Halacha for Monday 8 Adar 5777 March 6 2017

A Joint Mishloach Manot by Husband and Wife

Question: On Purim I stay home and I do not give out my own Mishloach Manot. May I fulfill my obligation by sending a joint Mishloach Manot along with my husband?

Answer: First, let us discuss the obligation of women with regards to Mishloach Manot.

A Woman’s Obligation in Mishloach Manot
Women are obligated to send Mishloach Manot as are men. In general, women customarily send Mishloach Manot to other women, such as a neighbor and the like. The Rama (Chapter 695) writes that even a married woman is obligated to send Mishloach Manot and she does not fulfill her obligation with the Mishloach Manot her husband sends.

On the other hand, the great Peri Chadash writes that women are not obligated in the Mitzvah of Mishloach Manot, for the verse in Megillat Esther states, “And sending portions to one another”-in masculine form, i.e. “from man to his friend” and not in the feminine “from woman to her friend”. Nevertheless, most great Poskim rebuff his opinion, including Hagaon Ya’abetz in his She’elat Ya’abetz (Volume 1, Chapter 120) who writes that the Mitzvot of Purim were derived for all generations from the verse, “And the Jews upheld and accepted upon themselves and their descendants” and women are included in descendants and they are obligated in all of the day’s Mitzvot, just as it is clear that they are obligated in hearing Megillah reading since they were likewise included in the miracle of Purim. Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l quotes the words of the various Poskim on this topic proves conclusively that the Halacha follows the opinion of Hagaon Ya’abetz. Thus, there is no doubt that women are obligated to send Mishloach Manot exactly as men are. (Chazon Ovadia-Purim, page 140)

Mishloach Manot Through a Messenger
We must likewise discuss if the Mitzvah of Mishloach Manot should be carried out through a messenger or if one may deliver it on his own. The Sefer Binyan Zion (Chapter 44) writes that since the verse states, “And sending portions to one another,” it seems that one should send them with a messenger since when one delivers the Mishloach Manot himself, this cannot be considered “sending”. Similarly, Hagaon Chatam Sofer (in his commentary on Gittin 22b) writes that one should preferably send the Mishloach Manot specifically with a messenger. On the other hand, both Maran zt”l and his rabbi, Hagaon Harav Ezra Attieh zt”l discuss this matter and rule that, halachically speaking, one need not make sure to send the Mishloach Manot with a messenger and one may deliver it himself and satisfactorily fulfill one’s obligation (Chazon Ovadia-ibid, page 143). Clearly though, one who sends one’s Mishloach Manot to another with a messenger surely fulfills one’s obligation according to all opinions.

A Joint Mishloach Manot for Husband and Wife
Regarding a wife who wants her husband to have her in mind when he delivers his own Mishloach Manot, shall we say that this is halachically sufficient, for if he becomes her messenger, he certainly may deliver Mishloach Manot on her behalf? However, our situation is somewhat different in that the husband is giving the Mishloach Manot both on his own behalf and on behalf of his wife and we must discuss whether or not this is permitted.

Hagaon Harav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt”l (in the Sefer Halichot Betah, Chapter 24, Section 25) rules that husband and wife may fulfill their obligation with a joint Mishloach Manot, however, they must make sure that it contains within it enough portions to amount to two Mishloach Manots, i.e. four foods, since each Mishloach Manot must contain at least two portions, as we have explained. On the other hand, Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l discusses this issue in his Chazon Ovadia (ibid, page 137) and rules that, halachically speaking, even if the Mishloach Manot does not contain enough portions to amount to two Mishloach Manots, the husband and wife nevertheless fulfill their respective obligations with the same joint Mishloach Manot. The reason for this is that since the Mishloach Manot contains two substantial food items within in, it will be graciously accepted by the recipient with great honor and thus, both of them fulfill their obligation jointly.

Summary: A woman must likewise give Mishloach Manot; it is customary for her to give it to a female friend or family member. If her husband gives a Mishloach Manot on her behalf to another family, both the husband and wife fulfill their obligation in this way.

Ask the Rabbi


8 Halachot Most Popular

The Laws of Precedence Regarding Blessings (Continued)

In the previous Halacha we have explained that there are instances that priority is given to recite a blessing upon a certain food over another because of the innate significance of the given food, for instance, because it is a fruit that belongs to the Seven Species of fruits that the Land of Israe......

Read Halacha

The Month of Shevat and the Law that Food Must be in Front of the Individual While Reciting a Blessing

Next Wednesday (actually, beginning from next Tuesday night) will mark the Fifteenth of Shevat or Tu Bishvat. We will therefore begin a segment on the laws of Blessings of Enjoyment. In following Halachot we shall discuss some more laws pertaining to reciting blessings which we have discussed in the......

Read Halacha

Precedence Regarding the Order of Blessings (Continued)

Summary of the Laws Explained Thus Far In the previous Halachot we have explained that there is an order of priority regarding blessings, sometimes because of the innate importance of the food and sometimes due to the importance of the blessing. Priority of “Boreh Peri Ha’etz”......

Read Halacha

The Laws of the Blessing on Fruits

In the previous Halachot we have explained that there is an order of priority regarding blessings. Thus, if one wishes to partake of apples and dates, one must recite the blessing on the dates, for they are one of the Seven Species. Precedence Regarding Blessing-Only Preferable Maran Ha’Be......

Read Halacha


Question: Is one permitted to act stringently in any situation one pleases?

Answer: In the previous Halacha we have discussed that one must wait six hours between eating meat and cheese in accordance with the ruling of Maran Ha’Shulchan Aruch. This law is based on a Gemara in Masechet Chullin (105a). For the purpose of our discussion, we shall quote the words of the G......

Read Halacha

Eating Meat Dishes after Dairy Foods

In the previous Halachot, we have discussed the laws of eating dairy foods after meat. We have explained that one must wait six hours between eating the respective foods. We shall now discuss the laws of eating meat dishes after dairy foods. The Opinion of the Gemara which Permits Eating Meat aft......

Read Halacha

Some Detailed Laws Regarding Eating Cheese after Meat

In the previous Halachot we have mentioned that after eating meat, one must wait six hours before eating dairy products. A Woman who has Given Birth or is Nursing A woman who is within thirty days of having given birth may eat dairy products after eating meat and she need not wait six hours. It ......

Read Halacha

Eating Dairy Items after Eating Poultry

In the previous Halacha we have discussed in general the law that one must wait six hours after eating meat before eating dairy foods either because the nature of meat is to get stuck between one’s teeth or because meat gives off a taste in one’s mouth for a prolonged amount of time. ......

Read Halacha