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Chapter 142:2
Purim Gifts and Festive Meal

2. [Regarding the obligation to give two gifts of food to one's friend on Purim ("Mishloach Manos")], the term used by the Megillah, "manos" (lit: "portions") implies something which is fit to eat as it is without any further preparations (1), for example, cooked meat or fish (2), not raw pieces, or candy, fruit, wine, mead, or the like (3).

FOOTNOTES:

(1) The portions should also be of a respectable size ("chatichah ha'roui le'hiscaved"), the type of portion one would serve to one's guests. One who sends two tiny pieces has not fulfilled his obligation (Aruch HaShulchan 695:15).

(2) There are authorities who rule that since raw meat or chicken is ready to be cooked immediately, one may fulfill one's obligation through them (Mishna Berura 695:19).

(3) One may give either two different types of food (including two types of meat), or two different beverages or one food item and one beverage (Aruch HaShulchan 695:14). As a minimum, the gift must contain two different types of food or drink, however, one may add as many items as one wishes.

 

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