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What Are Mishloach Manot?


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On Purim one of the special mitzvot we perform is giving food gifts to friends. The reason we perform this mitzvah is to bring joy to others and to generally increase happiness among Jewish people on Purim. What better way to make friends happy than to give them food packages!

By doing this we add unity to our people and this in turn allows the Jewish people to be judged favorably in heaven.

We also do this, say Chazal, to ensure that people have sufficient food for the special meal they eat on Purim.

To fulfill this mitzvah one needs to give at least two types of foods to at least one person, but you may of course give as many portions to as many people as you wish. Still, says the Chafetz Chaim, it is better to give more money to the poor, which is another mitzvah of the day, than to over spend on food for friends.

One should send foods that are ready to eat, and do not require cooking. Raw meat or fish should not be sent, but cooked dishes, or ready to eat packaged items like cookies, should be sent.

Two different types of food or two different types of drink, or a food and a drink should be given.

Many people are unaware but the quality of the gift should fit the status of the recipient and the giver. A wealthy person should send nicer packages to others. If one has a wealthier or important friend like a rabbi they should be given better packages than say someone who is less wealthy or esteemed!

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About Rabbi Lawrence


Originally from London, England, Rabbi Lawrence Hajioff graduated with honors in political science from Manchester University. After working for MTV in news production, and moonlighting as a stand-up comedian, he traveled to study in Israel and then Monsey to receive his rabbinical smicha from Yeshiva Ohr Somayach. Rabbi Lawrence is available for speaking engagements, just email us at [email protected] to reach him. Rabbi Lawrence works for Birthright Israel in New York as their educational director, leading trips to Israel three times annually for young professionals. He also serves on the faculty of Stern College for Women in the Judaic Studies department. He lives in Monsey New York with his wife Anita and their five children. For more about Rabbi Lawrence click on these links - jeconline The Jewish Home: Where Kindness Begins Health and Healing in Judaism" on eating right A video on Tisha be'av...really on Shalom Bayit My book "Jew Got Questions" is now available!




2 Responses to What Are Mishloach Manot?

  1. avatar says: Itzik

    Mishloach (the act of sending) manot (portions). Basically in an easy way to understand it is like on Halloween where people go ask for candy, THE DIFFERENCE IS that you go to houses to GIVE a pile of baked goods, mainly Ears of Haman.
    It is a great way to meet neighbors face to face.

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