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Chapter 142:4
Purim Gifts and Festive Meal

4. Women are also obligated to send "Mishloach Manos" ("portions of food") [to friends] and "Matanos Le'evyonim" ("gifts to the poor") (1). Regarding "Mishloach Manos," a woman should send to another woman, and a man to another man. However, regarding "Matanos Le'evyonim," a woman may give to a man and vice versa (2). There are some women who rely on their husbands to give on their behalf, but this is incorrect. Rather, [women] should be stringent [and give themselves] (3).

FOOTNOTES:

(1) Women have the same level of obligation as men for all the mitzvos of Purim (Aruch HaShulchan 695:18).

(2) A man and woman sending gifts to each other creates an emotional closeness ("kiruv da'as") that is not appropriate outside the context of a marriage. However, giving gifts of charity to the poor does not engender the same type of emotional attachment (Ibid.).

(3) See the Mishna Berura 695:25.

 

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