Home Subscribe Services Support Us
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

Chapter 142:3
Purim Gifts and Festive Meal

3. Every person (1), even a poor person who himself receives charity, is obligated to give at least two gifts (2) to two poor people, that is, one gift for each of them, on Purim (3). This is derived from [Esther 9:22] which says, "U'Matanos ("gifts") Le'evyonim" ("to poor people") [whereby the use of the plural ("gifts" and "poor people")] implies [a minimum] of two gifts to two poor people. One should not be selective when distributing money on Purim. On the contrary, a gift should be given to anyone who extends his hand (4). If a person lives in a place where there are no poor people, he should set aside the money until the poor approach him. Alternatively, he should send it to them.


(1) Both men and women are obligated.

(2) The gifts can be either money or food (Mishna Berura 694;2).

(3) One cannot fulfill one's obligation by giving gifts to the poor before Purim. This is because the act of giving is supposed to enhance one's joy ("simcha") on Purim itself.

Here is a quote from 142:1 which is relevant to this mitzvah: "it is preferable to give more gifts to the poor than to spend more on the festive meal of Purim and on sending gifts of food to friends ("Mishloach Manos"), for there is no greater and more glorious joy before the Holy One, blessed be He, than to gladden the hearts of the poor, the orphans, and the widows, because, 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.' " However, one may appoint a representative before Purim to give out the gifts on one's behalf on Purim (Aruch HaShulchan 694:2).

(4) That is, on Purim, one shouldn't withhold money from a poor person who asks for it just because one believes him to be a trickster ("ramai") and undeserving (Ibid. 694:1).


Back Paragraph 2 Table of Contents Paragraph 4 Next 


Halacha-Yomi, Copyright © 2004




View Complete List

Proof that G-d Exists
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5757

Creation: A Veil for the Reality of God
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5773

A Springtime of the Spirit
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5767


The Easy Way Out!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5770

The Uniqueness of Man
Shlomo Katz - 5766

Two Halves of a Whole
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5761

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

The Delayed "Ki Tov"
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5762

No Doubt
Shlomo Katz - 5767

Work Around
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5776

> The Small Bang
Shlomo Katz - 5761

Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5764

To Rule is Divine
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5775

Looking for a Chavrusah?

The Eternal Embrace
Rabbi Yochanan Zweig - 5773

Dog-matic Murder
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5764

A Walk in the Garden
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5759

The Dawn of a New Adventure
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5760

Project Genesis Home

Torah Portion

Jewish Law



Learn the Basics




Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base


About Us

Contact Us

Free Book on Geulah! Home Copyright Information