• משלוח מנות

  • תענית אסתר

משלוח מנות
1. There is an obligation on Purim to send two food items to one person or family, rich or poor.
2. Even a poor person is obligated in משלוח מנות.
3. A person who is sick, even in the hospital should still do this mitzva.
4. If two people send a gift in partnership, some say it does not count as the mitzva of משלוח מנות.
5. If one sends a gift and the recipient is not home, and will not come home before evening, he does not fulfill the mitzva.
6. Some opinions suggest sending the gift through a messenger, but certainly it is not essential to the mitzva. Using a more distinguished messenger enhances the mitzva.
7. Another opinion suggests using the children as messengers to encourage them to perform mitzvos.
8. One who sends the gift anonymously does not fulfill the mitzva.
9. The poskim imply that the mitzva really is to supply food for the seuda and therefore one should try to send it before the seuda.
10. If one sends the gift before Purim and it arrives on Purim there is a controversy if the mitzva has been fulfilled.
11. Children over bar mitzva age have their own obligation to send gifts. Before that age they should also be encouraged to send.
12. The quality of the food items should be equal to the prestige of the sender and the recipient.
13. Bottles of wine or other beverages are also considered as food items.
14. The purpose of משלוח מנות is to create an atmosphere of love and appreciation for one another. Certainly one should encourage friendship on Purim. The ספר פלא יועץ suggests sending the gifts to people with whom one might be having a feud, to encourage friendship.

תענית אסתר
1. In Tanach, aside from Yom Kippur, four fasts are mentioned to remember tragedies that befell the Jewish People. Later emerged a custom, also to fast, the day before Purim to commemorate the fast of the Jewish People before they waged a war. Although usually we try to delay a fast or any tragedy, when Purim falls on Sunday we fast on Thursday before Purim since this is the only fast not tied to a tragedy.
2. As in all fasts, if one wants to eat before daybreak when he wakes up, he should express this idea before he goes to sleep.
3. Since it is only a custom and especially on a year that it is not on the proper day, there is great room for leniency in reference to fasting for pregnant or nursing women or in general even slightly sick people.
4. The father, sandek and mohel also could be lenient concerning the fast in a year when the fast is not in the proper time. However, the custom is usually for the seuda itself to be held the night following and everyone else fasts on Taanis Esther.
5. In such a year also, a chosen and a kallah could be lenient during sheva brachos.
6. If for some reason a person who was supposed to fast did not fast, he should fast on Friday in such a year.
7. To read the Torah on Taanis Esther there should be at least 6 people fasting. Some are of the opinion three is enough. If the fast is on Thursday when we read a portion no matter what, it is not a problem in the morning.
8. Although there are leniencies with Taanis Esther, it should not be taken lightly, since some are of the opinion, that it has the same source as the other taaneism, for it was established by Mordechai and Esther from the days of Tanach.