Purim pet peeve

The misrepresentation of the mitzvah of mishloach manos, especially by stores that try to use it as an occasion to sell their non-edible products.   The mitzah is to send food, ideally something that would enhance the Purim seudah.  You don't get extra mitzvah points for themes, original packages, or including groggers (what's the point after Megillah reading anyway?)   And though you may consider any holiday an occasion for giving gifts, there is absolutely no mitzvah to give jewelry on Purim.  Also  the decorative platters, bowls, boxes, and jars that you pack your mishloach manos in are tafel to the food with respect to fulfilling the mitzvah..
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Comments

tesyaa said…
And for a wedding, you don't need a fancy gown, flowers, a band, etc. You need kosher aidim, a ring, a seuda (which does not have to have several courses served), etc. People almost always choose to do more than the bare minimum.
Ariella said…
I don't know if it is comparable. The fact is that a wedding band is supposed to unadorned and not plated in a metal that differs from the base. The reason is that the bride should not believe the ring to be woth more than it is. Here, it is not a matter of misleading people about the value of the mishloach manos but giving the wrong impression of what is the ikar and what is the tafel for the mitzah.
tesyaa said…
But are the fancy meal & the sushi station and the 10-piece orchestra and the expensive dresses for the whole wedding party the IKAR, or the TAFEL?
Ariella said…
Obviously, they are tafel. However, a festive meal is appropriate because it is a seudas mitzvah, just as the Purim seuda is.
What I really object to is the misrepresentation involved in advertising jewelry and such for mishloach manos. You can give a $10,000 diamond piece and not be yotze the mitzvah at all if it is not accompanied by the requisite amount of food. You are equally yotze if you give the food without the diamond. In other words, jewelry does not enter into the equation for mishloach manos, and there is no hiddur mitzvah in offering it on Purim.
Chaim B. said…
I doubt anyone really thinks they can get married with flowers, a band, and a sushi station without a ring and eidim. But people do think that the more beautiful the basket, the better the mishloach manos, even if there is not much food in there. Would you serve a seudah of laffy taffy, licorice, potato chips and fruit? If mishloach manos is really a kiyum in seudas Purim (see Terumas haDeshen 111), then no matter how nicely you wrap the candy, you are missing the point of the mitzvah. (That is not to say you definitely would not be yotzei -- but according to some shitos it would be lacking.)
tesyaa said…
Actually, I have long railed agains mishloach manos that don't even contain a k'zayis of anything. (And I don't know if a water bottle counts as one of the two types of foodstuffs, either). The only exception I made was when my kids were very young and they each wanted to give a bag to every kid in the class. We let them make small cute bags for their classmates. I also get irritated when people deliver mishloach manos the night of Purim, instead of on the day as is required. I am also a mishloach manos purist, I guess. The nicest reaction I've gotten is when I made actual food (meatballs and spaghetti, I think) for two lucky recipients. But there seems to be a social obligation to hand people a bag in return for the one they're delivering, so limiting it to 2 isn't practical, however nice those 2 food gifts are.
Ariella said…
In some communities, there are now the cards in lieu of mishloach manos in support of organizations. There is nothing wrong with saying you are limiting your own mishloach manos list in order to give more tzedaka. But it won't go over well with the kids who really look forward to the nosh they get when giving mishloach manos. It is possible to set up real food ones without spending the $25-$100 that the stores around her charge for each ready-made basket to be yotzeh the mitzvah properly while also allocating for matanos le'evyonim. Some people buy the ready baskets from an organization that puts the proceeds toward tzedaka (that's what the school I send to does for the teachers' mishloach manos) but, personally, I prefer to make my own and just send money for matanos le'evyonim. I've also bought the cards, which are particularly useful for mailing to people outside the local area.
miriamp said…
I'm so glad I live "out of town." Expectations are lower, no one seems upset if you don't give them when they gave to you, (although often people do just exchange) small but cute is just fine, and no silly diamond ads related to Purim.

And I agree, the salami, mustard, ketchup and grape juice we got one year was more welcome than a whole basket of nosh, especially the milchig non-cholov yisroel nosh that just got re-gifted. Although my kids preferred the (parve) nosh.

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