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she’ula,” question whether the application of Rabbeinu Tam’s principle to talit she’ula (and by analogy, mezuza before thirty days) is appropriate. After all, despite the exemption of the women, the men are still obligated; hence, the deficiency is in personam (ba-gavra). In the case of talit she’ula and mezuza, however, no one under such circumstances is obligated before thirty days, hence the deficiency would seem to be in rem (ba-heftsa). Despite this possible distinction, Tosafot and other posekim (in this and the previous section, section 1a) conclude with “ha-meikil lo hifsid” (he who is lenient and permits recitation of the berakhot has lost nothing). R. David Zvi Solomon Eibeschutz, Levushei Serad, Peri Megadim, Eishel Avraham (on Magen Avraham, O.H. sec. 14, no. 5), and Torah Temima, Deut. 22:12, note 125, explain Tosafot’s lenient conclusion by noting that the owner of the talit or the dwelling remains obligated; hence, the deficiency in these cases, too, is in personam as it is with women. Cf. R. Zvi [Hershel] Schachter, Nefesh haRav (Jerusalem: Reishit Yerushalayyim, 1994), p. 104; R. Hayyim Dov Altuski, Hidushei Batra—Haga beMishna Berura, O.H. sec. 14, note 9; Resp. Yabia Omer, IX, O.H., sec. 81, no. 8.

(c) and (d) R. Samson of Coucy, supra, text and note 41, and Radbaz, supra, text and note 45, extend Rabbeinu Tam’s principle to the recitation of Hallel on Rosh Hodesh and the reading of the Megilla with its attendant benedictions, respectively, in situations where no minyan is present. R. Joseph Engel, Gilyonei haShas, Megilla 5a, finds difficulty with these attempts to extend Rabbeinu Tam’s principle. The Torah exempted women from mitsvot asei she-ha-zeman geramman; nevertheless, women have the option to perform these commandments, and, according to Rabbeinu Tam, even to say the appropriate benedictions, should they so desire. In the cases of Hallel and Megilla, on the other hand, the individual is fully obligated whether or not there is a minyan present. The minyan, however, is a precondition to the fulfillment of these rituals; in its absence, these rituals simply cannot be performed as prescribed. In order to resolve this difficulty, we would like to suggest a different understanding of Radbaz’s responsum. In our opinion, Radbaz is not discussing whether or not one could read the Megilla with the blessing of “al mikra Megilla” absent a minyan. Rather, Radbaz’s question merely addressed the issue of whether one could recite the other two benedictions of “she-asa nissim” and “she-he-hiyyanu.” These latter two berakhot, argues Radbaz, were not composed as blessings over the Megilla, but rather in recognition of the miracle of Purim. Consequently, these benedictions theoretically could and should be recited even if no properly mandated Megilla reading were available (—due to the lack of a minyan—according to those authorities whose opinion Radbaz is analyzing).

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