Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Which foods qualify for Mishloach Manot on Purim?


May I use any kind of food for mishloach manot?

Although Megilas Esther never specifies that the gifts should be food, we understand that these gifts are meant to form the Purim Seudah (feast). Therefore, we give two foods as our gift; ideally, each portion should be of a quantity sufficient to serve as an independent Purim seudah. A beverage also suffices as a portion.

There is no basis for the common notion that the foods must warrant separate berachot; it is clear in Gemara and Shulchan Aruch that foods of the same berachah may be used. However, some authorities do require that they be two "types of food", and having foods of separate berachot would safeguard against any concern.

While mishloach manot is a beautiful mitzvah, one who must restrict his Purim expenditures should put more toward matanot la'evyonim (gifts to the needy) than to mishloach manot.

(Megilah 7a-b; Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Megilah 2:15; Terumat haDeshen 111; Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 695:4; Aruch haShulchan 695:14; Mishneh Berurah 694:3, 695:20; Tzitz Eliezer 14:65; Yechaveh Daat 6:45; http://matzav.com/harav-dovid-feinstein-purim-halacha-tidbits)

Have a great day,

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