Non Scientific Purim Poll

It’s the time of year when everyone is thinking about Purim Mishloach Manot baskets, some people have a theme, some match their theme to their costume – it can get very detailed.

I have written before about how low key I tend to be – but I was curious. How many Mishloach Manot do you send, how many do your kids, and how much do you reckon that you spend per recipient?

21 responses to “Non Scientific Purim Poll

  1. After years of totally going over the top and oisgepatchket mishloah manot, my kids are now older and we have toned things down. This year we have donated to Leket Israel ( and I’m making up just three very modest baskets, one to each neighbor on either side of us, and one that my youngest stepson gives to the Police Station on the corner.

    At the end of the day we gather up all the mishloach manot that we have received, let the kids (at this point only 2 out of 8 are home on Purim these days) choose one special something, and the rest gets dropped off at the nearest roadblock for the soldiers to enjoy.

  2. My shul has a fundraiser where they give the same large mishloach manos/shalach manos package to the entire kehilla/congregation & we get a list of shul members where we can either give everyone for $180 or select individual members for $3/each which is what we tend to do & we generally give around 15 ppl. thru the shul this way. For non-shul members who live in the community, we tend to give actual shalach manos which vary from year to year. Often times my theme is PURIM (i know, so original ;)) & we just buy bags & fill them with goodies but we have done other themed shalach manos’ over the years (Hershey theme one year, healthy food theme another year in mini garbage bins) & this year we have another theme in mind but it’s a surprise. I try not to go too crazy with shalach manos but it’s a nice way to let ppl. know you are thinking about them which is the point of the mitzvah, to encourage friendships between ppl. I also generally splurge on a fancier one for the rabbi of our shul as a token of appreciation & for a few select ppl. who i feel deserve an extra special thank you. For friends & family who live far away, I try to send purim cards to them where i pay $1-2 per card which goes to tzedakah & this year i am sending my parents shalach manos in montreal thru yad eliezer so i’m excited about that b/c i usually remember to send them shalach manos past the deadline but this time we made it!! Oh, & i almost forgot my kids-they get to select a few friends to whom they can give shalach manos & we usually buy little bags & fill them up with some treats. i always like to prepare a few extra of everyone’s shalach manos in case new ppl. come by to surprise us but the good news it that we can always recycle shalach manos if we run out of the prepared ones b/c there is usually no short supply of containers & treats!!
    anyhow, happy purim to you. i am starting to get into the purim mode…

    • Batya, for the past few years my shul has done the same thing. Our shul sends out a list of members and we can select the ones we can give shalach monot to at $18 for the first basket at $10 for each additional basket (out-of-towners will get a card in lieu of a basket). We have a list of the rabbis and other key personnel of the shul as well as educators in the community listed in a separate section.

      The quality of the baskets has been mixed over the years, so this year we may be going to other sources for our mishloach manot.

  3. We buy a few ready-made mishloach manot from Hod Yisrael our local organization which distributes food to needy in Rehovot. We give these to our immediate neighbors. In addition we are on a list from Amit Women of Rehovot where there is a check-off and for 8 NIS a name some goodies are delivered with your name on the list to the families you choose. The proceeds are used for the Amit educational projects and for maot chittin (Pesach donations to needy families locally).
    When my children were at home, we made a much bigger deal out of the baking and delivering. Now I try to send something to my grandchildren but don’t go overboard any more.

  4. Hey hadassah!
    My parents used to make a big deal of it when we were younger. Bake homentashen and then we would package them all cute and whatever. Now, my parents give through tomchei shabbos and I make my own for a few friends (usually a basket that I fill then wrap with cellophane and ribbon) and my co-workers. Since I work in a daycare I tend to only give the co-ordinator and the teachers in the class.
    I don’t have a theme but just try to pack it nice.
    One year a friend included a nice dvar torah in the mishloach manot she gave out and I though that was cute. Sometimes my mom decorates with masks.
    Last year I gave about 12 and spent $75 total I think.

  5. lady lock and load

    Save your money for the booze! It’s a mitzvah to get roaring drunk, right? who needs nosh!

    • LLL, not sure if that is SUCH a mitzvah (despite ppl who say you should drink “ad d’lo yada”-until you don’t know who you are)! somehow, i can’t see Lord Lock n Load, getting roaring drunk but ya never know ;)! for me, getting drunk on purim, is a huge turn off…
      anyhow, the 2 mitzvos that are most important on purim are (a) giving shalach manos to at least ONE person consisting of foods requiring 2 different brachos (b) matanos le’evyonim (gifts to the poor)-giving tzedakah & according to my rabbi, much more money should be spent on the matanos le’eyonim rather than on the shalach manos. my rabbi also suggested giving a few shalach manos packages to ppl. that you are not yet friendly with as it encourages camaraderie & to also give to non-religious neighbors to get them into the purim spirit. we try to do all of the above…

      • lady lock and load

        Batya, I was joking/teasing Hadassah as I know she is very against drinking in excess on Purim.
        As for the mitzvos on Purim, it is also a mitzvah to read the megillah and when you hear the brocha on the megillah we should have in mind that the brocha goes on the other mitzvos, such as matanos laevyonim and mishloach manos.
        The foods do NOT have to be two different brochos, but two different types. For example, you can give an apple and an orange, even though both are Haaitz they are two different types.

        • LLL, i had a feeling you were joking but still…
          & right, hearing/reading the megilla both at night & am is certainly a mitzvah as well but regarding the mishloach manos, I was always under the impression that you need at least 2 foods that require 2 different brachos, but i will double check that with my local orthodox rabbi!

          • lady lock and load

            Look under “choice of foods”
            I also thought that it was two different brochos but when I taught this to my Third graders, the parents (who were big time Rabbonim) called me up to set me straight! OIY!

            • LLL, i stand corrected! i guess the 2 different brachos helps ensure that 2 different types of foods are given-not sure how that rumor came about but in general i have no problem giving 2 different brachos eg-a drink & hamantashen etc…

    • Woohoo! Someone’s got their priorities set straight! I agree completely! the only thing is to make sure those minors don’t get it. Every year there are those bachurim who crash houses, stone drunk, and the way they act isnt befitting of ‘benai torah’. For some reason many of them think that when you wear a costume, tzitzis needn’t be worn underneath.

      • Burnt Dreadlocks, you and I agree completely. I can’t see the benefit of getting drunk even if it is “customary.” Also, I wonder if those who are getting drunk are considering the “Chillul Hashem” that results from the wider world witnessing this.

  6. In our neighborhood (also in Israel), we also have project like the one Risa describes, with the proceeds benefitting needy people in our city. Last year, with about 500 families participating, we raised nearly NIS 70,000. My kids put together small mishlochei manot for their friends (between 5-10 per kid) and I give ONE to be yotze in the mitzvah. We also give away most of what comes into the house to children in hospitals. There is no reason for the tremendous waste and excess that characterizes Purim in so many neighborhoods!

    • lady lock and load

      Do you give nosh to the sick children in hospitals? These kids need good nourishing food, not bambas and lolly pops. I pack up the nosh and my husband brings it into work, no way am I giving this stuff to yiddishe kinderlach!

      • but LLL, ALL kids ( & many adults too ;)) LOVE nosh & why not put a smile on a sick child’s face & let them enjoy some treats for a change b/c most likely they don’t get to eat nosh too often. of course, it can be dangerous for some of the kids such as those with diabetes but for other kids who are confined to the hospital for one reason or another, why not make them happy with treats once in a blue moon? i think it’s a great idea, doctor permitting…

        • lady lock and load

          The kids in the hospital (and for sure in an Israeli hospital) got plenty of nosh on purim and they don’t need anybody’s leftovers. Adults and children eat too much sugar these days in the form of soda, candy, and sweets and the rate of obesity in adults and children have sky rocketed. so sad to see CHILDREN who are obese and diabetic (type 2) and others with heart disease! I am not saying never eat a sweet again but it should be a treat for special occasions and not a snack to have every day after purim (till pesach).

  7. Batya-
    Its interesting that you mentioned non-religious neighbours. Last year I gave to a neighbour that I am friendly with but the aren’t religious. They were so touched since they received from a few neighbours but had never taken part in mishloach manot before. I have a feeling this year they may be getting into the purim spirit?

    • tam_tam, our neighbors have gotten into the shalach manos spirit, since we started giving them & they really appreciate us including them in the purim festivities….

  8. We make about 30. Between business contacts, friends and family it is hard to pare down the list. We go to the dollar store and amazing savings for inspiration.

  9. My kids all draw lots in school and so that everyone in the class gets shalach manos. I let them give to 4 friends each – as basic as I can get away with, (getting harder as they get older!). We give to about 12 people ourselves – combination of friends, “business” and neighbours. I put out anything appropriate for the seuda – desserty things, drinks etc. Anything pesachdik is stashed away, and we take a big bag to our local tzedaka GIFT which distributes food to local needy families, and post Purim sends packages off to Eastern Europe, etc.

    Re 2 brochos vs 2 types – one of the best shalach manos we ever got was two pieces of chicken – one light and one dark, following a shiur that my husband gave on borer ( selection on Shabbos) with a note that said – “it’s not borer, but it is shalach manos!”

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