Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
 
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Chapter 142:1
Purim Gifts and Festive Meal

1. On Purim, each person is obligated to send (1) two gifts ("manos") [of food (2)] to at least one other person, as [Esther 9:22] states: "sending portions ("mishloach manos"), each person to his friend" (3). A person who sends portions of food to many friends is considered praiseworthy ("Harei Zeh Meshubach"). Nevertheless, it is preferable to give more gifts to the poor ("Matanos Le'evyonim") (4) than to spend more on the festive meal of Purim and on sending gifts of food to friends, for there is no greater and more glorious joy ("simcha") before the Holy One, blessed be He, than to gladden the hearts of the poor, the orphans, and the widows. A person who gladdens the hearts of these unfortunate individuals resembles the Divine Presence ("Sh'chinah") [which Isaiah 57:16 describes as] "enlivening those with lowly spirits and invigorating those with broken hearts" (5).

FOOTNOTES:

(1) Since the Megillah expresses the obligation with the word "sending" ("mishloach"), rather than "giving," there are authorities who question whether one must "send" the gifts through a representative ("shaliach") in order to fulfill one's obligation (Mishna Berura 695:18). Therefore, many have the custom to take someone else along with them when delivering the gifts, thus enabling them to hand over the gifts through a third party.

(2) The criteria that define what type of food or drink is required will be discussed in the next halacha (142:2).

(3) The purpose of the obligation to give a gift to a friend is to enhance one's experience of joy on Purim (Aruch HaShulchan 695:13).

(4) As we shall see in 142:3, it is also an obligation on each individual to give at least one gift of food or money to each of two poor people.

(5) According to the Rambam (Yad, Hilchos Megillah 2:17), the source of the great joy one feels when giving to the poor is the fact that in doing so, one is acting like the Divine Presence ("Sh'chinah"). It is interesting to note that the reason it is better to give more to the poor than to give more to one's friends, is not, as one would have expected, because the poor need the gifts more, but rather because giving to the poor is a greater joy for the giver, and thus a greater fulfillment of the mitzvah to experience joy ("simcha") on Purim.

 

  Table of Contents Paragraph 2 Next 

 

Halacha-Yomi, Copyright © 2004 Torah.org

 


 
Sell Chometz Online







ARTICLES ON KEDOSHIM AND PESACH:

View Complete List

Becoming Holy
Shlomo Katz - 5772

Love Your Neighbor
Rabbi Dovid Green - 5759

Different Strokes for Different Folks
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5772

Looking for a Chavrusah?

It's None of Your Business
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5759

The Eternal Impact of the Exodus
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5763

Holiness - Served Fresh
Shlomo Katz - 5764

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Love From Inside Out - Part 2
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5763

Make Your Parents and Teachers Proud
Shlomo Katz - 5763

Naturally! (Not)
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5766

> All the Rest is Commentary!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5763

Reacting to Tragedy
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5773

Inherent and Essential Contradictions
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5770

ArtScroll

Cloaked in Dignity
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5761

The Fundamental Rule
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5758

Elevated by Divine Command
Rabbi Naphtali Hoff - 5770

State of the Union
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5766



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information