Manot - Gifts to One Another
is obligatory to send a gift which consists of at least two
'portions' to another person. Both men and women are included in
what is edible or drinkable without further cooking or
preparation, is considered a 'portion.' One may therefore send
cooked meats or fish, pastry goods, fruit, sweets, wine and
other beverages. And it is the more praiseworthy to send
portions to as many friends as possible. Even better, however,
is to give more gifts to the poor than to friends.
of the most popular food items that has been used for this
Mitzvah is the Hamentash, a calorific (fattening) concoction
consisting of dough shaped into the form of a triangle (with
just two possibilities allowed - exactly sixty degrees in each
angle or an isosceles right triangle - just
kidding!), with filling of various kinds.
a poor person is required to fulfill the Mitzvah of 'Mishloach
Manot.' If one is unable to do so directly, he may exchange his
own food for that of his friend; both of whom would thus fulfill
Mitzvah of Mishloach Manot may not be fulfilled with money,
clothing and the like, but only with foods or beverages.
is proper to send portions sufficient to convey regard for the
recipient. One should not send an item so minute as to be
worthless in the eyes of the poor.
at all possible, these 'portions' should be sent by messengers,
rather than to be delivered personally. And though it is said of
all other mitzvot: 'It is more of a Mitzvah if done personally,
than if done through a messenger,' this Mitzvah is different.
Since the term, 'Mishloach Manot' (the sending of portions), is
the term used in the 'Megillah' the proper procedure for
fulfilling the Mitzvah, is to do so by messenger. Nevertheless,
if one delivers his Mishloach Manot personally, he still
fulfills his obligation.
Mitzvah of Mishloach Manot should be performed by day.
mourner is free of the obligation, but some hold that it rests
even upon him, except that one in mourning should not send gifts
which would be a source of rejoicing.
Mitzvah of Mishloach Manot and the giving of gifts to the poor,
during the days of Purim, are prescribed in order to recall the
brotherly love which Mordechai and Esther awoke among all Jews.
When there is inner unity among Jews, even the wrongdoers among
them become righteous.