Purim Guide

Purim Holiday Traditions, History & Celebrations

1. Give Mishloach Manot

Mishloach manot is a gift basket that is sent on Purim that is composed of at least two food or drink products—such as hamantaschen and wine.

Purim gift bags of Mishloach Manot
Purim gift bags of mishloach manot. (Photo credit: Josh Frank / CC BY-SA 4.0).

2. Why do we send Mishloach Manot?

Following the salvation of Jewish peoples, Esther created several means of celebrating the occasion, one being “a day on which [Jews] send gifts of food to one another,” (Esther 9:19). 

A large aspect of mishloach manot is to provide those who are less fortunate with goods, “Giving presents of food to one another and gifts to the poor,” (Esther 9:22). Many synagogues allow members to complete this mitzvah by donating to a mishloach manot fundraiser—allowing members to seamlessly help those who are less fortunate.

3. Laws of Mishloach Manot

There are specific rules on how to do this mitzvah correctly. Listed below are some notable regulations. To view a full list of regulations, click here.

  1. You must send mishloach manot to at least one person.
  2. You can send more than one gift, but you should prioritize sending mishloach manot to orphans, widows and the needy.
  3. The food provided in mishloach manot should be ready to eat. The receivers of your gift should not have to manually prepare the food provided.
  4. Mishloach manot must be delivered during Purim day. If it is sent before Purim, or during the evening of Purim, then the mitzvah is not fulfilled.