Some thoughts on mishloach manos

I've written about the mitzvah of  mishloach manos before and I would echo the sentiment Sephardi Lady expressed here. I'm the last one to say that one has to spend a fortune to come up with something really impressive looking or with some type of dish or container that the recipient would keep. But that doesn't mean that people should just randomly throw some candies or other stuff they have in the house together.

Ideally, the food given should enhance the Purim seudah in some way.  Certainly, if I know something about the recipient's taste, I try to use that in planning the mishloach manos. So the neighbor who favors peach sparkling grape juice gets a bottle of that along with some food.  And the child who has diabetes get a snack that is not based on sugar in her package.  Certainly, I would never throw dairy non-cholov Yisrael snacks in to someone I know or even suspect keeps cholov Yisrael.  It seems obvious to me because the point is to give the person something s/he will enjoy eating. Just like you wouldn't give a nut-based food to someone you know has allergies or something made of meat to someone who eats on vegetarian, it is equally inappropriate to give something that you know the person won't eat because of the kashruth standards. Seems obvious to me, but someone did just that -- presented my son with a mishloach manos with Kudo bars making up the food.  He said he knows that he keeps cholov Yisrael, but maybe he could pass it on to someone who doesn't.


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Comments

Orthonomics said…
Seems one could step into ba'al tashchit territory when giving to people with a known standard in kashrut.
Ariella said…
well, they the person giving it said he thought he could just pass it on. But that's kind of like giving someone a gift you know they can't use and suggesting they can just regift it. I'm really not sure one is yotze the mitzvah when giving food to someone in full knowledge that they won't eat it.
Orthonomics said…
Agreed. I noted in my last post that some are pushing a minimalist mishloach manot. I don't know if anyone has addressed being yotzei if it won't be eaten, but that would be an argument for going beyond the minimum.
Orthonomics said…
And in your case there was full knowledge. We certainly have some knowledge that things will be taken to work or given to children who aren't obligated. Is there any commentary on giving where a person won't eat?
Ariella said…
Some people avoid giving anything homemade in case any recipients would not want to eat something that is not prepackaged. My husband finds that to be a rather deplorable situation -- the lack of trust that it evinces. I do give out some homemade cookies, kugels, or challahs. But they are always parve, and likely yoshon, though I hadn't thought about labeling them as such (someone did label a hamantashen that was included in a mishloach manos yoshon). If one is giving to someone who may have greater stringencies, it is possible to give something without loading up on candy by offering fruit and grape juice or wine. For my son's rebbe I went with the old standby of a pineapple along with a beautifully packaged bottle of wine. (see http://www.examiner.com/jewish-bridal-in-new-york/one-week-until-purim) The kids prefer to give their friends candy and juice boxes. I bought some cholov Yisroel chocolate bars to give to kids who may be cholov Yisrael.

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