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The Mishneh Torah, "Scroll of Esther and Hanukkah" 2:18 states:

All the books of the Prophets and all the Writings will be annulled in the days of the Messiah, apart from Megillat Esther. It will continue to be binding like the Five Books of Moses and the entire Oral Law which will never be invalidated. Even though all memory of our suffering will be erased…still the days of Purim will not be annulled.

I'm an Italian son of Noah.

Could you explain to me the precise meaning of this passage according to Jewish teaching?

  • To anybody: are there any of our sages who oppose this comment from the Mishneh Torah? – ninamag Dec 22 '17 at 10:51
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The source for this is Resh Lakish, quoted in yerushalmi megilah 1:5.

R. Qafih explains that Rambam understands that passage to mean that the suffering and troubles recounted in the prophets will become obsolete; not that the books will be thrown away and unused. He certainly doesn't agree with your translation of the question being whether they are binding.

Radvaz (Shu"t 2:666) gives a different explanation of that passage in Yerushalmi. He similarly explains that the books will still be around, but writes that in the messianic age, we will gain understanding without recourse to those books.

  • Radvaz cites the responsum of Rashba (93) but that responsum is about the statement that all holidays will be discontinued except for Purim. Apparently, Radvaz believes these are related, and he has his own responsum on that statement (where he again cites Rashba) in 2:829. – Alex Dec 24 '17 at 0:31
  • @Alex that's all correct. I didn't mention rashba since he is talking about a different midrash, although radvaz compares them. – mevaqesh Dec 24 '17 at 0:38
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The Hasagot Hara'avad on this Rambam writes:

"אפילו יבטלו שאר ספרים מלקרות בהם מגילה לא תבטל מלקרותה בצבור"

Even if there is a cancellation of the public reading of other books [of Neviim and Ktuvim], Megillat Esther will never have its public reading annulled.

  • Which of our sages agree or disagree with the Hasagot Hara'avad, in regards to the Mishneh Torah Scroll of Esther and Hanukkah 2:18 as posted by the OP? – ninamag Dec 22 '17 at 14:37
  • there are 3 other commentaries which explain the phrase -- this is one more modern rephrasing of another approach books.google.com/… – rosends Dec 22 '17 at 15:05
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I heard it explained like this: much of the Neviim and Ktuvim are divrei tochacha (remontrances) and mussar (ethics). These are relevant to the times of exile but won't be required during the times of Moshiach, except for Megilat Esther. Maharal (Tiferet Israel ch. 23) explains that the Jews, at the end of the Megila, received "additional power" connected to the era of Mashiach. As such the Megila will remain relevant even in that era.

The Raavad disagrees. He thinks it will be possible to learn from all Tanakh even in the era of Mashiach, but we won't be reading from these books publicly (e.g., no more reading of haftarot).

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