Letter: We B”H can afford it, but we’re giving a cookie and mini grape juice for Mishloach Manos

Dear readers, I wanted to share with you our Mishloach Manos idea.

Here it is: A mini grape juice and a cookie. And it’s going to approximately five people.

B”H we can afford a nice Mishloach Manos and to more people, but we’re doing this to try and bring us back to the basics and make a point.

Don’t get me wrong, the point of Mishloach Manos is to increase camaraderie and Achdus in Klal Yisroel, and I’m not here to take it away. But I truly believe we lost sight of it, and instead it became a pressure, a stress and a competition.

Just tonight, I was talking to a friend on the phone, and when I asked her why she sounded frazzled, she answered, “Mishloach Manos stress.”

It has come to a point where we need to step back and reassess. Of course, be Mekayem the Mitzvah. But is the stress it puts on our homes, our children and our bank accounts a Mitzvah?

So if you’re one of our few lucky friends who will be receiving our Mishloach Manos, don’t be insulted. We’re just trying to stay focused on what’s really important.

A Lakewood mom.

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23 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you for this. We spent a total of less than $100 on our family’s m”m and That’s including all the kids ones for their friends. There is a way.

  2. Could not agree more (although I won’t be doing that)
    I feel like we burn so so much money this season on such frivolous purchases when it can be going to help people put food on their table and make Yom Tov.

  3. The stress is a problem.
    The solution is perhaps not ok.
    Firstly, mishloach manos must be something that is chashuv. In fact, the poskim point out that the very same mishloach manos with which you would be yotzei to one person, you would not be with a wealthier person who has higher standards. Your idea may not be considered chashuv by too many people.
    Also, Kol Hamarba Harei Zeh Mishubach.
    My idea is, that when you are preparing mishloach manos, focus on the true purpose of the mitzva and make your mishloach manos and list based on that.

  4. What will you offer to the next 10 people or so who come knocking on your door to bring you Mishloach Manos, say that you used up your first 5 & have nothing to return?
    Unless you live in a cocoon this won’t work.

  5. No need to get stressed out, but not proper to advise people to be cheap in mitzvos. According to your logic, you could buy machine matza for seder, and grape juice for arba kosos, a 3 walled sukah and $20 set lulav and esrog. Eventually your mitzvos will be none other than מצוות אנשים מלומדה.

    I’m not saying that you have to make a theme for your misloach manos, however, if you can afford a hiddur mitzva, why would you promote going cheap. Also one should spend more on matanot levyonim, but it should not take away from mishloach manot.

    Happy Purim

  6. i do a bit different:
    i give the basic m.m. to be yotze, and to the rest of people i give an envelope saying i donation has been given in your name instead of m.m.
    R’M says most important part of simchas Y.T. is to help anyim
    a freilechen purim

  7. Join the club.
    We’re doing the same and have been doing for the last 10 years.

    The high cost of MM is usually for the younger generation that don’t have kids in school – rebbeim, teachers Principals etc.

  8. כל הכבוד. ממך ילמדו אחרים וכן יעשו
    The whole Misloach Monos is totally out of hand and became a huge business and stress as you say
    Plus all you get from these fancy packages is some cheap wine and garbage cookies and candies
    I like Shloime’s approach.
    Tzu de zach
    Simchas Purim to all

  9. While I do not give to five people, all my MM cost less than $1, adults and kids. Excluding the rabonim who get a wine. It’s simple and beautiful!!

  10. To all the Tzadikim who are worried about hiddur mitzvah:
    The other mitzvos are between you and your family, and hashem. When it comes to M”M, people are sending to each other, hence the peer pressure. I wouldn’t call that Hiddur Mitzvah. The biggest Hiddur is to make a decent, respectable M”M and spend time giving it to people out of your immediate circle, and spend the extra money on matanos l’evyonim.

  11. Not sure why you need to go to the opposite extreme and be מבזה the מצוה. If you really want to do it right, give someone a full סעודה as that is the real intent of the מצוה.

  12. I couldn’t disagree more with this article, and the person who wrote it know why themselves. The purpose of Mishloach Manos is to be Marbeh Raus. It doesn’t have to be expensive, if you put in thought, but keep it cheap, it can be marbeh raus by showing you put an effort into it (maybe even cost less than what you are spending).

    Additionally, the idea of limiting it to 5 when you can afford more, makes no sense. Each Mishloach Manos you give is a mitzvah. Advocating to do less mitzvah’s makes no sense to someone who can afford it.

    There are plenty of ways that people can cut down on extravagance before doing so for mitzvohs. Even if you want to cut down on spending for mitzvohs, there are other ones where people can spend hundreds of dollars extra for minute hidurim, Makes more sense to cut down on that, than cutting down on something that effects the purpose of the mitzvoh, also very different than cutting spending on actually doing extra mitzvohs

  13. When you cut back on your fancy cars, new wood flooring, fancy shades, vacations, granite countertops, shoes, shaitels, and bring your whole life back to “what it used to be” than you should trim down on fancy Mishloach manos! So hypocritical and disgraceful

  14. in shulchan aruch it says ‘whoever gives more is praiseworthy” if one
    gives a cheap shalach manos to someone well to do you are probably not yotzei. as for yunger man saying machine matzo is mehudar – you are an am hooretz .to stick your nose into a machlokes as old as machine matzos existed.

  15. No-one seems to discuss what for me seems the hardest part of giving mishloach monos,in giving money to the rabbeim and teachers for boys and teachers for girls. We want to express our hakoras hatov especially to our kid’s rabbeim and that is one area where one shouldn’t cut corners but it sure adds up. Curious to know what other parents do (or give) in similar situations where you have as in my case 4 boys learning in one yeshiva, not to mention girls in school…

  16. Not everyone will agree with this. But when did we add a fifth mitzvah to Purim called Hakoras Hatov. This day halachically speaking, focuses on friends (Ish L’Rayahu) and the poor (evyomim). Maybe we should reserve a less hectic day for teacher/Rebbe appreciation and that would alleviate a lot of stress and bring more happiness on Purim.

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