Must the two foods of Mishloach Manos be of two different blessing?

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Must the two foods of Mishloach Manos be of two different blessing?

It is disputed amongst Poskim[1] whether the two gifts given for Mishloach Manos should be made up of two different foods. Seemingly, this debate has led to the misconception that the two foods must be made up of two different blessings. In truth, the identity of the blessing of the two foods has no relevance to the validity of the Mishloach Manos gifts, as evident from the omission of this criteria from all the Poskim, in addition to the fact that there is no logic to connect the two matters to each other. There is hence no need for the two foods to consist of two different blessings. One may thus send a bottle of juice[2] and a bar of chocolate as Mishloach Manos, even though both have the blessing of Shehakol, and there is no reason or source to being careful that the foods retain two different blessings.

 

Summary:

There is no requirement, or even Hiddur, for the two gifts of Mishloach Manos to be of two different blessings, and this idea is a common misconception.


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[1] Some Poskim rule that the gifts must be made up of two different foods in order to be Yotzei the Mitzvah. [Aruch Hashulchan 695:14; Ashel Avraham Butchach 695 leans to be stringent; Shem Mishimon 31 based on Arizal; The Aruch Hashulchan ibid interprets the statement of the Rambam and Michaber 695:3 of two pieces of meat to refer to different tasting pieces of meat, and so is also implied from the wording of the Rambam “or two types of food”; See Nitei Gavriel 58:1 footnote 2] Other Poskim, however, rule that there is no need to have two different foods, and one even fulfills his obligation if he gives two serving portions of the same food, even if they were not cut to two pieces. [Possible implication of wording of Rambam and Michaber ibid “such as two portions of meat” implying that one may give two portions of the same food; Implication of Karban Mincha 385 [of Rav Yaakov Chagiz]; Rosh Yosef Megillah 7a [of P”M] leans to rule it is allowed; Afrasakta Deanya 25; Orchos Chaim 695:12 in name of Devar Beito; Meiy Yehuda 86; Sheiris Yehuda 93; Tzitz Eliezer 14:65; See Nitei Gavriel 58:1 footnote 1]

[2] Shlah; M”A 695:11; Elya Raba 695:9; Peri Chadash; M”B 695:20

Other Opinions: Some Poskim rule one must send two foods while drinks are invalid. [Afrakasta Deanya 25] See Teshuvos Eliezer [brought in Yagdil Torah Yerushalayim 13:113] that perhaps one should not send Mashkeh as it is not considered a Mana [important item] however if it is within an enclosed bottle then perhaps it is considered important.  

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