Kiruv organizations expend lots of time and energy trying to get people to attend Megillah readings on Purim. Even once a student walks in your door to hear the Megillah, another hurdle remains: what happens once they get there?
People who don’t understand Hebrew all that well (or at all) will have a hard time following the story of the Megillah. They may physically hear all the words, but the entire point and message is missed if they don’t understand what they are hearing.
Torah Live’s animated Megillah seeks to solve this problem with slides which show each pasuk with English translation and a descriptive image. Non-Hebrew speakers can easily follow along and enjoy the reading. This will encourage them to come back the next morning as well as next year.
When asked whether this slideshow was permissible, noted posek Rabbi Yitzchak Berkovits answered, “Yes. For people who can’t follow Hebrew, the most they can do is allow the words to enter their ears, but they’ll be thinking of something else anyway. The slideshow would accomplish keeping their mind focused on the topic. As far as distracting people who can follow and understand Hebrew – they shouldn’t be there unless necessary for the program.”
Rabbi Yisroel Reisman, rosh yeshiva at Yeshivas Torah Vodaas and rabbi of Agudath Israel of Madison, agreed. “I join with HaRav Yitzchak Berkovits in celebrating the Torah Live Megillah production, which will allow these individuals to follow the Megillah in a meaningful way.”