One of the mitzvot of Purim is sending gifts of food, called Mishloach Manot (literally, "the sending of portions") to acquaintances. The obligation is to send a minimum of two ready-to-eat-foods to at least one person. Often this opportunity is taken to send gifts to many friends and relatives. The source for this mitzvah is in the Megillah. "Mordechai... enjoined the [Jews] to make the fourteenth day of the month of Adar... feasting and joy, and sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor."1

One of the themes of Purim is friendship and unity. When Haman asked King Ahasuerus for permission to destroy the Jews, he said "There is a certain people who are scattered and separate…" In contrast, Queen Esther knew that Jewish unity was essential when praying for G‑d's help. She instructed Mordechai to "Go, assemble together all the Jews" for fasting and prayer. G‑d is our father, and He loves nothing more than seeing His children unified. When we are united, we merit G‑d's blessing and salvation. We give gifts of food on Purim to strengthen our bonds of friendship with our fellow Jews.

Click here for more information on Mishloach Manot.

Wishing you a very happy Purim and a Shabbat Shalom, and I hope you take this as a virtual Mishloach Manot!

All the best,

Rochel Chein for Chabad.org