We have a very large congregation, and it is hard for everyone to hear the reading of the Scroll of Esther (Megillah) properly. Because the use of electricity is allowed on the holiday of Purim (as opposed to Shabbat and other major holidays), I was wondering if it would be proper to perhaps have the Megillah read over a microphone. Is it?


The obligation to hear the Megillah is to hear the actual voice of the reader—not soundwaves emitted from a speaker system. As such, the great decisors of the previous generation, including the Lubavitcher Rebbe, of righteous memory, ruled that hearing the Megillah over the telephone, radio or a P.A. system is not sufficient.1

So, what can you do? Here are some tips you may want to consider:

  • Hire a reader with a loud voice.
  • Have the reader stand in a place that is central and/or elevated (typically the podium at the center of the synagogue), so that his voice will carry better to the far corners of the sanctuary.
  • Announce before the reading how important it is to hear every word, and that the congregation asks everyone to do their best to remain quiet for the duration of the reading.
  • Suggest that there be several smaller readings, at different times or places.

Wishing you a joyous Purim,

Rabbi Menachem Posner