Summary of laws of Purim-Part 5-Mishloach Manos

* This article is an excerpt from the above Sefer

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Mishloach Manos:

  • Who is obligated to send Mishloach Manos? Both men and women are obligated in the Mitzvah of sending Mishloach Manos. Men send to men and women to women. Married women are to be stringent to give Mishloach Manos on behalf of themselves, in addition to the Mishlaoch Manos sent by their husband. 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. Children above the age of Chinuch are likewise 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. A mourner is obligated to send Mishloach Manos however he 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].
  • When is it to be sent? Mishloach Manos must be sent on Purim during daytime. It is best to give Mishloach Manos after Shacharis in order so the blessing of Shehechiyanu count also for this Mitzvah. One who sent Mishloach Manos on the night of Purim does not fulfill his obligation. Likewise, one who sent Mishloach Manos on Motzei Purim does not fulfill his obligation.
  • How many people is one to send to? One is to send to at least one person. One who sends to more than one person is praised for doing so.
  • Who should the gifts be sent to? The gifts may be sent to any Jew whether wealthy or poor. However, men should only give to men and women to women. However, Matanos Laevyonim may be given from a man to a woman and vice versa. One may not send gifts or Mishloach Manos to a mourner.
  • What gifts is one to send? One needs to send at least two gifts of meat or other foods to one person. Both foods sent must be ready to eat without any further preparation. Sending a drink with a food is also valid. One may not send clothing or money, as only foods are considered valid gifts. Sending raw meat is invalid as it is not ready to eat. Today the custom is to send sweets as Mishloach Manos. There is no requirement that the gifts be of two different blessings. If possible, each food should contain a Kezayis [by foods] or Revius [by beverages]. If this is not possible it is proper that both foods together contain a total of a Kezayis. At the very least each gift is to be worth at least one Peruta. One who does not have what to send is to switch his meal with his friend and by doing so he fulfills the obligation.
  • Must one send the gifts through a messenger? Practically, the custom is to send the gifts through a messenger. The custom is to appoint one’s children to deliver the Mishloach Manos and Matanos Laevyonim in order to educate them in Mitzvos.

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