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Who should the Mishloach Manos be sent to?
The gifts may be sent to any Jew, whether wealthy or poor. However men should only give to men and women should only give to women. However Matanos Laevyonim may be given from a man to a woman and vice versa.
Sending Mishloach Manos to a mourner: One may not send gifts or Mishloach Manos to a mourner. This applies within the first twelve months of mourning [if he is mourning for his parents, and for other close relative this applies within the first thirty days.] If the only available Jew to send Mishloach Manos to is in mourning, one may do so. If the mourner is sent a gift and he refuses to accept it, the giver has nevertheless fulfilled his obligation.
What is the law if the receiver refused to accept the gift? If one sent Mishloach Manos to a friend and he refused to accept it, one has nevertheless fulfilled his obligation. [However this is only if he did not refuse to accept it due to enmity, such as he graciously said “Be it considered as if I accepted it”. If however he refused to accept it due to a personal enmity against the giver, than it is invalid. Furthermore, some Poskim argue on the above and rule whenever the receiver refused to accept the gift, irrelevant of his reason, one does not fulfill his obligation. Practically one is to be stringent and resend the Mishloach Manos to another person if the intended receiver refused to accept it.]
Must the receiver know the identity of the person who sent him Mishloach Manos?
Yes. Hence it is advisable to place the family name of the sender on the package of Mishloach Manos.
Does one fulfill his obligation of Mishloach Manos if the intended receiver is not home?
If the receiver will come home prior to the end of Purim and find the Mishloach Manos, then he fulfills his obligation. If however the receiver will not come home until after Purim is over, then he does not fulfill his obligation. If a family member is home and receives the Mishloach Manos on his behalf, then if they tell him that he was sent Mishloach Manos, the receiver fulfills his obligation even if the intended receiver will not return home until after Purim. If however the receiver was not informed then he does not fulfill his obligation.
Does one fulfill his obligation of Mishloach Manos if the receiver is sleeping?
If the receiver will wake up before the end of Purim and receive the gifts, the giver fulfills his obligation. If the receiver will not awaken until after Purim, then if one gives it to someone on behalf of the receiver it is disputed as to whether he fulfills his obligation.
Does one fulfill his obligation of Mishloach Manos when sending Mishloach Manos to pay up a loan or a favor?
Does one fulfill his obligation of Mishloach Manos when sending to one’s Rebbe?
Does one fulfill his obligation of Mishloach Manos when sending to one’s parents?
Does one fulfill his obligation of Mishloach Manos when sending to a non-observant Jew?
Yes. One is even encouraged to do so in order to bring them closer to observance. It is best to remind them about the Mitzvah of Mishloach Manos upon giving them. They can also be told to switch the Mishloach Manos with a friend and hence fulfill the Mitzvah. It is best to instruct them to say a blessing prior to eating the food and it is also proper to propose them to cover the head. If doing so will offend the person then it is not necessary to mention this when offering them food. Alternatively one can write on each food the Bracha that it receives.
Does one fulfill his obligation of Mishloach Manos when sending to an enemy?
This matter is disputed amongst Poskim.
Does one fulfill his obligation of Mishloach Manos if the receiver is drunk?
Yes. However if he is intoxicated to the point of Lot [complete inability of understanding] then it is questionable as to whether one fulfills his obligation.
May a woman send Mishloach Manos to a Rabbi or male teacher?
If the Rabbi or teacher is married she may send a present to his wife.
If one gives Mishloach Manos to children does he fulfill his obligation?
May one give Mishloach Manos on condition for it to be returned [Matana Al Menas Lehachzir]?
No, as the Mitzvah is for the receiver to use the gift for his Purim feast.
If one sent Mishloach Manos to a pauper does he also fulfill the Mitzvah of Matanos Laevyonim?
Some Poskim leave this matter in question. Practically one is not to fulfill his Mitzvah of Matanos Laevyonim through giving Mishloach Manos to a pauper, and hence one is to give Matanos Laevyonim to two paupers in addition to Mishloach Manos. It is questionable whether one may fulfill his Mitzvah of Mishloach Manos with the same pauper that he gave Matanos Laevyonim.
May one who celebrates on the 14th fulfill his obligation by giving Mishloach Manos to one who celebrates on the 15th and vice versa?
One who celebrates on the 14th is to send the Manos to a person who celebrates on the 14th. The same applies regarding one who is celebrating in Jerusalem on the 15th that he is to send the Mishloach Manos to one who is celebrating on the 15th. Some however rule that one who is celebrating on the 14th may send the Manos to one who is celebrating on the 15th, if one tells the person not to eat the food sent until the 15th.
May one give Mishloach Manos before Purim to fulfill one’s obligation?
Many Poskim rule that one may send Mishloach Manos before Purim if the Manos will arrive to the receiver on Purim. If however it will arrive before Purim one does not fulfill his obligation. Other Poskim however rule the gifts of Mishloach Manos must be given on the day of Purim itself, and if sent beforehand one does not fulfill his obligation. Practically one is to be stringent in this matter. If one plans to send more Mishloach Manos on Purim in addition to the package sent before Purim, then he may send the Mishloach Manos beforehand.
Q&A on Mourner
If the mourner is a pauper may he be sent gifts?
One may send the mourner money, as it is no different than charity. This applies even within his seven days of mourning. He may even be sent food, as long as it is not superfluous delicacies.
May one send Mishloach Manos to a mourner’s wife?
Friends of the mourner’s wife may send her Mishloach Manos. However friends of the husband are not to send her Mishloach Manos, as they certainly intend to give it to the husband.
May one send Mishloach Manos to a mourner’s husband?
This follows the same ruling as above.
May one send Mishloach Manos to a Rav that is within his year of Aveilus?
No. However if one is accustomed to send money to the Rav each year by Purim, then it is permitted to do so in the current year as well.
May one send Mishloach Manos to his parents that are within Aveilus?
Some rule that if the child does so every year as a token of appreciation to his parents, then he may be lenient to do so also on the current Purim.
If one’s parent passed away on Purim, may he receive Mishloach Manos on the first Yartzite?
 Mishloach Manos may be given even to the wealthy as their purpose is to increase in love for each other. [Kaf Hachaim 695/39]
Slave: It is questionable whether one fulfills his obligation if he sends Mishloach Manos to an Eved Kenani. [P”M 695 A”A 11]
 Rama 695/4; Men may not send to women as this may lead to sending to a widow [or any single woman-Yifei Levav 5/8] which will cause there to be a question of betrothal. [Rama ibid] The reason this will cause a question of betrothal is because people will think he is sending her the gifts because she is already engaged to him. [M”A 695/15]
 Rama ibid
The reason: As by money there is no suspicion that he is giving it to her because they are already engaged, as it is only common to give gifts and presents and not money. Likewise it will not appear like Kedushin money being there are no set witnesses. [M”A ibid] Alternatively the reason it is permitted by Matanos Laevyonim is because it is for charity purposes, and if we would forbid this paupers would not have how to live. [Olas Shabbos 695/3 brought in Kaf Hachaim 695/61] Thus it is permitted for even food to be given as Matanos Laevyonim [whether to men or women]. [Elya Raba 695/14; P”M 695 A”A 15; M”B 695/27]
 Rama 696/6
 Foods not of Simcha: This includes even foods that are not matters of pleasure but rather basic necessities. [Mateh Moshe 1018; M”A 696/11; Elya Raba 696/8; Chayeh Adam 154/37; M”B 696/19; Kaf Hachaim 695/3]
The reason: As one is forbidden to give Shalom to a mourner within the first 12 months. [M”B 696/20]
Those that permit sending gifts to an Avel: Those that are accustomed to permit asking Shalom to an Avel during his 12 months [see Yoreh Deah 385] are permitted to send Mishloach Manos on Purim to an Avel that is within the 12 months. [M”A 696/12; M”B 696/21; P”M 696 A”A 12] However foods of Simcha are not to be sent. [Derech Hachaim; M”B ibid] Within the Shloshim, according to all Mishloach Manos cannot be sent. [ibid]
Must one protest those that send Mishloach Manos to Aveilim? Some Poskim rule one is not obligated to warn the givers that they may not send Mishloach Manos to an Avel. [Zecher Simcha 79] However the Rebbe publicized that people should not send him Mishloach Manos when he was in his year of Aveilus. [Nitei Gavriel Aveilus 2/35 footnote 19]
 M”B 696/20; Kaf Hachaim 696/36
 Mishneh Berurah 696/20
 As one cannot give someone a present against his will. [Biur Hagr”a; M”B 696/22]
 Rama 695/4; This follows the ruling of the Darkei Moshe in name of Rivash
 The reason: As nevertheless the purpose of the Mishloach Manos, which is to increase in friendship amongst Jews, has been met, as the Jew has received joy from the offer. The giver has thus fulfilled his obligation. [Piskeiy Teshuvos 695/9] This follows the ruling of the Manos Levi [brought in Halacha 1] which rules the reason behind Mishloach Manos is to increase friendship. However according to the ruling of the Terumos Hadeshen one’s obligation would not be fulfilled, as will be explained next.
 Piskeiy Teshuvos 695 footnote 46 as there has been no joy added to the receiver by the person offering him the gift, and hence the purpose of Mishloach Manos is not met. See also Kaf Hachaim 695/52.
Vetzaruch Iyun as the Rama does not differentiate in this matter and rather simply writes “if he refused to accept it or was Mochel” implying that even if he refused to accept it due to enmity he has fulfilled his obligation. Furthermore the mere fact that someone was offered gifts by someone who he has a vendetta against, serves to calm the feelings and bring back friendship between them, even if at the current moment he refuses to accept it.
 Peri Chadash 695; Chasam Sofer 196 brought in M”B 695/24 based on Terumos Hadeshen 111
The reason: The Terumos Hadeshen ibid writes the reason behind Mishloach Manos is so people have extra food to eat for their Purim meal. Thus is one refused to accept it this purpose has not been fulfilled and one does not fulfill his obligation. The Peri Chadash hence wonders on the ruling of the Rama from the fact he ignored the ruling of the Terumos Hadeshen. [Chasam Sofer ibid]
 Kaf Hachaim 695/52
 Kesav Sofer 141
 The reason: As otherwise friendship has not been formed between the giver and receiver and thus the purpose of Mishloach Manos according to the Manos Levi has not been fulfilled. [ibid]
 Aruch Hashulchan 695/16; Piskeiy Teshuvos 695/11
 The reason: As according to the Manos Levi the purpose of the Mishloach Manos is to form friendship on Purim and if the receiver is not told on Purim, the friendship has not been formed. However see Mishneh Halachos 5/4 brought in next Q&A!
 See Aruch Hashulchan 695/16 in previous Q&A; Mishneh Halachos 5/4
 Tzafnas Paneiach Megillah 38; Piskeiy Teshuvos 695/10
 Mahraiy Asad 204; See also Kinyan Torah 7/54; Mishneh Halachos 7/94
 The reason: One’s teacher is included within “friend”.
 Mishneh Halachos 7/94
 The reason: One’s parents is included within “friend”.
 See Shraga Hameir 4/31; Piskeiy Teshuvos 695/11
 If the Jew is considered a Tinok Shenishba then one certainly fulfills his obligation through sending to him. [Shraga Hameir 4/31; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid; See Rambam Mamrim 3/3; Admur Hilchos Ribis 79] Today all unobservant Jews are considered a Tinok Shenishba. [Chazon Ish Shechita 2/28; Poskim in Piskeiy Teshuvos 55/21; Igros Kodesh 11 p. 255; Shulchan Menachem 1/202]
 There is a great Mitzvah to specifically give non-religious acquaintances Mishloach Manos in order to be Mikarev them to Torah and Mitzvos. By doing so one fulfills the entire purpose of Mishloach Manos which is to bring close the hearts of Jews to each other and to our father in heaven.
 It is permitted from the letter of the law to give them food without mentioning the wearing of a head covering however it is best to mention it. However regarding a blessing, one must tell them to say a blessing as explained in 169/2. [Sheivet Halevy 8/47; Piskeiy Teshuvos 2/10]
 See Piskeiy Teshuvos 169/3; See also “Awaking like a Jew” Chapter 6 Halacha 5E in Q&A
Although in Shulchan Aruch [169/2] and Mishneh Berurah [169/11] it is ruled that one may not give food or drink to person if he knows they will not say a blessing on it, nevertheless in the above scenario it is permitted according to all the great Poskim of today, as it is being done for Darkei Shalom and to be Mekareiv them to Yidishkite. [See Igros Moshe 5/13; Sheivet Halevy 4/17; 8/47; Teshuvos Vehanhagos 2/138; Minchas Shlomo 1/35; Sheivet Hakehasi 4/329]
 See Piskeiy Teshuvos 695/11 footnote 58
 Mishneh Halachos 4/91
 Kaf Hachaim 695/58
 Sheilas Yavetz /120; 2/68; Ben ish Chaiy Tetzaveh 16; Kaf Hachaim 694/12 ; Piskeiy Teshuvos 695/15
 The reason: As the verse states that the gifts are to be sent from a man to his friend. [Kaf Hachaim ibid]
 Aruch Hashulchan 695/18
The reason: As we see that a Katan is considered a “friend” with regards to if his ox is gored.
 P”M brought in Biur Halacha 694 “Litein Lepachos”
 Tureiy Even brought in Biur Halacha 695 “Oa”
 Gr”a; Bach on Megillah 7b which omit the word “Umatanos Laevyonim”; Rabbeinu Chananeil; Mahray Asad 207; Kesav Sofer 139.
The reason: As one may not perform Mitzvos “Chavilos Chavilos”
 See Piskeiy Teshuvos 695 footnote 98 based on Turei Even ibid
 Piskeiy Teshuvos 695/21; See Chapter 9 Halacha 3 in Q&A regarding the similar question regarding Matanos Laevyonim.
 Ashel Avraham Openhaim 694; See Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid footnote 108 that depends this on the dispute of the reason behind Mishloach Manos.
 Yad Ahron brought in Beir Heiytiv 695/7; So rule regarding Matanos Laevyonim: Ashel Avraham Butchatcher 694; Daas Torah 695/4; Beis Shearim 381; Chelkas Yaakov 1/102; Divreiy Yatziv 2/298; Kinyan Torah 4/86; Mishneh Halachos 4/87; Kaf Hachaim 694/15; They base their ruling on the M”A 694/1 that forbids giving Matanos Laevyonim before Purim due to that perhaps the person will use it or eat it before Purim. This hence implies that if the person will use it on Purim the giver fulfills his obligation.
 M”A ibid, as perhaps if it is given before Purim the receiver will use it up prior to Purim. If one stipulates with the receiver that he may not use the Mishloach Manos until Purim then seemingly this matter would be under the dispute of the reason behind Mishloach Manos.
 Birkeiy Yosef 694; Aruch Hashulchan 695/17; Beir Heiytiv 695/7 leaves this matter in question; Dvar Moshe 1/38 explains there is a difference between Mishloach Manos and Matanos Laevyonim and hence although the Poskim above are lenient regarding Matanos Laevyonim they would be stringent regarding Mishloach Manos.
 The reason: As it ends up that one did not actually give it on Purim.
 Dvar Moshe ibid; Piskeiy Teshuvos 695/21
 M”A 696/11; Elya Raba 696/8; Chayeh Adam 154/37; Derech Hachaim; M”B 696/19; Kaf Hachaim 695/35
 Poskim ibid
 Derech Hachaim; M”B 696/19; Kaf Hachaim 695/35
 Elya Raba ibid
 Piskeiy Teshuvos 696/10
 Piskeiy Teshuvos 696/10
 Divrei Malkiel 237; Piskeiy Teshuvah 149; Piskeiy Teshuvos 696/10
 Sheivet Hakehasi 4/188; Piskeiy Teshuvos 696/10
 P”M 696 A”A 11; Piskeiy Teshuvos 696 footnote 42