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

 


 






ARTICLES ON DEVARIM AND THE THREE WEEKS:

View Complete List

Paradise Lost
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5759

Sense and Sensitivity
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5759

Unite!
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5760

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Payment in Full
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5766

A Good Eye
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5763

Golden Opportunities
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5772

ArtScroll

Harsh Hugs
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5765

All Israel
Rabbi Label Lam - 5770

Flight to Freedom
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5763

> Murphy's Day
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5761

When Moshiach Comes
Rabbi Label Lam - 5768

Fear Itself
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5758

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Born To Be Wise
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5766

The Recognition of Shame
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5773

By The Rivers of Babylon...
Shlomo Katz - 5759

Placing The Partitions
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5770



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