Thursday, Jul 18, 2024

Megillah 21: Chazakah Limits?

On this daf, we find some halachos of krias haTorah.

In one town, the community’s veteran chazzan was getting older and his voice started to weaken. When people began to notice that his Torah reading was growing fainter from week to week, they finally decided to respectfully replace him with a younger candidate who had a stronger voice.

The wealthy man was annoyed with what he felt to be severe mistreatment and went to Rav Eizele Charif for justice. “Do I not have an irrefutable chazakah?” asked the man bitterly.

Rav Eizele empathized with the older man, but realized that he could not be chazzan at the cost of people being unable to hear the reading. He gently quipped, “You are mistaken. Our sages say that for a chazakah to be completely valid, it must be accompanied with a ‘kol. Although they are discussing a monetary halacha and ‘kol’ in that context means public knowledge, we can learn another lesson from this statement: a chazzan only maintains his chazakah as long as he still has a robust voice!” (Rebbi Eizele Charif).

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