Mishloach Manot Tradition Explained

Mishloach Manot, shalach manos

Purim is a joyous holiday that commemorates the salvation of the Jewish people from the evil plot of Haman in ancient Persia. It commemorates the salvation of the Jewish people from the evil plot of Haman, an advisor to the Persian king. One of the customs of Purim is the giving of mishloach manot, or Purim baskets, to friends and family. It is celebrated on the 14th day of the Hebrew month of Adar, which falls in late February or early March on the Gregorian calendar.

One of the central customs of Purim is the exchange of mishloach manot, or Purim baskets, which are gifts of food and drink sent to friends, family, and those in need. In this article, we’ll explore the tradition of mishloach manot and how you can add a creative twist to your Purim celebrations with themed mishloach manot baskets.

Mishloach manot is not only a gesture of goodwill but also a way to fulfill the mitzvah of giving during Purim. The act of sending these food portions symbolizes unity and care for one another within the Jewish community. It is a beautiful tradition that brings people together in celebration and reflection on the miraculous events of Purim.

In this article, we will explore the tradition of mishloach manot and how it has evolved over time.

What is Mishloach Manot?

Mishloach manot, also known as shalach manot, is a mitzvah (commandment) to send gifts of food and drink to at least two friends on Purim. The tradition is based on the verse in the Book of Esther, which states, “And Mordecai wrote these things and sent letters to all the Jews who were in all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, both near and far, to establish among them that they should celebrate yearly the fourteenth day of the month of Adar” (Esther 9:20-21).

Mishloach manot is a tradition that dates back to the Book of Esther, which tells the story of Purim. In the book, Esther instructs the Jewish people to observe the holiday by sending gifts of food to one another. This is known as mishloach manot, which translates to “sending portions.”

The tradition of mishloach manot is meant to promote unity and friendship among the Jewish community. It is also a way to ensure that everyone has enough food to celebrate the holiday. In addition, it is a mitzvah, or good deed, to give mishloach manot to at least one person on Purim.

What is Included in Mishloach Manot?

Traditionally, mishloach manot consists of two different types of food, such as fruit and pastries, or wine and cheese. However, over time, the tradition has evolved to include a variety of items, such as candy, nuts, and other snacks.

Some people also choose to include non-food items in their mishloach manot, such as small Purim gifts or trinkets. This adds a personal touch and allows for more creativity in the presentation of the basket.

Themed Shalach Manot

In recent years, themed shalach manot have become popular. These baskets are centered around a specific theme, such as a movie, TV show, or hobby. For example, a Harry Potter themed mishloach manot may include items such as chocolate frogs, butterbeer, and a wand.

Themed mishloach manot allow for even more creativity and can be a fun way to connect with friends and family. They also make for great conversation starters and can add an extra element of excitement to the holiday.

How to Prepare Shalach Manot

Preparing shalach manot can be a fun and creative activity. Here are some steps to help you get started:

1. Choose a Theme

If you decide to go with a themed mishloach manot, the first step is to choose a theme. This can be based on your recipient’s interests or something that you know they will enjoy.

2. Select Items

Next, choose the items you want to include in your basket. This can be a combination of food and non-food items, depending on your theme and budget.

3. Get Creative with Packaging

The presentation of your mishloach manot is just as important as the items inside. Get creative with your packaging by using colorful baskets, bags, or boxes. You can also add ribbons, stickers, or other decorations to make it more festive.

4. Include a Personal Note

Don’t forget to include a personal note with your mishloach manot. This can be a handwritten message or a printed card. It’s a nice touch that will make your recipient feel special.

Mishloach Manot Themes

As mentioned earlier, themed mishloach manot have become popular in recent years. Here are some mishloach manot ideas for themed baskets that you can try:

1. Movie or TV Show

Choose a movie or TV show that your recipient loves and include items related to it in your basket. For example, a Game of Thrones themed basket could include dragon-shaped chocolates, a “Winter is Coming” mug, and a mini sword.

2. Sports Team

If your recipient is a sports fan, consider creating a basket based on their favorite team. You can include items such as team merchandise, snacks, and even tickets to a game.

3. Hobbies

Consider your recipient’s hobbies and interests when choosing a theme. For example, if they love gardening, you can include seeds, gardening tools, and a small plant in your basket.

4. Travel

For the avid traveler, a travel-themed shalach manot can be a fun and unique idea. You can include items such as travel-sized toiletries, a passport holder, and a map of their favorite destination.

Where to Buy Mishloach Manot Baskets

If you don’t have the time or resources to create your own shalach manot basket, there are plenty of places where you can buy them. Many synagogues and Jewish organizations sell pre-made shalach manot baskets as a fundraiser for their community.

You can also find a variety of shalach manot baskets online, including themed options. Some popular websites to purchase from include Amazon, Etsy, and Kosher Gift Box.


Shalach manot is a beloved tradition that adds an extra element of joy to the holiday of Purim. Whether you choose to create your own basket or purchase one, the act of giving and receiving shalach manot is a meaningful way to connect with friends and family and celebrate the holiday together.

Themed shalach manot have brought a new level of excitement and creativity to the tradition, allowing gift-givers to tailor their baskets to the recipient’s interests and preferences. From movie-themed baskets to sports team-inspired packages, the possibilities are endless. By including these special themed gift baskets, people can make Purim even more fun and unique for their friends and family.

As the tradition continues to evolve, we can look forward to even more creative and unique shalach ideas in the future. Happy Purim!

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