Mishloach Manot

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There is a mitzvah of Mishloach Manot to give a gift of two foods to another Jew on Purim. [1]

What is the primary purpose of Mishloach Manot?

  1. Some say that the primary purpose is to increase friendship amongst Klal Yisrael,

and some say that it is to ensure that every Jew has food for Seudat Purim. [2]

How many Mishloach Manot should one give?

  1. There’s an obligation to send one gift called Mishloach Manot, consisting of two foods, to one person on Purim. [3]
  2. 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. [4]
  3. Anyone who increases in sending Mishloach Manot is praiseworthy. [5]
  4. Some explain that we’re supposed to give gifts in order to increase friendliness and spread kindness and peace among Jews. [6] 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. [7]

When should it be done?

  1. Mishloach Manot should be given during the day of purim and not the night. [8]
  2. It is preferable to give it before eating the Seudat Purim. [9]
  3. One should ensure that the recipient notices that he received it before sunset. [10]

What’s called two portions?

  1. To fulfill the obligation of Mishloach Manot, one must give two foods. One food which is cut into two pieces is not considered two foods. [11]
  2. Two food with two different tastes is considered two different foods. [12]
  3. After fulfilling Mishloach Manot according to the halacha, one may give more even if they don’t fulfill all the stringencies of Mishlaoch Manot. [13]

What type of foods?

  1. The food being sent should be cooked or ready to eat, however, some permit even if it’s raw but at least the animal has been slaughtered properly (shechita). [14] Canned food is considered ready to eat and is acceptable. [15]
  2. Preferably, one should send Mishloach Manot that are significant according to the wealth of the giver. [16]
  3. If the receiver of the Mishloach Manot is wealthy, it’s proper that the Mishloach Manot be according to his honor. [17]
  4. Many say that each food should be something that could serve as a course in a meal. [18]
  5. If one sends bread it counts as one food and only one other is required. [19]
  6. A filled pastry only counts as one food, and another food item is required. [20]
  7. Deli and Sardines can be used for Mishloach Manot. [21]
  8. If one sent food that is kosher but the receiver doesn’t hold of that hechsher, one fulfills the obligation. [22]
  9. A drink counts just like a food, but some are strict to give two foods. [23]
  10. One cannot fulfill his obligation by sending meat to a vegetarian.[24]

Non-foods

  1. One doesn’t fulfill the obligation with anything that’s non-food, such as clothing or cigarettes. [25]
  2. Some say women who send to other women fulfill their obligation by sending clothes. [26]
  3. One doesn’t fulfill the obligation by sending money. [27]
  4. Additionally, one doesn’t fulfill their obligation by sending Chiddushei Torah. [28]
  5. Some say that one may fulfill one’s obligation by sending candies to someone with diabetes or food that the receiver is allergic to, or unhealthy foods to someone on a diet. [29]
  6. One fulfills the mitzvah by sending fruit that grew with Kedushat Shemitta as long as one lets the receiver know that they are Kedushat Shemitta. Similarly, if one received Mishloach Manot from one person, one may return Mishloach Manot to that person with fruit with Kedushat Shemitta. Some say that one should only do so after one already fulfilled the mitzvah with giving one other Mishloach Manot. [30]
  7. If one sent a slaughtered bird and it turns out to be Taref one needs to send another food in it’s place. [31]
  8. If one sent Mishloach Manot and it was stolen one should resend the Mishloach Manot. [32]

How the gift is sent

  1. Some say that one should give Mishloach Manot through a Shaliach (messenger), while others say that this is unnecessary. [33]
  2. One fulfills the obligation by sending the Mishloach Manot through a child or non-Jew. [34]
  3. If the person receiving the gift doesn’t want to accept, nonetheless, the giver has fulfilled his obligation. [35] However, others argue that one hasn’t fulfilled his obligation. [36]
  4. It’s preferable to give the two portions of Mishloach Manot at once and not one after another. [37]
  5. If one gives Mishloach Manot as a gift on the condition that it must be returned one does not fulfill one’s obligation. [38]
  6. If one gives Mishloach Manot through an institution and one will pay later, one fulfills the mitzvah. [39]
  7. If one gave the Mishloach Manot and the receiver didn’t know until after purim, one didn’t fulfill one’s obligation. Therefore, one should ensure that the recipient notices that he received it before sunset. [40]

Who is obligated?

  1. Women are obligated to fulfill Mishloach Manot. [41] However, if she’s married she may fulfill her obligation if her husband sends more than one. [42]
  2. If partners or a community send Mishloach Manot together, some say that each partner must contribute the value of 2 portions, whereas others hold that even if altogether the Mishloach Manot is complete, each person fulfilled their obligation. [43]
  3. 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. [44]
  4. A Yeshiva student who receives a portion of food in the cafeteria can fulfill Mishloach Manot by giving it to a friend. [45]
  5. Children who have reached the age of chinuch, should be taught to give Mishloach Manot [46]

To whom is the gift sent?

  1. Some say that one doesn’t fulfill the obligation if someone who celebrate purim of the 14th sends Mishloach Manot to someone celebrating on the 15th and visa versa. [47]
  2. Some poskim say that one shouldn't send mishloach manot to a child who isn't at the age of bar mitzvah. [48]

Challah

  1. If one kneads the amount of dough to take Challah even if one plans on separating the dough as long as one isn’t concerned about the pieces touching one another, one should remove Challah without a Bracha. [49]
  2. If one receives a lot of baked goods and put them together in a basket or in the refrigerator one doesn’t have to take Challah as it’s considered as if they have combined. [50]

Links

Sources

  1. The obligation of Mishloach Manot is explicit in Megillat Ester 9:22 and S”A 695:4. Chazon Ovadyah (Purim pg 142) writes that it’s obvious one doesn’t fulfill one’s obligation by sending to a non-Jew as he is not included in Reyeyhu.
  2. The first reason is found in the Manot HaLevi (Ester 9:20) and the second in Trumat HaDeshen 111
  3. Gemara Megilah 7a, Rambam (Megilah 2:15), Tur and S”A 695:4. While the Ben Ish Chai Parashat Tetzaveh 16 says not to put the different foods into one bowl since it may be that this combines them into one kind, Halachot Shlomo 2:19 as well as Teshuvot vihanhagot 2:346 disagree.
  4. Chazon Ovadyah (pg 133) writes that after one gave one Mishloach Manot, one may send more even if they don’t fulfill the strict laws of Mishloach Manot (unlike the Torat Avigdor who holds that all of the Mishloach Manot have to be according to the halacha). This seems to be supported by the Mishna Brurah 695:22.
  5. S”A 695:4
  6. Rabbi Shlomo Alkabetz (Manot HaLevi, Ester 9:20, pg 208a)
  7. Sh”t Trumat HaDeshen 111. To see more pilpul about these reasons see Sh”t Chatom Sofer 196, Katav Sofer 141:2, Sh”t Shevet Sofer 23, Sh”t Binyan Tzion 44, Sh”t Afarkasta DeAniya 25, Sh”t Bet Sharim 385.
  8. Darkei Moshe 695:7 quotes Mahari Brin (based on the Rosh Megilah 1:6) who says that there’s only an obligation of Mishloach Manot during the day. The Rama codifies this in 695:4. Mishna Brurah 695:22 writes that only one must be given during the day, however, if one wants to give more Mishloach Manot one may give them at night. Rav Ovadyah in Chazon Ovadyah (pg 140) and Yalkut Yosef 695:4(2) holds like the Rama.
  9. Rav Shlomo Zalman (Halichot Shlomo 19:9) writes that one shouldn’t eat before fulfilling Mishloach Manot because it is like other mitzvot which one may not eat before fulfilling. Moadim UZmanim 2:186 agrees. However, Chazon Ovadyah (pg 135) writes that the implication of the Rambam and S”A who mention Seudat Purim before Mishloach Manot is that it is permitted to eat before Mishloach Manot. He adds that it is proper to give it before the meal. Tzitz Eliezer 15:32(15), Az Nidbaru 6:65, and Mishna Halachot 6:122, 7:92 agree.
  10. Aruch HaShulchan 695:16 writes that if the recipient doesn’t return home during the day and doesn’t know about it, even if his family accepts it for him, the giver doesn’t fulfill his obligation. Yalkut Yosef 695:4(28) agrees. However, Moadei Yeshurun (pg 59) quotes Rav Moshe Feinstein as saying that if a woman accepted Mishloach Manot on her husband’s behalf, the giver fulfills his obligation, even if he didn’t know about it on Purim
  11. Aruch HaShulchan 695:14, Chazon Ovadyah (purim pg 125)
  12. Halichot Shlomo 19:12
  13. Chazon Ovadyah (pg 133) writes that after one gave one Mishloach Manot, one may send more even if they don’t fulfill the strict laws of Mishloach Manot (unlike the Torat Avigdor who holds that all of the Mishloach Manot have to be according to the halacha). This seems to be supported by the Mishna Brurah 695:22.
  14. Maharil, Magen Avrham 795:11, Eliyah Rabba 695:8, Maaseh Rav (Siman 240), Chaye Adam 155:31, and Aruch HaShulchan 695:15 all hold that one must send a food that’s cooked and ready to eat. However, Pri Chadash 695:4 holds that it’s enough that it’s slaughtered even if it’s raw. Kodeshei David Chassan 695:4, Sh”t Shelat Yacov 61(1), Gefen Poriah (Megilah 7b), Sh”t Shevet Sofer 23, Netsiv in Emek Shelah (Siman 67:9), and Chazon Ovadyah (Purim pg 118) holds like the Pri Chadash. Mishna Brurah 695:20 brings both opinions.
  15. Moadim UZmanim Volume Siman 186
  16. Sh”t Tzitz Eliezer 8:14:4, Chazon Ovadyah (pg 129)
  17. Chaye Adam (vol 3, 155:31) quotes the Yerushalmi which implies that to fulfill one’s obligation the Mishloach Manot must be according to the honor of the receiver. However, Beiur Halacha (695 s.v. Chayav), Halichot Shlomo (pg 336), and Chazon Ovadyah (pg 129) hold that it’s only preferable.
  18. Chazon Ovadyah (pg 129-31) learns from Megillah 7b that one should send enough food that could serve as a meal. Aruch HaShulchan 695:15 writes each food should be significant. Similarly, Rabbi Schachter (3/4/09 “Hilchos Purim”, min 56-8) said each food should be something that could serve as a course in a meal or one can invite a guest for a meal.
  19. Chazon Ovadyah (Purim pg 128), Kaf HaChaim 695:42
  20. Chazon Ovadyah (Purim pg 128)
  21. Chazon Ovadyah (Purim pg 118), however, Moadim UZmanim (Rav Moshe Shternbach, vol 2 siman 54) has a doubt regarding deli (or foods that can last more than one day).
  22. Sh”t Kinyan Torah 7:55 writes that one fulfills the obligation even according to the Trumat HaDeshen since he could sell it. Nishmat Avraham 695 quotes Rav Shlomo Zalman who also holds that you fulfill your obligation. Piskei Teshuvot 695:20 writes that if one sends kosher food but the receiver doesn’t eat because of a chumra one fulfills one’s obligation.
  23. Trumat HaDeshen 111 writes that a drink counts just like a food. Many achronim agree including Magen Avraham 695:11, Mishna Brurah 695:20, Pri Chadash 695:4 (D”H Katuv BeTrumat), and Aruch HaShulchan 695:14. However, Chazon Ovadyah (pg 124) writes that it’s preferable to give two foods, not including drinks, because of the opinion of Rabbenu Chananel (Megilla 7b). Kovetz Halachot 17:9 says that water or seltzer would not count as one type.
  24. Sh"t Rivivot Ephraim 6:387. see also Halichot Shlomo 19:11 and Nishmas Abraham page 324 regarding sending sugary foods to a diabetic
  25. Darkei Moshe 695:7 quotes the Maharil that it’s preferable to send food and not other items. However, the Darkei Moshe also quotes the Sh”t Trumat HaDeshen 111 who writes that one doesn’t fulfill their obligation with anything other than food and drinks. This is also the opinion of the Eliyah Rabba 695:9, Mishna Brurah 695:20, and Chazon Ovadyah (Purim pg 120) write that only food can be used and not clothing or other things against the Sh”t Halachot Ketonot 163 (quoted by Bear Hetiev 695:9), Nahar Shalom 695:2, and Sh”t Mei Yehuda 86. Similarly, Chazon Ovadyah (Purim pg 120-3), Sh”t Tzitz Eliezer 9:33, and Sh”t Tirosh VeYitzhar 171:4 write that one doesn’t fulfill their obligation with cigarettes. However, Sh”t Divrei Yisrael (Waltz) 1:223 holds that one fulfills their obligation with cigarettes. See also Sh”t Rivivot Efraim 3:473:2
  26. Sh”t Bet Sharim OC 380 since the gifts that women enjoy nowsdays is clothing, one fulfills their obligation by sending clothing. Sh”t Mishneh Halachot 4:91 (D”H VeTzipiti) also supports this idea. However, Chazon Ovadyah (Purim pg 121), and Sh”t Haychalei Shen (3rd edition, siman 8) argue that in order to fulfill the obligation of sending manot, even for women one must send food and not clothing in order to fulfill one’s obligation.
  27. Sh”t Trumat HaDeshen 111 writes that such is implied from the Rambam who mentions money by Matanot LeEvyonim but not by Mishloach Manot. However, the Sefer Charedim (Siman 713) and Sh”t Halachot Ketanot 2:163 allow sending money. Sh”t Yechave Daat 6:45, Chazon Ovadyah (Purim pg 120), Maharsham in Daat Torah (Siman 695), Erech HaShulchan (695:2), and Sh”t Shlat Yacov 61 hold like the Trumat HaDeshen.
  28. Chazon Ovadyah (Purim pg 123), Sh”t Mishneh Halachot 4:91
  29. Sh”t Yabia Omer (additions) 9:74, Halichot Shlomo 19:11, Piskei Teshuvot 695:20
  30. Chazon Ovadyah (pg 154), Yalkut Yosef (HaSheviyit pg 423), Halichot Shlomo (vol 2 19:10)
  31. Chazon Ovadyah (pg 150)
  32. Yalkut Yosef (Moadim pg 337, Kitzur S”A 694:4(50))
    • Sh”t Binyan Tzion 44 writes that based on the simple translation of Mishloach, he had a question if one fulfilled Mishloach Manot by giving it directly. He concludes that one fulfills one’s obligation because giving it directly satisfies both reasons (see note 2).
    • Teshuvot VeHanhagot 2:346 writes that this seems to be a dispute in the Rishonim. Gemara Megilla 7b says that Abaye and Rabbi Chanina would exchange their meals on Purim. Rashi Megilla 7b explains that they switched off eating at each other’s Seudot. Bet Yosef 695:4 asks on Rashi how they fulfilled Mishloach Manot. Darkei Moshe 695:7 defends Rashi saying that the word “mishloach” is imprecise and there’s no difference in sending food and providing food for a guest. However, Rambam (Megillah 2:15) and Ran 3b explain each person sent his meal to his friend and his friend to him in order to fulfill Mishloach Manot, implying it needs to be sent.
    • Chazon Ovadyah (pg 143-5) quotes Rav Ezra Attiah, who argues on the Binyan Tzion based on Kiddushin 23b which says that there’s no Shelichut if one couldn’t do it oneself. Rav Ovadyah answers that this only applies when the sender isn’t chayav in that mitzvah; however, all Jews are chayav in Mishloach Manot.
    • Mishna Brurah 695:18 quotes the question of the Binyan Tzion. Chatom Sofer on Gittin 22b and Yafeh Lelev 695:19 insist on having a messenger. However, Maadeni Shlomo (pg 121) quoting Chazon Ish, Chazon Ovadyah (pg 143), Sh"t Tzitz Eliezer 9:33, Sh”t Yehuda Yaaleh OC 207, Eshel Avraham 695, Sh”t Nachalat Binyamin 136, Sh”t Elef Lecha Shlomo OC 383, Sh”t Yad HaLevi OC 118, and Rabbi Sobolofsky (3/8/09 “Mishloach Manos- Fact and Fiction”) hold one doesn’t need a messenger. See also Sh”t Yabia Omer 9:71 who writes that one can rely on a Shaliach to fulfill his mission.
    • Rav Yisroel Belsky (Piskei Harav Belsky page 122) is cited as ruling that although the majority of poskim maintain that one may deliver Mishloach Manos himself, nonetheless, one should send at least one set of Mishloach Manos with a messenger to accommodate all opinions.
  33. Chazon Ovadyah (pg 145-6), Mekor Chaim 694, Chatom Sofer (Gittin 22b)
  34. Rama 695:4
  35. Chatom Sofer 196, Pri Chadash (quoted by Mishna Brurah 695:23)
  36. Chida in Kikar LeAden (pg 21b) writes that from the פסוק one must send both portions at once. Chazon Ovadyah (pg 131) writes that preferably one should give both portions together.
  37. Halichot Shlomo 19:13, Chazon Ovadyah (pg 133), Yalkut Yosef (Kitzur S”A 694:4(4)
  38. Halichot Shlomo 19:14
  39. Aruch HaShulchan 695:16 writes that if the recipient doesn’t return home during the day and doesn’t know about it, even if his family accepts it for him, the giver doesn’t fulfill his obligation. Yalkut Yosef 695:4(28) agrees. 3. Moadei Yeshurun (Purim pg 59) quoting Rav Moshe disagrees with the Aruch HaShulchan. See, also, Adar VePurim (pg 158) who quotes Rav Moshe Feinstein as saying that if a woman accepted Mishloach Manot on behalf of her husband, even if he didn’t know about it on purim, nonetheless, the giver fulfills his obligation.
  40. Rama 695:4 writes that women are obligated in Mishloach Manot against the Pri Chadash (end of 695). The Pri Megadim (695 A”A 14), Aruch HaShulchan 695:18, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 142:4, Ben Ish Chai (Parshat Titsaveh #17), Chaye Adam (Vol 3 155:33), Kaf HaChaim 695:53, Mishna Brurah 695:25, and Chazon Ovadyah (pg 140) all hold like the Rama.
  41. Magen Avraham 695:14 writes some women rely on their husband to send Mishloach Manot for them however he concludes that women should be strict and fulfill the mitzvah themselves. The Magen Avraham is quoted by the achronim including Chaye Adam (Moadim 155:33), Kitzur S”A 142:4, Mishna Brurah 695:25
  42. Halichot Baytah 24:25 (also quoted in Halichot Shlomo 19:15 and 19:17 pg 337-8) in name of Rav Shlomo Auerbach writes that a women can fulfill her obligation by a joint gift with her husband to someone else if there’s a contribution of 2 Manot per person, whereas Chazon Ovadyah (pg 137-8) writes that it’s sufficient if altogether there’s a proper Mishloach Manot.
  43. Halichot Shlomo 19:15
  44. Halichot Shlomo 19:16
  45. Pri Megadim 695:14
  46. Moadim UZmanim (vol 2 siman 186)
  47. Ben Ish Chai Parashat Tetzaveh Halacha 16 and Kaf Hachaim 694:12. Aruch HaShulchan 695 on the other hand permits it
  48. Halichot Shlomo 19:18
  49. Halichot Shlomo 19:19