Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef replied with an extensive Halachic answer, with the bottom line: ” G-d forbid to permit such a possibility, as the ruled law is that the Halachic obligation for Megillah is only if you hear it directly from the reader himself and not through the frequency of the radio or the internet and the like.”
“Especially concerning reading the Megillah” the reply continues,” Certainly every effort should be made to actually participate in the synagogue with a multitude of people (…) Even in the present situation, it is possible to gather in an open space, and if this is not relevant then each person should read from a Kosher Megillah, and if one doesn’t know the the proper pronunciation, one can say the words with the reader on the radio. But G-d forbid to allow the reading with ZOOM and the like.”
Similar rulings were expressed by the illustrious Posek Rabbi Simcha Ben Tzion Izaak Rabinovitch, author of Piskei Teshuvot on the Shulchan Aruch and Mishna Brurah stating: “There isn’t any way to permit fulfillment of the obligation of Megillah reading, by ZOOM. ”
Rabbi Avraham Yaffe Schlesinger, Av Beit Din “Bitzel Hachochma” community in Jerusalem and Geneva, author of ‘Bier Sharim” commentary on 4 parts of the Shulchan Aruch, expressed intensively in writing on this topic that ” Even during the Covid virus one does not fulfil their obligation of reading the Megillah this way, and that is the ruling”.
Dayan Rabbi Moshe Brandsdorfer Av Beit Din “Heichal Hora’ah” writes responsa on this topic: ” It is quite clear that one does not fulfil his obligation by hearing this way”. A likewise response on the topic, stated by Rabbi Chaim Rotter from Elad, was publicized at length.
The subject has caused much interest in Europe and by many Rabbis, expressing their gratitude to The Rabbinical Centre of Europe’s Director General Rabbi Arie Goldberg and the Secretary of the Rabbinical Council Rabbi Avraham Torezki, who have presented the topic to a roster of rabbis and Dayanim in Israel, as part of the tireless multitasking energy the RCE invested to help hundreds of European Rabbis with many halachic questions that arise as a result of the pandemic.