Halacha for Thursday 4 Adar II 5784 March 14 2024

Sending Mishloach Manot to a Diabetic and Celiac

Question: If one sends sweets to one’s friend as Mishloach Manot and the recipient does not partake of these sweets since he is a diabetic and abstains from eating foods containing sugar, has the sender fulfilled his obligation of Mishloach Manot?

Answer: Let us introduce this topic by saying that there is a disagreement among the Poskim regarding whether or not one can send uncooked foods, such as raw meat or chicken, as Mishloach Manot. Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l rules that one does indeed fulfill his obligation in this way since the recipient can cook the meat and it will then be edible. Thus, there is no obligation to send specifically foods that are immediately ready for consumption as Mishloach Manot.

Regarding our question, Hagaon Harav Yosef Cohen zt”l (who was a member of the rabbinical court alongside Maran zt”l) writes that he is unsure regarding this matter, for although we rule that one does indeed fulfill his obligation of Mishloach Manot by sending raw meat, nevertheless, the meat is still worthy for use by the recipient who can cook it and prepare delicacies for the Purim feast with it. However, regarding foods containing sugar which were sent to someone who we know cannot eat them, although the foods are intrinsically worthy to be used as Mishloach Manot, there is nevertheless room to claim that one does not fulfill his obligation of Mishloach Manot by sending them.

Similarly, Hagaon Harav Yehoshua Newirth zt”l (author of the Sefer Shemirat Shabbat Ke’Hilchata) rules that one does not fulfill his obligation with such Mishloach Manot that the recipient cannot partake of, for the entire basis for the Mitzvah of Mishloach Manot is for friends to gladden one another by joyously partaking of the food gifts during the Purim feast; in our scenario, on the other hand, the recipient cannot eat them at all.

Nevertheless, Hagaon Harav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt”l is quoted as saying that one does indeed fulfill his obligation with such Mishloach Manot. His proof to this is that if one sends dairy food items to one’s friend as Mishloach Manot, he clearly fulfills his obligation even when he knows that the recipient has eaten meat during his Purim feast which will prevent him from partaking of the foods until past nightfall; even so, there is no doubt that he has fulfilled his obligation. We can deduce from here that anytime one sends food items that are edible, regardless of whether or not that specific recipient can partake of them, one does indeed fulfill his obligation, as long as they are considered food items edible by most people.

Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l points out that there is an apparent distinction between these two cases, for whereas regarding dairy food items, the recipient will eventually be able to partake of them (it is just a matter of time) and he thus feels joy upon receiving such food gifts and camaraderie is indeed increased, regarding Mishloach Manot containing foods that the recipient will never be able to eat, this is not the case and there is no great joy felt by the recipient.

Nevertheless, Maran zt”l concludes that since this Mishloach Manot serves as a tribute and symbol of love and friendship in addition to the fact that the recipient’s family members will indeed be able to partake of the sweets and that the prevalent custom is to send different kinds of sweets and goodies as a show of fondness, in our situation, one does indeed fulfill his obligation even if the recipient cannot partake of the foods himself.

If one sends Mishloach Manot containing gluten to someone who is gluten-intolerant or celiac, this shares the same law as one who sends Mishloach Manot containing sweets to a diabetic.

However, if there is concern that the recipient may be unhappy to receive such gifts, for instance, sending this type of Mishloach Manot to a youngster who cannot have sweets and by sending this to him, this reminds him of his situation, one should indeed refrain from sending such items to such an individual. One should make an effort to send a Mishloach Manot package befitting the recipient so that he may enjoy it during his Purim feast.

8 Halachot Most Popular

Parashat Ki Tetze

Gathered from the teachings of Maran Rebbeinu Ovadia Yosef ztzvk”l (from the years 5744-5772) (written by his grandson HaRav Yaakov Sasson Shlit”a) (translated by our dear friend Rav Daniel Levy Shlit”a, Leeds UK) Ellul is the Time to Engage in Battle Against the Yetzer Hara, ......

Read Halacha

Eating Cake on Shabbat Morning

Today's Halacha is dedicated for the merit and protection of All Our Dear Soldiers May Hashem give them strength and courage to vanquish our enemies and may they return home safe and sound amid health and joy. May Hashem protect all the captives and have mercy upon them so that no harm befalls......

Read Halacha

 The “Shehecheyanu” Blessing

Our Sages teach us (Eruvin 40b) that one should recite the “Shehecheyanu” blessing upon seeing a new fruit that renews once a year. Even if one sees this fruit in the hands of another person or on the tree, one should recite the “Shehecheyanu” blessing. Nevertheless, the P......

Read Halacha

The Laws of Blood Found in Eggs

Blood in Eggs Blood found in eggs is forbidden for consumption, for this blood indicates the beginning of the embryotic development of the chick and this chick has the halachic status of “fowl” whose blood is forbidden for consumption by Torah law; thus, the opinion of the Rosh and Tosa......

Read Halacha


Parashat Terumah

From HaGaon Rav Zevadia HaCohen Shlit”a, The Head of the Batei Din in Tel Aviv (translated by our dear friend Rav Daniel Levy Shlit”a, Leeds UK) The Difference Between Moshe and Betzalel [Understanding Why Betzalel Was Able to Make the Menorah, Whilst Moshe Couldn’t] This Sh......

Read Halacha

The Proper Method for Reciting Blessings

During the days preceding Tu Bishvat, we have discussed some laws of blessings. We shall now discuss the law that the food must be in front of the individual before reciting a blessing, for this is the first law in reference to the laws of blessings. Waiting Until the Food is Brought Before the I......

Read Halacha

The Scent of Lemon

Question: If one smells the pleasant scent of a lemon, which blessing should one recite? Answer: The Gemara (Berachot 43b) states: “Mor Zutra said: One who smells the fragrance of an Etrog  (citron), or a quince recites the blessing of ‘Baruch Ata Hashem Elokeinu Melech Ha’......

Read Halacha

Parashat Vayechi

From HaGaon Rav Zevadia HaCohen Shlit”a, The Head of the Batei Din in Tel Aviv (translated by our dear friend Rav Daniel Levy Shlit”a, Leeds UK) The Power of a Good Word In the weekly Parashah, Yaakov Avinu gathered his sons and blessed them before he passed away, as the Torah sta......

Read Halacha