How to send Purim Mishloach Manot (food baskets)
Mishloach Manot (Hebrew) or Slach Manos (Yiddish) means "sending portions" and refers to the food baskets given on Purim. Jewish law says to give two different types of ready-to-eat food, each of which require a different blessing, to at least one person. Given the fun of this mitzvah, many give creative baskets of many different types of food to many others.
Difficulty Level: easy Time Required: 3-4 hours
- Recipient List: Make a list of all the people to whom you want to send a basket. Think of people in your neighborhood, members of your synagogue, your children's school friends, and so on. Don't forget your extended family!
- Basket List: Make a list of what items you want to put into the food basket. Popular items are fruit or dried fruit, nuts, a small bottle of grape juice or wine, hamantashen or other baked goods, and candies.
- Baskets: Decide what kind of container you want to use. Baskets can be simple like a paper plate wrapped in cellophane or fancy like a pretty glass bowl.
- Cards: Make a "Happy Purim from the (your family name) Family" card to include in each basket. Addressing the cards is not necessary. Distributing the baskets is much easier when the cards are all the same. Young children can participate in the mitzvah of mishloach manot by coloring the cards.
- Shopping List: Make a shopping list based on the above basket list. Remember to buy ingredients to prepare baked goods you want to include in the baskets. Remember to buy the containers themselves.
- Buy and Bake: Get all you need from the store and prepare any baked goods you want to include in the baskets.
- Assembling the baskets: Children can help to fill the baskets. Always make a few extra baskets. When the family to whom you forgot to send a basket shows up at your door with a basket for you, you can run into your kitchen and pull out a basket to give back to them.
- Delivering the baskets: Baskets should be delivered on Purim. Costumed children make the best Purim basket deliverers.
- Deliver a basket to someone elderly, sick, or new to the neighborhood.
- You can be creative and give your baskets a theme. Peanuts, peanut butter cookies, and Reese cups. Grape juice, grape jelly, raisins, and grape flavored candy.
- Baskets do not have to be expensive. A small bottle of grape juice with a couple homemade cookies in a bag attached says "Happy Purim" just as well as a large container with a great variety of treats.