The Babylonia Talmud is an immense collection of laws, practices, and customs of the Jewish people, edited in its present form in the fifth century. Tractate Megilla (literally, ‘scroll’) concerns a deep exegesis of the history and customs of the holiday of Purim, when the Jewish people in ancient Persia were saved through the intervention of Queen Esther at the last minute from extermination by the wicked Haman. It is a holiday of gaiety and commemoration. The Talmud is often extremely difficult to understand, and tractate Megilla is no exception. The Whole Megilla is an effort to explain the text, page by page, for interested readers. It affords the reader an opportunity to capture the flavor of the Talmud and follow the notoriously demanding text.
Joshua Fogel is professor of history at York University in Toronto.
Chapter 1: Reading the Megilla
Chapter 2: Properly Reading the Megilla
Chapter 3: Rules for Reading the Megilla and the Torah
Chapter 4: Laws of the Synagogue and Torah Readings
Glossary of Selected Terms
About the Author