[Avodah] What is the reason for the mitzvah of giving Mishloach Manos on Purim?

Micha Berger micha at aishdas.org
Fri Mar 22 06:43:41 PDT 2019

On Fri, Mar 22, 2019 at 11:43:10AM +0100, Arie Folger via Avodah wrote:
: First of all, Manot Halevi's suggestion (Megillas Esther 9:16-17), that MM
: come to prove Haman wrong by showing we are more united than is usually
: acknowledged. The problem I have with this, is that Mishloach Manot is
: known from elsewhere in Tanach, where Haman is totally absent: In Sefer
: Nechemya 8:12, the Jews of Jerusalem are instructed to rejoice on Rosh
: haShana, and send one another food.
: This difficulty may be answered by positing that here, too, it was
: important to proclaim Jewish unity, though other than the fact unity is a
: good thing, there is no hint why this should have been an issue on that
: Rosh haShana or on RH in general, any more than any other day of the year.

We could tie in the more favorable judgement the qehillah gets to the judgment
one would get standing alone.

Or the need to get mechilah from other people before one can get HQBH's.

Taamei hamitzvos rationales allow for so much darshanut. Although that's
not where I would go here.

: Alternatively, the reason of MM in Nechemya is to rejoice, and Purim being
: a rabbinic holiday ought not to merit MM, but it was instituted anyway
: because of the need to assert unity on Purim in particular.
: I'd like to suggest that Mishloach Manot is indeed that which we most
: commonly assume, an expression of shared joy, and that it is appropriate
: for every Jewish holiday, even on such a minor holiday as Purim, all the
: more so on 3 regalim.

I would say that the chiluq between the MhL's suggestion and the one you
prefer is merely whether the emphasis in "shared joy" is on the sharing or
on the joy.

Why do we share joy in general? Why do we feel a need to invite the world
to a chasunah? Or for a qorban tamid to be so large as to necessitate
sharing, or a qorban pesach (if each member of the chaburah is to only
get around a kezayis)?

I think the bonding people in sharing our joy, or increasing the joy by
sharing it (which presumes bonds), is quite a subtle distinction. Not
quite a hainu hakh, but why need it be one to the exclusion of the other?
(Yeah, Telzh vs Brisk to the rescue!!!!) The point is to share joy, because
it's the hitztarfus of sharing and joy which brings unity to the two
goals of mishloach manos of being more joyous and more unified.


Micha Berger             If you're going through hell
micha at aishdas.org        keep going.
http://www.aishdas.org                   - Winston Churchill
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