As Purim nears, everyone is thinking of original ideas what to give as Mishloach Manos: Megillah case filled with chocolate miniatures, flower pot baskets, candy push carts and even books.
Here is my two sense about all this hype:
The fancier people give, the more pressure it is on a family who can’t afford too much (including me).
It’s embarrassing to give very small, if others give these big fancy things. Pressure really affects people and many give more than they can afford because they do not want to look ‘cheap.’
(As if people actually eat all the junk and sweets that are sent to them – and just clutters the kitchen right before Pesach cleanup time…)
Speaking of which, the halacha says (Shevach Hamoadim, page 152 ois 4): It’s better to give more Matonos Laevyonim (charity) than to do more in the Seudah and Mishloach Manos, because nothing is greater joy for Hashem than to be ‘mesameach’ the poor.
My suggestion is why not give a smaller basket and instead give some extra charity to a family in our own community that is in need.
You can even add a note in your Shalach Manos that you donated a certain amount to Tzedakah in honor of your friend.
You can add a small note in your mm that on honor of them you gave extra 18 or 36 to tsedaka to a family in crown heights in need there are also many crown heights organizations that can use tzedoko like ksvk machon chana please lets help are fellow jews lets give simple mm and also tzedoko.
If you give about 30 Mishloach Manos each Purim, how about giving $5 to Tzedakah in addition to each of them. That’s a nice amount to any Chessed organization.
So this year, please don’t look if your neighbor gives big and fancy. Just give small and add a Tzedakah card.
I hope people will take this seriously and on this note, thanks to all those in our community that do help people out on a regular basis.
A Crown Heights mother.