Who is obligated to send Mishloach Manos?

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Who is obligated to send Mishloach Manos?

Both men and women [1] are obligated in the Mitzvah of sending Mishloach Manos. Men send to men and women to women.[2]

Married women:[3] Married women are to be stringent[4] to give Mishloach Manos on behalf of themselves, in addition to the Mishloach Manos sent by their husband. [Thus the husband is to give his wife permission to distribute her personal Mishloach Manos.[5] She is not to rely on her husband sending the Mishloach Manos for her.[6] She is rather to distribute it herself.[7] Alternatively the husband is to tell his wife that he is sending Mishloach Manos on her behalf, and he is to tell the recipients that the Mishloach Manos is also from his wife.[8]]

Family members:[9] All family members must send their own personal Mishloach Manos and cannot rely on their parents, even if they are still being supported by them and live in their home. [If they do not have any money of their own to buy Mishloach Manos, it is proper for the father of the household to give them money in order to fulfill the Mitzvah.[10]]

Children:[11] Children above the age of Chinuch are to be educated to give Mishloach Manos. [If one is in doubt as to whether the child has reached the age of Chinuch one is to be stringent.[12]]

Is a mourner obligated to send Mishloach Manos:[13] There are opinions[14] that rule a mourner is obligated to send Mishloach Manos.[15] Practically this is the final ruling.[16] This applies even if the mourner is within the days of Shiva.[17] Nevertheless a mourner is not to send foods of festivities, such as sweets and superfluous delicacies. Rather he is to send meat [and simple foods of the like].[18]



Must a pauper send Mishloach Manos?[19]

Yes. Even a pauper who is supported from charity funds is obligated to send Mishloach Manos.


May one use Maaser money for Mishloach Manos?[20]

The minimal amount required to fulfill the Mitzvah of Mishloach Manos may not be given from money set aside for Maaser, even if one is giving Mishloach Manos to a pauper. However any additional amount that one gives to a pauper may be distributed from Maaser.


If someone gives Mishloach Manos on behalf of someone else does that person fulfill his obligation?[21]

If that person does not have knowledge that Mishloach Manos is being given on his behalf then he does not fulfill his obligation.


If one is a guest at someone’s house for the Purim meal is he exempt from the Mitzvah of Mishloach Manos?[22]

This matter is disputed amongst Poskim.


[1] Rama 695/4; Darkei Moshe in name of Rivash and so rules Shvus Yaakov 1/41; Sheilas Yaavetz 1/108; Chayeh Adam 155/33; Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 142/4; Ben Ish Chaiy Tetzaveh 17; P”M 695 A”A 14; M”B 695/25; Kaf Hachaim 695/5

The reason women are obligated according to the above opinions: As women were also included in the miracle and hence share in all the Mitzvos of the day. Furthermore the verse says “The Jews accepted [the Mitzvos of Purim]” and this includes women. [M”B ibid]

Other Opinions: The Peri Chadash 695 argues that women are not obligated in Mishloach Manos as the verse says “Ish Lereieihu” which means a man to his friend and not a woman to her friend. Many of the above Poskim question the ruling of the Peri Chadash and therefore negate it.

[2] Rama 695/4

The reason: Men may not send to women as this may lead to sending to a widow, which will cause there to be a question of betrothal. [Rama ibid]

Is one who received Mishloach Manos also obligated to give? The Bach 695 explains based on the Gemara Megillah 7b that when one accepts Mishloach Manos from another the receiver also fulfills the Mitzvah of Mishloach Manos, as the purpose of Mishloach Manos is to increase friendship and by receiving the Manos one fulfills this matter. See Kinyan Torah 1/132; Piskeiy Teshuvos 695/14. Nevertheless even according to the Bach, it is clearly implied that this only applies if the giver and receiver ate the Purim meal together and thus truly increased in friendship, and not just if the sender dropped it off by the house of the receiver. Veztrauch Iyun.

[3] M”A 695/14; Elya Raba 695/13; Chayeh Adam 154/33; M”B 695/25; Kitzur SHU”A 142/4; Kaf Hachaim 695/56


The M”A ibid writes he has not seen women being careful to give Mishloach Manos of their own. He therefore suggests that perhaps only widows are obligated, while married women are exempt as they rely on their husbands. Nevertheless he concludes one is to be stringent, and so conclude all the above Poskim. The Chasam Sofer 196 explains the question as follows: According to the Terumos Hadeshen the main reason of Mishloach Manos is to increase in food for the Purim meal, hence since married women eat by their husbands they are exempt from Mishloach Manos. However according to the reason of the Manos Levi, that its purpose is to increase friendship, also married women would be obligated.

[4] However single women are obligated to give from the letter of the law as explained above. [Kaf Hachaim 695/57]

[5] Kaf Hachaim 695/56; Piskeiy Teshuvos 695 footnote 75 writes that seemingly she must acquire the Mishloach Manos from her husband with a legal acquisition.

[6] Kitzur SH”A 142/4 based on wording in M”A ibid. This ruling of the Kitzur can be understood in one of two ways: 1. That she should not assume that her husband has her in mind and is rather to explicitly make sure that he is sending also on her behalf. 2. Her husband is not to distribute the Mishloach Manos for her at all, and rather she is to distribute her Mishloach Manos directly. The reason for this latter understanding is because if the husband sends it for her she has never acquired it from him and it is thus not considered as if she sent the Mishloach Manos. [See Piskeiy Teshuvos 695/15 footnotes 75-76; Halichos Beisa 24 footnote 75 in name of Rav SZ”A.] See Otzer Minhagei Chabad 144 that the Rebbe would make a Kinyan on each of the three Mishloach Manos prior to sending them, hence perhaps here too one’s wife is to make a Kinyan on her own personal Mishloach Manos.

[7] Piskeiy Teshuvos 695/15 based on Kitzur SH”A in second explanation in previous footnote

[8] Halichos Beisa 24 footnote 55 in name of Rav SZ”A; However see Kitzur SH”A ibid in previous footnote that it is best that she sends it herself, and so is the simple understanding of the M”A ibid.

Must the Mishloach Manos contain four gifts-two from each spouse? Some Poskim rule it is not necessary for the Mishloach Manos that is given by a couple, to contain four foods, two for each the wife and husband, as a wife is like the body of her husband and they are thus Yotzei with the same Mishloach Manos. [Aruch Hashulchan 694/2; However see Aruch Hashulchan 695/18] Nevertheless this is not the simple understanding of the Poskim and one is hence to send four gifts of food for the husband and wife. [Halichos Beisa ibid; Piskeiy Teshuvos 695 footnote 77]

[9] Aruch Hashulchan 695/2; Shaareiy Halacha Uminhag 2/292; Lekutei Sichos Vol. 2 Hosafos

Other Poskim: Some Poskim rule that all children that do not earn their own money are not obligated to give Mishloach Manos being they do not have any money of their own. [Kinyan Torah 1/132]

[10] Piskeiy Teshuvos 695/15

[11] P”M 695 A”A 14; Siddur Yaavetz; Ashel Avraham Butchach 695; Shaareiy Halacha Uminhag 2/292; Lekutei Sichos Vol. 2 Hosafos; Aruch Hashulchan 6954/2; Piskeiy Teshuvos 695/15

Other Poskim: Some Poskim rule children are not obligated to give Mishloach Manos being they do not have any money of their own. [Kinyan Torah 1/132]

[12] Shaareiy Halacha Uminhag 2/292; Likkutei Sichos 11 p. 322; See Sdei Chemed Kelalim Samech 30; 43

[13] 696/6 

[14] Tur in name of Maharam of Rothenberg and so rule other Poskim. [Beir Hagoleh 20; Rosh in Moed Katan; Shulchan Gavoa 696/18] There are no opinions that argue on this ruling. Nevertheless since this ruling has not been brought in other Poskim therefore the Michaber writes it here as “there are opinions that rule”. In Yoreh Deah ibid the Michaber rules like this opinion plainly and omits the introduction of “some opinions state”. [Kaf Hachaim 696/32]

[15] Michaber ibid

[16] Michaber Yoreh Deah 401/7; Kaf Hachaim 696/32

[17] M”B 696/17; Michaber Yoreh Deah ibid; Olas Shabbos 696/4; Mateh Moshe 1017

The reason: As an Avel is obligated in all the Mitzvos in the Torah. [ibid]

Other Opinions: There are Poskim that rule an Avel within Shiva is exempt from the Mitzvah of Mishloach Manos. He is rather to wait until the Shiva has ended and then give the gifts to one of his relatives or to a pauper. [Shiltei Giborim in name of Riaz brought in Olas Shabbos ibid] Practically we rule like the majority of Poskim that he is obligated to send. [Kaf Hachaim 696/33]

[18] M”A 696/11; Maharil; Sefer Chassidim 713; Mateh Moshe ibid; Chayeh Adam 155/37; Derech Hachaim 3; M”B 696/18; Kaf Hachaim 696/33

Sending money: Many of the above Poskim bring down that the mourner, which is not to send festive foods as Mishloach Manos, is to rather send meat or money. [Mateh Moshe 1017; Sefer Chassidim 713 brought in M”A 696/11; M”B 696/18] Vetzaruch Iyun as we rule that one does not fulfill his obligation of Mishloach Manos with money. [See Terumas Hadeshen 111; Taz 695/4; Elya Raba 695/9; M”B 695/20; Kaf Hachaim 695/35]

[19] Bach 694; Peri Chadash 695; Kaf Hachaim 695/47

[20] Based on M”A 694/1 from Shlah 260b; Mahril 56; Elya Raba 686/4; M”B 694/3; Aruch Hashulchan 694/2

[21] Aruch Hashulchan 696/3; Piskeiy Teshuvos 695/9

[22] See Chasam Sofer 194 which discusses the sides to this dispute


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