writes that if the one who is reading the megillah loses his voice then the second person taking over has to start from the beginning. From this Magen Avraham it seems certain that one should not do this lechatchilah ,rather if someone loses their voice then one should take over,but must start from the beginning.

However, Shu"t Aseh Lecha Rav 4:42 writes that one is yotzei bedieved in such a case,and if it is not a bother for the tzibbur the second reader should start from the beginning.The Elya Zuta 692:4 writes that in such a case the second person starts reading from the place the first person stopped,and one doesnt make a new bracha. He compares this to shofar where one does not need to repeat the blasts nor a new bracha. This does not compare to Torah reading which is connected to the brachos which are connected to the individual. This is not like megillah which the bracha is made for the tzibbur. He also notes that the ending bracha is not connected to the megilla per se and therefore a second person can continue the reading from the place the first one left off.

Now to your question,the switching of megillos shouldn't really make a difference since they are both kosher megillos and the mitzvah is to read from a kosher megillah. Also the halacha of not returning the wrong sefer Torah because of the honor of the sefer Torah(Kaf Hachaim 144:13) ,who says this applies to a megillah which is of much lesser kedusha? Tircha d'tziburah is a factor even by a sefer Torah taken out accidentally and in some cases may be returned in order not to inconvenience the tzibuur(Igros Moshe OC 2:37). Regarding brachos ,I think the Elya Zutah can be applied in this case. Regarding hefsek the Shulchan Aruch 690:5 writes even if one paused long enough to finish all of the text still he has fulfilled his obligation. The Rema writes even if he speaks he is yotzei. Tircha D'tziburah is subjective ,since some people may not mind and other might. You have to know your congregation.

It should be noted that the Shulchan Aruch 690:3 writes : צריך לקרותה כולה ומתוך הכתב ואם קראה על פה לא יצא וצריך שתהא כתובה כולה לפניו לכתחלה אבל בדיעבד דאם השמיט הסופר באמצעה תיבות אפי' עד חציה וקראם הקורא על פה יצא One can technicality read up to half the words of the megilla(depends what parts of the megilla,some are integral and cannot be missing) by heart and be yotzei bedieved.

  • Switching Megillos could be like switching babies for a Milah. If you intended to use one object switching could be a problem for the Bracha – Double AA Feb 8 '18 at 12:48
  • I dont see the connection,a milah goes on the maaseh of milah on each baby. The reading of the megilla is a tzibur mitzvah like the Elya Zuta explains. Even if 2 people read he held no new bracha is necessary – sam Feb 8 '18 at 14:50
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As far as i know, it would be permitted. The bracha was made on the action of reading the megilla. Not on the actual megilla.

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    Hi Shlomo. We don't know you so we don't know how far you know. You may know very little perhaps. Thus this post isn't that valuable to anyone without some notable source that can back up your claims. – Double AA Feb 7 '18 at 23:10
  • I would use the mishna berurah that allows a different person to read in the middle if the reader loses his voice or cannot continue. – sabbahillel Feb 8 '18 at 2:38

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