Saturday, March 8, 2014

What qualifies for mishloach manot?


May I use any kind of food for mishloach manos?

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 two foods must require separate berachos; 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 using foods of separate berachos would guarantee fulfillment of this expectation.

While mishloach manos is a beautiful mitzvah, one who must restrict his Purim expenditures should put more toward matanos la'evyonim than to mishloach manos.

(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 Daas 6:45;

Have a great day,

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