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    Gifts on Purim – Ask the Rabbi

    Q. Why do we send food gifts on Purim?

    A. Judaism has a general principle of thinking about and supporting other people. A selfish celebration is no celebration. On Purim there are several ways of sharing the joy of the occasion.

    The ninth chapter of the Megillah speaks of “sending portions to one another and gifts to the poor”. We send at least two kinds of food – since the verse speaks of manot, “portions”, in the plural – to at least one person – because the verse says “to one another” – and gifts of money to at least two poor people – since the verse uses the word evyonim (“poor people”) in the plural.

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