Purim was last week, but at this point, it feels long gone. We had a great time and I even got in on the dress up action. Even though it’s in my rear view mirror, my 4 year old is still hung up on one thing! Not the costumes. Not the groggars. Not Haman (although somehow he does sneak into his knock knock jokes) or Esther or Mordechai. It’s all about the mishloach manot.
If you’ve never heard of mishloach manot, it’s simply a Purim basket, gifts of food or drink that are sent to family, friends and others on Purim day. The mitzvah of giving mishloach manot is meant to increase love and friendship among Jews and their neighbors. Somehow my son is convinced that they are for children only and that adults cannot eat the goodies inside the bags that they are given.
So when we left a 1st birthday party with a goody bag (not unlike the mishloach manot bag he got at school), he was thrilled with his new “mishloach manot”! Who was I to tell him Purim is long over? Mishloach manot are part of the mitzvah of feeding the poor on Purim and who is more poor than a child who had to watch another child receive a pile of gifts? (Lots of people, obviously, but you get my drift)
So from now on, every party favor bag we get will be called a mishloach manot! Why not? Hopefully it’ll remind us of the fun of Purim, of how lucky we are to be alive. It will remind us that giving is a mitzvah and we should be grateful for every act of generosity by the people around us. Best of all, it will also help my son remember what in the world mishloach manot is by next year when Purim comes back around!
May the Schwartz Be With You
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