27 February 2018

The Mitzvah of Mishloach Manot

13 Adar 5778
Ta'anit Esther

What's wrong with this picture? 
Sugar, sugar and sugar! A lot of empty, nutritionless calories. With the invasion of western culture into the Jewish State, this is the kind of mishloach manot that can be seen all over at all the shops in Israel.

I'd like to encourage all my readers to resist the temptation to buy these ready-made baskets and invest some time, effort and imagination into creating healthier versions, perhaps something more in keeping with our time-honored traditions.

Even something simple like these cheery butterflies meets the halachic requirements for mishloach manot. See the following...
There is a mitzvah to send one gift called Mishloach Manot, consisting of two foods, to one person on Purim. After fulfilling one Mishloach Manot according to the halacha, one may give more even if they don’t fulfill all the stringencies of Mishlaoch Manot. Anyone who increases in sending Mishloach Manot is praiseworthy. Some explain that we’re supposed to give gifts in order to increase friendliness and spread kindness and peace among Jews. Others explain that the obligation is meant to supply people with food for the Purim Seuda especially those who are poor and are embarrassed to ask for money.
Mishloach Manot should be given during the day of Purim and not the night. It is preferable to give it before eating the Seudat Purim. The food being sent should be cooked or ready to eat,.... Canned food is considered ready to eat and is acceptable. ...Many say that each food should be something that could serve as a course in a meal. If one sends bread it counts as one food and only one other is required. ...A drink counts just like a food, but some are strict to give two foods.

Women are obligated to fulfill Mishloach Manot. However, if she’s married she may fulfill her obligation if her husband sends more than one. ...If a Mishloach Manot is addressed to a group of people such as a family one should make sure that there’s 2 separate foods per person of the group.  (Source)
Tzom Kal and a very happy Purim to all!