Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Thoughts on Mishloach Manot

There are people out there who consider this Mitzvah, among many others, a burden. Technincally, the Mitzvah is to one person, and not just anyone you've come in contact with over the last 20 years, but we all have to be very careful about whom we offend around here. Especially when you have children "on the market."

But anyway, all these people buy ready made. Come on. That's such a freakin cop-out. You're afraid you won't be able to make it fancy enough? Some Hamentaschen with a Grape Juice is fine. But here, it's just about impressing the next person, and competing with the place they ordered it from. At least order it from a Tzedaka organization. Oh, now you're all gonna attack me with, "The candy stores deserve to make a living too..." Fine. Whatever. Nobody's stopping to buy those because of my post anyway, so lay off me.

Oh, and by the way, those cards that people send in the mail? No thanks. Give the Tzedaka, and bring me a freakin' orange and cookie on a paper plate, (if you live nearby) I don't care. Don't get me wrong, I think it's very nice of them to think of me, and even take the time out to write my name on the card (if they do that much) , but it just doesn't do it for me. Either you're really busy with work, (so explain it to me, and I won't care either way), or just don't give me anything--if we're on that level, chances are, I didn't prepare anything for you either.

My mom knows someone for about 3-4 years now. They see each other a few times a week. My mom, the warm person that she is, felt she wanted to give this woman Mishloach Manot to show friendship. After all, isn't that what this is all about? My mom must have said something like, "Oh, you'll see it on Purim..."while describing it to her. So here ya go, the woman knows beforehand that my mam plans to come to her on Purim with this nice gesture, but she told my mom , "Oh I hate this stuff. I just make a few for my neighbors, and that's it. Don't bother coming over or anything." My opinion? (Maybe I'm biased because it's my mom, and I know she only means well) Just let my mom show up, and give her one. Ordering an extra one won't kill you. She doesn't have to know that you usually don't give anyone else. Someone wants to be nice to you. To show you that you're "friends." If my mom would have shown up on Purim, not knowing the woman's policy, then she can gently explain it, (without a tableful Mishloach Manot peeking out from behind her) or give her a spare that anyone with half a brain would have.

I went to a kid yesterday, and she said, "Let me put something together," which is a Euphamism for, "Let me get rid of the stuff I don't want, and give you back one so I don't look stupid." I told her straight up, "I know, you probably weren't expecting me, don't worry about it." That was the end of that. Am I offended? No. I don't care. So what, she didn't make one for me. It's not like she had a table of 20 of them, and didn't want to give me from there. No, THAT's insulting.

Yeah, so about the Recycling. Don't be stupid. Don't tell me you're gonna recycle. If you're gonna recycle, I don't care, either. Just tell me you'll be right back, and hand me something that looks like it was sitting on the table waiting for me. By telling me the classic, "Let me put something together," you're really showing I'm an afterthought. Someone else once told me, "Oh, I'm really sorry, I don't have anything prepared for you," and I was cool with it. Also, it's not like she had a million others waiting to be distributed. I respected her for her honesty. I gave her mine, and I left. Someone else handed me something, looked nice and put together and all, and I had no idea it was recycled. Until she opened her mouth and told me, "I really wasn't expecting you, so I just threw this together now," Gee Thanks.


At 3/15/2006 12:40 PM, Anonymous gavi said...

With regard to this, see the Rambam in Hilchos Megilla 2:17 (rough translation follows):
"It is better for a person to give more to matanos la-evyonim than to spend more on his se’uda and on mishloach manos to his friends. For there is no greater simcha than to gladden the hearts of the poor, the orphans, the widows, and the foreigners. For he who gladdens the hearts of these people is similar to the shechina..."

At 3/16/2006 4:52 AM, Blogger AlanLaz said...

"But anyway, all these people buy ready made. Come on. That's such a freakin cop-out. You're afraid you won't be able to make it fancy enough? "

Sadly, yes, many people are afraid that their shaloch manos will not be fancy enough. In Baltimore over the years, there has been an expectation to have an elaborate theme. And however elaborate your theme was this year, it better be more elaborate next year. The whole thing is ridiculous. Thankfully, it appears that this year an overwhelming number of people went to doing the Ahavas Yisroel cards. I mean, really, how many laffy taffy's or hamentaschen can I eat? I'd rather the money go to tzedaka and have them give a couple of people.

My shaloch manos, which cannot be topped: I buy alot of 6-packs of beer - give people a variety 6-pack - I of each beer, and a lime. You got your 2 brachos, something everyone will remember, so practical, and all for about 6 bucks. That is...unless you're a sem girl that doesn't drink beer. :)

At 3/16/2006 4:58 AM, Blogger Pragmatician said...

I share you sentiments only with less anger and more humor.
Of course I know my neighbor didn't mean to spend 23$ on me (price tag on bottom); he just forwarded it to me like he would an email. But heck I do the same, heck the whole Mishloach manos thing has become political and commercial.
Good post

At 3/22/2006 6:50 PM, Blogger FrumGirl said...

Yeah its sad when people dont know when to just keep quiet. Chalk it up to stupidity.

At 3/23/2006 5:08 PM, Blogger Looking For a Working Guy said...

Why do these people think everyone's going to remember who gave what?in the end, who cares? they're all taken apart, and eaten in a panic before Pesach rolls around.

At 3/28/2006 7:01 PM, Blogger shani said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 3/28/2006 7:02 PM, Blogger shani said...

hey i dont know wut goes on out there-i make sure 2 stay home all day-nut u gotta point. they dont say 4 nothing that purim is like yom kippur-and its kinda important to get as many zechusim as u can..

At 3/30/2006 5:10 PM, Anonymous Chani Vegh said...

Last year I was speaking to someone who told me that her mother gives out about 100 mishloach manot every year. I didn't say anything, I just stared at her. I thought the point was to give to a few close friends, neighbors, relatives...but 100 people?! I thought that was a little rediculous.
Storebought mishloach manot are kind of lame, but some people really don't have time. For such people I make exceptions & they're exonerated. But for everyone else, get a life! We don't want a fancier basket than the one your neighbor gave, we just want something simple that means that you care & are remembering us on Purim. We(I?) really don't care how much you spent, that's not the point!
About the "I just threw something together" thing, that sounds like the sort of thing that if I said, people would tell me to put my foot in my mouth. Is it just me, or is saying such a thing thoughtless, stupid, hurtful, & completely lacking judgement? I mean, even I wouldn't say such a thing!

At 10/05/2006 6:55 PM, Anonymous justcallusbloppy said...

oh that makes reminds me of a purim experience that made me cringe. we went over to give our 3rd cuzzins mishloach manos (who we do see a few times a year) and we followed her into the kitchen. and ofcourse i could feel her mortification she threw sumthin together rite in front of us. why did we have to follow her into the kitchen?! and frankly we totally dont care that she didnt have one for us but i feel bad cuz she saw us watching. but mind u she gave us the best stuff.


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