[Avodah] Having Mishaloach Manos Delivered vis Amazon

Prof. L. Levine llevine at stevens.edu
Mon Feb 22 06:32:07 PST 2021

>From today's OU Kosher Halacha Yomis. Please see my question at the end.

Q. I ordered a food package on Amazon two days before Purim with guaranteed delivery to my friend on Purim day. Do I fulfill the mitzvah of Mishloach Manos with such an arrangement?

A. This is a matter of dispute among the poskim. Some hold that by doing so he does fulfill his obligation of Mishloach Manos (Be’er Heitev to OC 695:7, citing Yad Aharon; Da’as Torah in the name of Mahari Assad, and Rav Elyashiv, cited in Yevakshu Mipihu, Purim 1:31). However Aruch HaShulchan (695:17) held that one does not fulfill Mishloach Manos with this arrangement. The Ben Ish Chai (Teshuvos Torah Lishmah 188) explains the reasoning behind this dispute as follows: In the previous Halacha Yomis we learned that there is a dispute as to why Mishloach Manos are given. Is it to engender good will and camaraderie between people (Manos Halevi), or is it to ensure that poor people have sufficient food for their Purim Seudah (Terumas HaDeshen)? If Mishloach Manos are to foster good will – one must send the food on Purim itself because sending the food is part of the mitzvah. Those who hold that one is yotzei, take the position that the purpose of Mishloach Manos is for the recipient to have sufficient food for the seudah. Hence, as long as the food is received on Purim – even if it was sent prior to Purim – the sender has fulfilled his obligation of Mishloach Manos, as the recipient will now have sufficient food for his seudah.


According to the opinion that "the sender has fulfilled his obligation of Mishloach Manos, as the recipient will now have sufficient food for his seudah" is the purpose of sending Mishaloach Manos, then it seems to me that sending candy and cake does not fulfill the mitzvah. While some kids may make feel that candy and cakes are fine for a meal,  most adults do not, and hence it seems to me that one who sends candy and sweets does not fulfill his/her obligation to send Mishaloach Manos.

For the past few years have been giving a package with salad and croutons. This certainly can be a part of a "real" Seudah.


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