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Spaced Out During Megillah


If one’s mind wandered (slightly, or even not so slightly) during the reading of the megilah, is he yotzi? This is something that is extremely difficult to avoid, especially while one is fasting and if one is a Torah scholar who is constantly thinking in learning.


As long as there were no interruptions and one heard every word, you fulfill your obligation, even if you did not pay complete attention to every word.



Mishna Megillah 17a, See Mishna Brura 690:39.

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  1. Tzurich iyun.

    It says that if one was thinking of other matters while hearing the words then it is considered as if he did not hear those words. This commonly occurs to Torah scholars and business men that their minds wander to Torah thoughts and business dealings when hearing something read for a long period of time. [Nemukei Orach Chaim 690; see also Piskeiy Teshuvos 690/4; Eretz Tzevi 1/45; Shearim Hametzuyanim Behalacha 141/13.]

    The Ben Ish Chai writes in Tetzaveh Hilchos Purim 3:

    אות ג קראה מתנמנם הואיל ולא נרדם בשינה יצא אבל השומע אם מתנמנם לא יצא וצריך להזהר בד”ז שהוא מצוי תמיד דאלו השומעים יתנמנמו, ולכתחילה אם ראו את הקורא שקרא איזה פסוקים מתנמנם מכריחין אותתו שיחזור ויקראנה, דלא אמרינן קראה מתנמנם יצא אלא בדיעבד היכא דסיים קריאת המגילה כולה:

    If one is dozing off while hearing, he is not yotzeai and he writes this is always found that people listen while in a dozing off state and they should be careful.

    1. as long as he is following along inside a megila or chumash word by word, he is yotzei even if he slightly loses concentration, the poskim you mention refer to someone who loses attention and totally spaces out, presumably someone not not following inside a chumash or megila

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