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Mishloach Manot for Purim
-David S. Taylor
“Mishloach Manot” (Hebrew) or “Shlach Manos” (Yiddish) means "sending portions"
and refers to the food baskets given on Purim. Jewish custom says to give at least two
different types of ready-to-eat food, to at least one person at Purim. This is due to the fact
that the Hebrew word “Manot” (Esther 9:22) is in the plural form, thus prescribing at
least 2 portions be given. The origin of this custom of giving on Purim is found in the
Book of Esther 9:22, 27.
The custom of observing Purim is not for Jewish people only. The Book of Esther 9:27
says, “the Jews established and made a custom for themselves and for their descendants
and for all those who allied themselves with them
, so that they would not fail to
celebrate these two days according to their regulation and according to their appointed
time annually.” Therefore, all Gentile believers in Messiah should participate and join in
Please take a moment to read Esther 9:20-28:
20. Then Mordecai recorded these events, and he sent letters to all the Jews who were in all the
provinces of King Ahasuerus, both near and far,
21. obliging them to celebrate the fourteenth day of the month Adar, and the fifteenth day of the
same month, annually,
22. because on those days the Jews rid themselves of their enemies, and it was a month which
was turned for them from sorrow into gladness and from mourning into a holiday; that they
should make them days of feasting and rejoicing and sending portions of food to one another
and gifts to the poor.
23. Thus the Jews undertook what they had started to do, and what Mordecai had written to
24. For Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the adversary of all the Jews, had schemed
against the Jews to destroy them and had cast Pur, that is the lot, to disturb them and destroy
25. But when it came to the king's attention, he commanded by letter that his wicked scheme
which he had devised against the Jews, should return on his own head and that he and his sons
should be hanged on the gallows.
26. Therefore they called these days Purim after the name of Pur. And because of the instructions
in this letter, both what they had seen in this regard and what had happened to them,
27. the Jews established and made a custom for themselves and for their descendants and for
all those who allied themselves with them
, so that they would not fail to celebrate these two
days according to their regulation and according to their appointed time annually. 28. So these days were to be remembered and celebrated throughout every generation,
every family, every province and every city; and these days of Purim were not to fail from
among the Jews, or their memory fade from their descendants.
Great! So how do I do this?
Ideally, the package should be both sent and delivered on Purim during the day.
Send two items of food to at least one person. The food items should be two
different kinds of food, not two of the same kind. You can also send one drink and one
food. Baskets do not have to be expensive. A small bottle of grape juice with a couple
homemade cookies in a bag attached that says, "Happy Purim" works just as well as a
large container with a great variety of treats.
Types of foods to give:
Preferably, one should send food that is ready to be eaten
immediately. Popular items are fruit or dried fruit, nuts, a small bottle of grape juice,
hamantashen (see recipe below) - a calorific (fattening) concoction consisting of dough
shaped into the form of a triangle, with filling of various kinds - or other baked goods,
and candies. Buy and Bake: Get all you need from the store and prepare any baked goods,
such as hamantashen*
, you want to include in the baskets.
Make a "Happy Purim from the (your family name) Family" card to include in
each basket. If you have younger children, have the children color the cards.
Who should not be sent “mishloach manot”?
Jewish custom prescribes that mishloach
manot not be sent to a Jewish person who is in mourning. *Recipe for Hamantashen
Although there are a few different and delicious ways to make hamantashen, here’s an
easy recipe for you if you’ve never made them:
Difficulty Level: easy
Time Required: 30 minutes
1. Prepare 2/3 cup margarine (room temperature), 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup orange
juice, 2 cups flour, pie filling (see “Note on pie filling:” below).
2. Blend margarine and sugar thoroughly. 3. Add flour and orange juice, alternating. 4. Refrigerate batter for a few hours. 5. Roll out dough as thin as you can. 6. Cut out 3-4 inch circles. You can turn a glass upside down on the dough to make
7. Put a tablespoon of filling in the middle of each circle. 8. Fold up 3 sides to form a triangle (Overlap the sides so only a little filling shows
9. Bake at 375 degrees for about 10-15 minutes (bake until golden brown, but take
Note on pie filling: Poppy seed is the most traditional filling.
Other popular choices are cherry, apple, and prune pie fillings. Some newer fillings which people use these days are peanut butter and chocolate. Hopefully, this will help you better participate in celebrating Purim by blessing others in our congregation and our families and those Jewish friends and neighbors we desire to share Messiah with. May you all have a Chag Purim Sameach! (Happy Purim) For Yeshua, David
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