Matanot LeEvyonim

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Who is obligated to give Matanos L'Evyonim?

  1. Both men and women are obligated to give Matanot L'evyonim. [1]
  2. Even a poor person who relies on charity to support himself is obligated to give Matanot L'evyonim. [2]

When should Matanot L'evyonim be given?

  1. Matanot LeEvyonim should be given during the day and not the night of purim. [3]
  2. If one gives Matanot LeEvyonim before purim and is sure that the poor person won’t use it before Purim one fulfilled one’s obligation and some are strict to give it on the day of Purim itself. [4] Similarly, before Purim one can give it to a messenger (Shaliach) who will give it on Purim itself. [5]

How much does one have to give for Matanot L'evyonim

  1. One is obligated to give two gifts of charity to two poor people, one to each person. [6]
  2. Some say that the amount one should give for each of the poor people is at least Prutah (which is 2.5 Agurot which is a 1/25 of a Shekel) [7] whereas others say the minimum amount is how much it would cost to buy a meal of 3 KeBaytzim of bread. [8] It’s proper to be strict for the second opinion. [9]

Who should one give Matanot L'evyonim to?

  1. Nowadays, someone who doesn’t have a stable income that can support one’s family for normal expenses and doesn’t have property that’s not usually used and could be sold or if one has abnormal expenses such as for medical bills, or making a wedding for which one can not afford, is considered a poor person regarding this mitzvah. [10]


  1. S"A and Mishna Brurah 694:1
  2. S"A and Mishna Brurah 694:1
  3. Magan Avraham 695:13, Mishna Brurah 695:22
  4. Piskei Teshuvot 694:8, Piskei Shemuot pg 144 quotes Rav Elyashiv who permits lechatchila
  5. Piskei Shemuot pg 144 quoting Rav Nassim Karlitz
  6. S”A 694:1
  7. Mishna Brurah 694:2 quotes the Ritva saying that one fulfills one's obligation even with two prutot (one prutah per poor person). Sh”t Tzitz Eliezer 7:27(7) (at end) seems to agree that this is the accepted halacha.
  8. Shaarei Teshuva 694 quoting the Zera Emet, Maharsha (Megillah 7a), Kaf HaChaim 695:7, Teshuvot VeHanhagot 3:231, Piskei Teshuvot 694:6
  9. Yalkut Yosef (Kitzur S”A 694:1). Similarly, Yeme Mishteh VeSimcha pg 244 quotes Rav Elyashiv as saying that even though one fulfills one's obligation with a Prutah, nonetheless, it's proper to give each poor person about 5 shekalim which is an amount which would make the poor person happy. Halichot Shlomo (chap 19, note 62) quotes Rav Shlomo Zalman as having said that in order to fulfill all opinions one should give an amount which is significant by the giver and by the taker's standards.
  10. Piskei Teshuvot 694:2