Purim Gifts of Food
and treats for Day 5 of the Countdown. Before, on and around Purim we exchange gifts with one another. As with most festivals, it will be Purim Gifts of Food and treats. It is up to the giver of the gift. We call this Mishloach Manot. (pronounced as Meesh-low-ach Mah-note). The meaning is ‘the sending of portions.’ It can be any size, big or small, there is no requirement. It is the act of giving to one another.
The other act of gift-giving that is very much a part of Jewish teaching is Tzedakah (tze-dah-kah). Gifts to the poor on Purim. Do you know someone or maybe a family that is unable to celebrate the festival of Purim? Or someone that is simply in need. It really feels good when you assist someone in need. Maybe, you have a neighbor that you could assist. It is called a Mitzvah, a good deed. Kindness travels far and the small act of making someone smile is quite heartwarming. It does not need to take much effort.
In this example of Purim Gifts of Food is a combination of a bottle of Kosher wine for the adult age drinker. Wine connects in the Purim Story. You see Queen Esther hosted a banquet for the King and invited the Villain Haman. She made sure there was plenty of wine and made sure he drank it in excessive amounts. Oh yes, you can also say that Esther had a plan as well. Her plan was to expose Haman to the King of his evil plot to destroy all the Jews in the land. She knew if she waited until Haman was drunk, he would be at his weakest moment. Well, you guessed it, Esther’s plan worked!
So…on Purim, for the adults of drinking age, wine is permitted to be enjoyed. It is of course okay to not get drunk, and you know your limits.
For the children, the closest to wine as we know is Grape Juice. Wine is a process using the grapes. The grapes grow on the vine. Kedem is a well-known brand that offers both white and grape juice for children. Also, adults that do not drink. Yes, it is kosher.
Be creative, add a few little Purim related fun like toys. Maybe a mask if you happen to know the person you are giving the Purim gift basket to…may not have one. Don’t forget something sweet, a sweet treat, for a sweet blessing. Some homemade Hamantaschen perhaps?