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New York - At Issue: Rebbetzin Jungreis Addresses 'Purim Baskets' In Time Of Financial Crisis

Published on: March 2, 2009 01:03 PM
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Dear Rebbetzin:
    Please accept my thoughts on the painful letter regarding one family’s financial problems. My mother, ob"m, contracted breast cancer when I was 10 years old. My father, an engineer, worked full-time, which provided our family with sufficient funds. We were not wealthy or even “well off,” and my parents made sacrifices to ensure that my sister and I received proper training.  The onslaught of sudden illness made a considerable impact on our situation to say nothing of the emotional devastation.

    My parents, who had always taught us well about money management, dealt with the issue forthrightly. Yes, it was difficult for my father to speak of this with my sister and me, but I remember my father’s words well. He advised us that our family structure and basic needs of food and shelter would not be threatened, but that each of us was to have a role in dealing with the immediate and long-term situation, which would require hiring part-time help in our home plus additional expenses to keep the household running. These sums were far from insignificant for my father.

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    My sister and I were told that our part involved giving up our weekly allowances (these were very small sums indeed) and to think carefully before asking for any future purchases. If we truly needed something, and it was possible, the arrangements would be considered - not guaranteed but considered. I cannot describe the pain this caused my father, but neither can I adequately explain the level of elevated esteem to which he rose in my eyes. His example has followed me all my life.

    While this dear lady’s situation is much more complex and likely more dire, the principle remains the same. Deal with situations with honesty and humility; express your pain and regret to family members and remind them and yourself that true family is not built on finances but is built and sustained on joint loving support.

    If the family as a unit, and as individuals, calls upon Hashem with its whole heart, even drastic life changes can be borne. I believe my parents gave my sister and me great honor by trusting us to do our small part and certainly the younger and adult children of this situation will respond in the same manner if they are approached with honesty and love.

    As to gifts for Purim, we can all rethink the issue of extended gift lists and perhaps develop alternative, even if not customary, gifts. Perhaps instead of fruits and nuts, we can give friends our time and abilities, even exchanging such mundane tasks as ironing, watching children for an hour or two so that parents can have some time to themselves, or simply giving each other the gift of a phone call on a regular basis. It may not be possible to be as generous as in previous times, but by closely examining our lists, appropriate choices can be made.

    We should not overlook the impact of a sincerely written note rather than ordering traditional baskets. These are extraordinary times and we are being called upon to look deep within ourselves to find new methods of expression while continuing to affirm the goodness of Hashem in our daily lives.

    Thank you for allowing me to express my opinion. May these difficult times pass by, and like the thunder which accompanies life-giving rain, remind us that we are always to trust Hashem’s plans. If you feel any of these words would comfort others, please feel free to share them at will.
Sincerely yours,
Deinya Mautz
Jacksonville, Florida


My Dear Friend:
        Thank you for opening your heart and sharing your story. After what you have been through, it’s very kind of you to consider that our letter writer’s problem is more severe than yours was. G-d should not test any of us, but terminal illness, losing a mother when you were a child, was surely more devastating than any financial crisis, although you tasted that as well. Too often, when hearing of challenges experienced by others, people who have suffered tend to dismiss them as minor compared to theirs. But a sensitive, kind person will understand that to each person, his/her pain is the most acute.

        In regard to your suggestion vis-à-vis mishloach manos, I would like to point out that while the acts of chesed you recommend are certainly very meaningful and worthwhile, they are not substitutes for the mitzvah of mishloach manos, which requires sending at least two ready-to-eat foods to a friend. Such a gift need not be expensive and is certainly within the reach of everyone. The problem is not the mishloach manos, but the extravagance and lavishness that too often accompany it and the desire of people to impress and outdo others.

        Esther and Mordechai instituted this wonderful concept to build friendship, harmony and good will among our people. If someone wishes to go beyond the letter of the law and send to many people, it is praiseworthy to do so. But we should bear in mind that, even as we have been given the mitzvah of mishloach manos, we have also been given the mitzvah of matanos l’evyonim - gifts to the poor. If a choice must be made, it is more important to increase our gifts to the poor.

        Having said all this, I am in total accord with you that we have to re-think our manner of giving mishloach manos nowadays, and I addressed this issue in my last column. Additionally, in our current financial climate, matanos l’evyonim should be a priority and replace the extravagant gift baskets. But again, I must emphasize that this does not mean that we should, chas v’shalom, do away with the beautiful, joyous mitzvah of mishloach manos.

        Purim is an amazing, wonderful Yom Tov for the entire family, and children especially revel in the joy of the day, delivering little food baskets to friends and neighbors. But again, these need not be expensive - two different, ready-to-eat foods that are symbolic of love and good wishes are all that are required, and if we keep it simple and modest, we will be able to include many people on our lists. Your suggestions of chesed however, are well taken, and can be added to, but not substituted, for mishloach manos and matanos l’evyonim.
        I invite all our readers to share their experiences. Please e-mail your stories to rebbetzin@hineni.org.  May Hashem grant that this Purim brings true joy and redemption to all our families and to Klal Yisrael.



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Read Comments (57)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Mar 02, 2009 at 12:22 PM Yossi Says:

As far as I'm concerned, your'e yotzei the mitzvah by giving food with two different bruchos. Those who make themselves a pressure to send lavish, expensive things do not have anyone to blame but themselves.

2

 Mar 02, 2009 at 12:43 PM The Truth Says:

Reply to #1  
Yossi Says:

As far as I'm concerned, your'e yotzei the mitzvah by giving food with two different bruchos. Those who make themselves a pressure to send lavish, expensive things do not have anyone to blame but themselves.

That is a big misunderstanding as well. It needs to be 2 different ITEMS - even if they have the same brocho. The Mishna Brura says this clearly.

3

 Mar 02, 2009 at 12:42 PM about time Says:


We all agree that the situation of giving shloch monos has been out of hand for years now I hope that with the present finacial climate things will return to a normal level the only thing I will not be however cutting back on is my cheque to the rebbe in cheder as he needs to live as well and doesnot need my wine and chocolates we should all enjoy a pressured free purim and enjoy the true simcha from with in

4

 Mar 02, 2009 at 01:53 PM Tachlis Says:

#3 think before you write. what will be with all the people who sell mishloach manos for a living? will you single handidly support them?

5

 Mar 02, 2009 at 12:48 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Yossi Says:

As far as I'm concerned, your'e yotzei the mitzvah by giving food with two different bruchos. Those who make themselves a pressure to send lavish, expensive things do not have anyone to blame but themselves.

In the current economic times, lets not worry about these arcane issues of two different types of food...lets worry about the recipients having enough to eat not just for Purim but for year-round. The time and energy that people waste on mishloach monas is a shame...take the time to find ways of helping people year around.

6

 Mar 02, 2009 at 12:35 PM Anonymous Says:

My friend had a job making baskets but not enough people were buying so she lost her job. By buying the baskets, you're also giving a Jew a job, which is the highest form of tzedakah. A campaign needs to be done to support Jewish businesses and for Jewish businesses to hire Jews and pay them well.

7

 Mar 02, 2009 at 12:32 PM Anonymous Says:

I heard in a shiur that one merely has to provide a friend with two food items (even if they are the same brocho), and that it is preferable if the items are ready to eat and can be used at the seuda, which usually involves some meat.

As for the matanos l'evyonim, a monetary gift enough to purchase a meal should suffice as the minimum. Let's be honest: one cannot buy a meal with a dollar (except maybe at McDonald's, which is obviously not shayach).

I say let's expand on matanos l'evyonim and be more modest in the mishloach manos (unless you are supporting a Jewish small business which relies on mishloach manos for its seasonal business, for example).

Now is the not the time for ostentation.

8

 Mar 02, 2009 at 12:28 PM Use Your Head Says:

It is elementary halacha that it is better to give more matanos l'evyonim rather than more manos.

9

 Mar 02, 2009 at 12:26 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Yossi Says:

As far as I'm concerned, your'e yotzei the mitzvah by giving food with two different bruchos. Those who make themselves a pressure to send lavish, expensive things do not have anyone to blame but themselves.

they could both be the same brocha you are yotzei with a red and green apple

10

 Mar 02, 2009 at 02:02 PM bitachon Says:

I couldn't agree more. Let's support our children's moros teachers and rabbeim!
A freiliche purim!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

11

 Mar 02, 2009 at 02:20 PM Anonymous Says:

why do us frum people always have to be told what and how to do things. concerts, weddings, purim baskets, etc. Are we that dumb to realize people have their own minds, priorities, and agendas! since when do rebbes need to fly private jets to small shtetls in Europe?

12

 Mar 02, 2009 at 02:12 PM Anonymous Says:

#4 these mishloach manos sellers have created a matzav where everyone is in a race to outdo everyone else. in normal times, it is not right, and much more so in today's situation. if this is how they are making a living, i would rather call it "making a killing"

13

 Mar 02, 2009 at 02:24 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

My friend had a job making baskets but not enough people were buying so she lost her job. By buying the baskets, you're also giving a Jew a job, which is the highest form of tzedakah. A campaign needs to be done to support Jewish businesses and for Jewish businesses to hire Jews and pay them well.

I agree & disagree, I am sorry for your friend being out of work, however, everything has gotten out of hand and gone to absurd extremes. While we all would like to send $100 or $200 baksets or more, most of us don't have that kind of financial resource. Why do we feel we must keep us with Schwartzs or Kleins or whomever. This narishkeit has taken over every type of Simcha amd families go in debt just trying to keep up. My wife was just let go from the Yesheiva she works for, and this year we are not buying any baskets period. We will send 2 small items of food and send this with our love, brachas and wishes of friendship. I will aslo enclose a note expalining why the slim pickings. And since you brought up the subject, the yesheiva kept 2 non Jewish women working while letting go the Shomeret SHabbat. And no, her standard of work was not in question. So much for giving a Yid a Job!

15

 Mar 02, 2009 at 02:31 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #4  
Tachlis Says:

#3 think before you write. what will be with all the people who sell mishloach manos for a living? will you single handidly support them?

Yeah, and what about all the outrageously expensive jewelry stores, and outrageously expensive clothing stores?

17

 Mar 02, 2009 at 02:27 PM Anonymous Says:

WOW. Halivay this should be the worst of the worst problems in our community.

18

 Mar 02, 2009 at 02:26 PM Dr. E Says:

As long as there is a catchy theme, two Brachos are not necessary.

19

 Mar 02, 2009 at 02:42 PM Anonymous Says:

I went out shopping yesterday, I DID NOT SEE ANY SIGN OF RECESSION OUT IN THE STORES B'H., , maybe the credit card bills are accumulating......

20

 Mar 02, 2009 at 02:40 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #6  
Anonymous Says:

My friend had a job making baskets but not enough people were buying so she lost her job. By buying the baskets, you're also giving a Jew a job, which is the highest form of tzedakah. A campaign needs to be done to support Jewish businesses and for Jewish businesses to hire Jews and pay them well.

"A campaign needs to be done to support Jewish businesses and for Jewish businesses to hire Jews and pay them well.” Be very careful. There are state and federal laws that prohibit hiring on the basis of religion. While there are some exceptions, the laws are fairly broad. Remember that without these laws, gentiles would be free to refuse to hire jews, as many did in the first half of the last century and even later before the civil rights laws.

21

 Mar 02, 2009 at 02:40 PM Use Your Head Says:

Reply to #12  
Anonymous Says:

#4 these mishloach manos sellers have created a matzav where everyone is in a race to outdo everyone else. in normal times, it is not right, and much more so in today's situation. if this is how they are making a living, i would rather call it "making a killing"

Don't be silly. They cater to the market they serve. If nobody would buy them, nobody would sell them.

25

 Mar 02, 2009 at 02:48 PM Anonymous Says:

To #14 I am in the same position as you are and I feel for you. I bought 2 bags and I have an extra if necessary. This has become big business and whole theme and idea behind it has disappeared!! People go their own way and mind their business now and really do not care if somebody else does not have something to eat!!

26

 Mar 02, 2009 at 03:23 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #19  
Anonymous Says:

I went out shopping yesterday, I DID NOT SEE ANY SIGN OF RECESSION OUT IN THE STORES B'H., , maybe the credit card bills are accumulating......

A Jew should always say BH but in this case not seeing any sign of recession is still part of the problem, as you yourself noted, the bills ARE accumulating.
I believe this is the year to get less showy in this mitzvah and if you feel now or later you have extra funds give tzedaka.

27

 Mar 02, 2009 at 03:22 PM advocate Says:

#11 "why do us frum people always have to be told what and how to do things. concerts, weddings, purim baskets, etc. Are we that dumb to realize people have their own minds, priorities, and agendas! since when do rebbes need to fly private jets to small shtetls in Europe?"

Unfortunately may people need a bit of advice today, because they do not have a mind of their own. The peer pressure is tremendous and maybe talks like this will encourage them to do what they think is right, and not because they don't have the courage to do things differently.

They should not be told, only given suggestions. It is each individual's right to do as they please.

28

 Mar 02, 2009 at 03:42 PM Mishloach Monos Man Says:

You can be yoitzeh essrog with a $10 one. You can be yoitzeh chanukah licht with simple candles in a tin menorah. You can be yoitzeh lots of mitzvos with less, BUT YOU DON'T!!!

So why are you cutting back on the shlach monos that you are giving "yenem"???

Start with cutting back on the mitzvos you enjoy, like showing off a $500 essrog in a silver box, or lighting chanukah candles in your window with olive oil and bees wax candles in a silver menorah.
Or how about cutting back on your fancy seudas shabbos and yom tov - you can be yoitzeh with a piece of challeh. Save those calories and make that cut, before you start sending out monos of a raisen and a candy!

Don't be mevazeh yourself, your friends and the mitzvah!

29

 Mar 02, 2009 at 03:29 PM esther Says:

until people stop living up the jonses then this will carry on!!!

30

 Mar 02, 2009 at 03:27 PM Ben Says:

Reply to #4  
Tachlis Says:

#3 think before you write. what will be with all the people who sell mishloach manos for a living? will you single handidly support them?

First of all: making shaloch manos is a seasonal job meaning noone is doing it all year.
2nd of all, following your line of reasoning I must now buy a Jaguar as "who will single handidly support them if I dont!!!???? etc. etc.

31

 Mar 02, 2009 at 03:58 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #28  
Mishloach Monos Man Says:

You can be yoitzeh essrog with a $10 one. You can be yoitzeh chanukah licht with simple candles in a tin menorah. You can be yoitzeh lots of mitzvos with less, BUT YOU DON'T!!!

So why are you cutting back on the shlach monos that you are giving "yenem"???

Start with cutting back on the mitzvos you enjoy, like showing off a $500 essrog in a silver box, or lighting chanukah candles in your window with olive oil and bees wax candles in a silver menorah.
Or how about cutting back on your fancy seudas shabbos and yom tov - you can be yoitzeh with a piece of challeh. Save those calories and make that cut, before you start sending out monos of a raisen and a candy!

Don't be mevazeh yourself, your friends and the mitzvah!

In my humble opinion there is a difference.
When you spend more on an esrog, esrog box etc you are spending on something tangible and/or on a mitzvah. When Mishloach manot becomes a theme game you sometimes spend more on the theme/packaging than on the mitzvah. Thus baskets, bags, farmer style buckets, would be things to eliminate. The same with premade baskets that offer loads of shredded paper where you thought there was edible stuff. baskets sold by legitimate charities are excused from this.

32

 Mar 02, 2009 at 03:57 PM The Truth Says:

When I was in Yeshiva, we collected money from the bochrim in our shiur & went to the local supermarket to buy a mishloach manos basket for our Rebbe. Along with a small bottle of schnaps & some candy, we mainly bought items that the Rebbe & his family would buy anyway and non perishable things (eg, cans of tuna) and put it in a basic basket/box. Our Rebbe (and especially his wife) were so grateful for weeks afterwards that we did not just send huge amounts of chocolate, nosh and candy like is so often done every other year, especially just before pesach.

If people just think about what they are doing a little bit and put everything in perspective, then there wont be any need to feel out of place when only giving 1 mishloach manos, or "only" giving 2 items, rather than 10 all wrapped up in a fancy basket.

Also, the mitzva is suppose to be 2 ready to eat items, but how come I still have left from last year those items that people send (because it fits with their theme) that I would always hesitate to eat/drink even if it were the last items I had at home - eg sparkling peach flavored grape juice and a blue "simcha" schnapps!!!!!!!!!!

33

 Mar 02, 2009 at 04:19 PM Indy Says:

I don’t see the point in continuing this discussion.

Those that are intent on spending lavishly and buying ostentatious baskets will continue to do so. Those that are knowledgeable of the halachos surrounding and purpose behind the mitzvos of Purim will send their 1 basket, give the remainder of the money otherwise spent on shaloch manos to the needy and let their friends and family know tzedeka was given in lieu of their basket.

We can all stipulate to the fact that lavish spending is a macro issues permeating many different areas within the Jewish world. There’s no need for everybody to list their own personal examples of outrage. Those with brains are aware and those without aren’t going to hear it from a forum such as this.

34

 Mar 02, 2009 at 04:51 PM Rebitzen Says:

Raboisi,
This is a perfect opportunity for the Rebbe's, askonim, and heiliga Roshe yeshivas to take a stand on an inyan of vital importance to the oylim. This mishigas of spending money on gashmiusdika zachin is intolerable and causing much tzar in our community. People are afraid to give a normal shaluch monos package the way we did in the altar heim. So they go over their heads and into debt just to show off and avoid embaressment . Then when it comes to schar limud they cry poverty.
Heiliga Rebbes,
Please stand up and be counted. It may hurt a little now (you wont get the big presents you are used to) but you will be doing a great service to the average man on ther street who cant afford this nonsense.

35

 Mar 02, 2009 at 04:54 PM Anonymous Says:

which set of diamond jewlry was she wearing when she wrote this? we should always be careful about the crazy amount of spending, financial crisis or not

36

 Mar 02, 2009 at 05:05 PM Anonymous Says:

I can't believe I'm reading frum people discouraging others from spending money on this mitsvah. If you can't afford a lavish shalach manos, don't buy one. If you can, and you spend money on lavis everything else, your car, house, food, etc., then why would you cut corners on this mitsva? That being said, the Rambam says b'feirush that it is better to increase matonos l'evyonim than the other mitzvos. But if someone does everything, even non-mitzvos b'hidur, and he is giving tzedaka b'hidur, and matonos l'evyonim b'hidur, why must we discourage him from giving nice shalach manos? Shouldn't people give in keeping with their financial abilities?

37

 Mar 02, 2009 at 05:48 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #34  
Rebitzen Says:

Raboisi,
This is a perfect opportunity for the Rebbe's, askonim, and heiliga Roshe yeshivas to take a stand on an inyan of vital importance to the oylim. This mishigas of spending money on gashmiusdika zachin is intolerable and causing much tzar in our community. People are afraid to give a normal shaluch monos package the way we did in the altar heim. So they go over their heads and into debt just to show off and avoid embaressment . Then when it comes to schar limud they cry poverty.
Heiliga Rebbes,
Please stand up and be counted. It may hurt a little now (you wont get the big presents you are used to) but you will be doing a great service to the average man on ther street who cant afford this nonsense.

how about keeping the boys home to help prepare the seudah or visit the sick than to send them out shnurring and drinking and makin suisances of themselveas???

38

 Mar 02, 2009 at 05:47 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #36  
Anonymous Says:

I can't believe I'm reading frum people discouraging others from spending money on this mitsvah. If you can't afford a lavish shalach manos, don't buy one. If you can, and you spend money on lavis everything else, your car, house, food, etc., then why would you cut corners on this mitsva? That being said, the Rambam says b'feirush that it is better to increase matonos l'evyonim than the other mitzvos. But if someone does everything, even non-mitzvos b'hidur, and he is giving tzedaka b'hidur, and matonos l'evyonim b'hidur, why must we discourage him from giving nice shalach manos? Shouldn't people give in keeping with their financial abilities?

most shalach manos, especialy the extravagant ones end up being wasted baal tashchis in the mad rush to rid clean for pesach. spending money doesnt mean going beserk with "themes" and shtick astupidity.

39

 Mar 02, 2009 at 05:58 PM judge Says:

nope.....just send some money to the rebbizen...she will take care of it...and send a card to someone with your name on it....trust in the rebbitzen brother....she is smarter than you

40

 Mar 02, 2009 at 05:51 PM Shocked Says:

OMG is the socialist behavior creeping into our Mechanchim now ? What is going on this is the same argument about going to a hotel for Pesach please! If Hashem blessed you with the Parnasah why not enjoy it?

41

 Mar 02, 2009 at 05:36 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #36  
Anonymous Says:

I can't believe I'm reading frum people discouraging others from spending money on this mitsvah. If you can't afford a lavish shalach manos, don't buy one. If you can, and you spend money on lavis everything else, your car, house, food, etc., then why would you cut corners on this mitsva? That being said, the Rambam says b'feirush that it is better to increase matonos l'evyonim than the other mitzvos. But if someone does everything, even non-mitzvos b'hidur, and he is giving tzedaka b'hidur, and matonos l'evyonim b'hidur, why must we discourage him from giving nice shalach manos? Shouldn't people give in keeping with their financial abilities?

The mitzva of MM is 2 people two food items. There are several opinions on how the 2 food items should be (2 brochos, 2 minim, food from a seuda, etc). Giving 30 people $100 baskets is not a mitzva, it is ibud momon yisroel. My father received for 20 yrs MM from the Lubavitcher Rebbe ZY"A. He gave 3 people (kohain, levi, yisroel) a bottle of vodka, a hamentash and a fruit in a paper shopping bag. He somehow did the mitzva without baskets of junk food. We can all learn from him.

42

 Mar 02, 2009 at 07:25 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #4  
Tachlis Says:

#3 think before you write. what will be with all the people who sell mishloach manos for a living? will you single handidly support them?

don't worry there will still be ppl showing off that they can afford nice baskets. in any event that's not an excuse, if we won't demend expensive mishloach monas they will sell mishloach monas according to our needs.

43

 Mar 02, 2009 at 07:11 PM Anonymous Says:

Does anyone look at the halachah before spewing am haratzus?:
Rambam- Hilchos Megilah, 2:17
וכל המרבה לשלוח לריעים, משובח.

44

 Mar 02, 2009 at 07:08 PM CHAIM36 Says:

Reply to #41  
Anonymous Says:

The mitzva of MM is 2 people two food items. There are several opinions on how the 2 food items should be (2 brochos, 2 minim, food from a seuda, etc). Giving 30 people $100 baskets is not a mitzva, it is ibud momon yisroel. My father received for 20 yrs MM from the Lubavitcher Rebbe ZY"A. He gave 3 people (kohain, levi, yisroel) a bottle of vodka, a hamentash and a fruit in a paper shopping bag. He somehow did the mitzva without baskets of junk food. We can all learn from him.

Very well said ! NOW.....if only the Chabad groups would follow this example it would be great. Many of their group foster and promote these expensive baskets .A complete waste of money and bal taschis.

45

 Mar 02, 2009 at 08:13 PM Anonymous Says:

Firstly I think there should be takanos on the amount one spends on mishloach monos. $100 baskets should be banned! Secondly, there should be a takono on the AMOUNT of sholoch monos people give. I know somebody who has NO money and is supported that gives MORE than 100 baskets. There is something terribly wrong with the system today

46

 Mar 02, 2009 at 08:00 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
The Truth Says:

That is a big misunderstanding as well. It needs to be 2 different ITEMS - even if they have the same brocho. The Mishna Brura says this clearly.

Not according to all minhagim. I believe that the Persian minhag is two foods of different berachot.

47

 Mar 02, 2009 at 08:20 PM esther Says:

Reply to #44  
CHAIM36 Says:

Very well said ! NOW.....if only the Chabad groups would follow this example it would be great. Many of their group foster and promote these expensive baskets .A complete waste of money and bal taschis.

you made me laugh,thank you.i guess it's always chabad's fault.zei mir gezint!

48

 Mar 02, 2009 at 07:46 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #28  
Mishloach Monos Man Says:

You can be yoitzeh essrog with a $10 one. You can be yoitzeh chanukah licht with simple candles in a tin menorah. You can be yoitzeh lots of mitzvos with less, BUT YOU DON'T!!!

So why are you cutting back on the shlach monos that you are giving "yenem"???

Start with cutting back on the mitzvos you enjoy, like showing off a $500 essrog in a silver box, or lighting chanukah candles in your window with olive oil and bees wax candles in a silver menorah.
Or how about cutting back on your fancy seudas shabbos and yom tov - you can be yoitzeh with a piece of challeh. Save those calories and make that cut, before you start sending out monos of a raisen and a candy!

Don't be mevazeh yourself, your friends and the mitzvah!

they say when the kazayis matsa the first night pasech should cost $500 no body would buy it because no one knows, no ones sees, we spend money to impress others. how stupid we are......

49

 Mar 02, 2009 at 10:02 PM seen it all Says:

Reply to #28  
Mishloach Monos Man Says:

You can be yoitzeh essrog with a $10 one. You can be yoitzeh chanukah licht with simple candles in a tin menorah. You can be yoitzeh lots of mitzvos with less, BUT YOU DON'T!!!

So why are you cutting back on the shlach monos that you are giving "yenem"???

Start with cutting back on the mitzvos you enjoy, like showing off a $500 essrog in a silver box, or lighting chanukah candles in your window with olive oil and bees wax candles in a silver menorah.
Or how about cutting back on your fancy seudas shabbos and yom tov - you can be yoitzeh with a piece of challeh. Save those calories and make that cut, before you start sending out monos of a raisen and a candy!

Don't be mevazeh yourself, your friends and the mitzvah!

Hiddur mitzva is a mitzva as well. A $500 esrog (if u can afford it) is definitely hiddur mitzva. Seudas shabbos & yom tov is a mitzva. If u can afford it, make a fancy meal and invite people to your table who will enjoy Shabbos more by eaing better food. U have a problem with hiddur in oneg shabbos? The silver menorah is debateable if it is hiddur mitzva since the mitzva is lighting, not what u light.
About Purim, where does it say that mishloach manos is anything more than 2 items & 2 brochos? Is there hiddur mitzva to spend $100 on a basket filled with junk food?
I don't know the answer to this, and if someone knows a source, please post it.

50

 Mar 02, 2009 at 10:00 PM Oiber Chuchem Says:

Reply to #4  
Tachlis Says:

#3 think before you write. what will be with all the people who sell mishloach manos for a living? will you single handidly support them?

What about all of the diamond dealers? Will you support them?

51

 Mar 02, 2009 at 09:55 PM seen it all Says:

Reply to #43  
Anonymous Says:

Does anyone look at the halachah before spewing am haratzus?:
Rambam- Hilchos Megilah, 2:17
וכל המרבה לשלוח לריעים, משובח.

You may want to check your sources before calling others am haratzus. The one u quote Rambam- Hilchos Megilah, 2:17 starts with, "It is better to increase in mattanos l'evyoinim than the seuda and mishloach manos bec there is not greater simcha than gladdening the hearts of poor...."

Your quote is actually Rambam- Hilchos Megilah, 2:15 where he discusses the seuda and mishloach manos. And numerous poskim say based on how the Rambam puts mishloach manos together with the seuda that mishloach manos should be food that is eaten at the seuda, like challah, wine, fish, meat, kugel, not $100 baskets with candy and chocolate.

52

 Mar 02, 2009 at 11:45 PM r u serious Says:

R u really yotzie shaloch manos with candy ? Its such a beziyion. Adults sending thousands of dollars on mike and ikes only to dumped in to the jep container.

53

 Mar 03, 2009 at 06:11 AM Anonymous Says:

#36 and #40: Your thinking is about 6 months outdated. So many people are out of work and struggling that it becomes an issue of sensitivity.

You ask, if a person has the parnassah, why shouldn't they enjoy the mitzvah of shalach manos by sending elaborate packages? I ask, how can they "enjoy" spending so much money on large packages of junk food that everyone knows often get thrown away? When other Yidden are struggling to feed their families? I would not be able to "enjoy" that.

Better would be to send a simple shalach manos and include a note that due to the current economic crisis, in lieu of a large basket you are sending something simple, and $18 or $36 will be donated to Tomchei Shabbos for each shalach manos you send. (I'm referring to those who otherwise would have spent that money on the shalach manos package, and who have enough parnassah.) That way, they could still send to many people, enjoy the mitzvah, and set a good example of thoughtfulness and sensitivity. I would think that the opinion of their friends would only go up after that.

54

 Mar 03, 2009 at 06:45 AM CHAIM36 Says:

Reply to #47  
esther Says:

you made me laugh,thank you.i guess it's always chabad's fault.zei mir gezint!

i DID not SAY IT IS CHABAD'S FAULT..........BUT MANY IN YOUR GROUP USE IT AS A FUND RAISER.

55

 Mar 03, 2009 at 07:02 AM Lakewood Kollelman Says:

Reply to #49  
seen it all Says:

Hiddur mitzva is a mitzva as well. A $500 esrog (if u can afford it) is definitely hiddur mitzva. Seudas shabbos & yom tov is a mitzva. If u can afford it, make a fancy meal and invite people to your table who will enjoy Shabbos more by eaing better food. U have a problem with hiddur in oneg shabbos? The silver menorah is debateable if it is hiddur mitzva since the mitzva is lighting, not what u light.
About Purim, where does it say that mishloach manos is anything more than 2 items & 2 brochos? Is there hiddur mitzva to spend $100 on a basket filled with junk food?
I don't know the answer to this, and if someone knows a source, please post it.

A mona has to be worthy - if you give something "unworthy" it may not be considered "giving", and more important, it may not be "acceptable" to the receiver.
Something which is "mona ha'ro'uy lehis'kabed" means you can't give a raisen and a candy (maybe to a child, but not to an odam chashuv). If someone gives me such a shlachmonos, it goes straight to the garbage (=rejected), and he wasn't mikayem the mitzvah.

56

 Mar 03, 2009 at 07:11 AM Litvak Says:

Reply to #54  
CHAIM36 Says:

i DID not SAY IT IS CHABAD'S FAULT..........BUT MANY IN YOUR GROUP USE IT AS A FUND RAISER.

It is always Chabad's fault, they rule the world. In fact, the financial crisis, yep, it's them.

57

 Mar 03, 2009 at 07:10 AM Kollel Says:

Reply to #49  
seen it all Says:

Hiddur mitzva is a mitzva as well. A $500 esrog (if u can afford it) is definitely hiddur mitzva. Seudas shabbos & yom tov is a mitzva. If u can afford it, make a fancy meal and invite people to your table who will enjoy Shabbos more by eaing better food. U have a problem with hiddur in oneg shabbos? The silver menorah is debateable if it is hiddur mitzva since the mitzva is lighting, not what u light.
About Purim, where does it say that mishloach manos is anything more than 2 items & 2 brochos? Is there hiddur mitzva to spend $100 on a basket filled with junk food?
I don't know the answer to this, and if someone knows a source, please post it.

#53 Better would be to send a simple shalach manos and include a note that due to the current economic crisis, in lieu of a large basket you are sending something simple, and $18 or $36 will be donated to Tomchei Shabbos for each shalach manos you send. (I'm referring to those who otherwise would have spent that money on the shalach manos package, and who have enough parnassah.)

Ya, it is so fashionable for all us rich guys to kvetch about the economic crisis.

The poor among us - didn't lose a dime in their "profolio". What stocks? What real estate? What investments? Halevay we should be in a position to have these and "lose" a percentage.

Give me a break.

58

 Mar 03, 2009 at 10:36 AM not keeping up with the joneses.... Says:

Many years ago Rabbi Horowitz from Darchei Noam in Monsey did a very smart thing. He asked that instead of the parents sending him shalach manos, that we contribute money for what ever tzedakah he was collecting for that year. Of course the children got a little pekeleh from him but as a parent I was so happy that he realized the amount of money being spent on himself and shifted the focus to a good cause. I took this as a personal lesson and started sending out Tomchei Sabbos cards to everyone instead of shalach manos and then fulfill the mitzvah with one Shalach manos. I still get people sending me shalach manos, but I recycle what I get and send them out. Most people appreciate the gesture. I know this year mre than ever Tomchei Shabbos can use all the money it can raise. This has makes our Purim more meaningful and more fun. The kids still get to give to some friends but instead of spending the day in the car we spend it at home as a family with family.

59

 Mar 03, 2009 at 07:29 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #57  
Kollel Says:

#53 Better would be to send a simple shalach manos and include a note that due to the current economic crisis, in lieu of a large basket you are sending something simple, and $18 or $36 will be donated to Tomchei Shabbos for each shalach manos you send. (I'm referring to those who otherwise would have spent that money on the shalach manos package, and who have enough parnassah.)

Ya, it is so fashionable for all us rich guys to kvetch about the economic crisis.

The poor among us - didn't lose a dime in their "profolio". What stocks? What real estate? What investments? Halevay we should be in a position to have these and "lose" a percentage.

Give me a break.

I think you misunderstood. I was responding directly to #36 and #40 who said that those who already plan tio spend a lot of money on shalach manos can do so in a less wasteful, more sensitive manner.

As for your assertion that the poor have lost nothing since they have nothing to lose, your understanding of life is a bit warped. Th epoint is that the ranks of the poor are growing as people are losing jobs or having their salary slashed. People are going from being able to pay their bills, to begging for help.

Take, for instance, a person who made $75,000 before. Although they owned no stocks or other investments, they could afford rent and food. They can no longer do so if that job disappears. More and more people are going from self-sufficiency to needing assistance, and all you care about is that they didn't lose real estate investments? If the value of your portfolio went down, it is also tragic - but it doesn't give you the right to belittle the needs of those who struggle to survive.

60

 Mar 03, 2009 at 10:27 PM Anonymous Says:

# 59 here: I made a typo. I meant that #36 and #40 said they shoudl be able to make shalach manos as big as they want, and I said it would be more sensitive and less wasteful to make them simpler, and spend the money on tzedakah instead. And if they don't want their friends/neigborscolleagues to feel slighted, a note explaining the increased tzedakah would be well received by most.

61

 Mar 04, 2009 at 08:50 AM Jimmy37 Says:

The problem with hiddur mitzvah is that it very quickly becomes a competition to see who can boast to their friends, rather than who can do their best for the sake of the mitzvah itself. I would rather send a $20 roast chicken instead of a $20 bar of chocolate.

62

 Mar 04, 2009 at 11:26 AM Aryeh Says:

mishlach manot and matnyot l'evyonim should not be given to wealthy people, instead, after you have given your two baskets of hot cooked food to actual needy people, give an envelope with a receipt showing that you give the merit of your donation to tzedaka to the receipient. Nobody eats all of that candy before Pesach anyway.

63

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