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Chapter 142:7
Purim Gifts and Festive Meal

7. A mourner ("ovel") is obligated to [fulfill the mitzvos of] sending gifts to the poor ("Matanos Le'Evyonim") and sending portions of food to friends ("Mishloach Manos") on Purim, even during the first seven days of mourning ("shiv'ah") (1). He should not, however, send a present which is specifically associated with joy ("Davar shel Simcha"). One should not send "Mishloach Manos" to a mourner throughout the first twelve months of mourning (2). This applies even to articles which are not associated with happiness. It is permissible to send money or articles which are not associated with happiness to a mourner who is poor (3). If there are no Jews in one's community besides the mourner and someone else, one can send "Mishloach Manos" to the mourner in order to fulfill one's mitzvah (4) (The laws applying to an onen are mentioned in Chapter 141, Law 21.)


(1) As we saw earlier, there is a dispute as to whether a mourner should perform activities associated with mourning on Purim. However, all agree that a mourner is obligated to carry out all mitzvos, even those created by the Rabbis (such as sending "Mishloach Manos") (Mishna Berura 696:17).

(2) When one loses his father or mother, certain mourning restrictions apply for 12 months after the burial. For the other direct relatives that one is required to mourn over (siblings and children), the restrictions last for thirty days. The Mishna Berura (696:21) adds that if the local custom is to greet one who is mourning a parent during the first 12 months, one may send them "Mishloach Manos" but not something associated with joy ("davar shel simcha"). This leniency does not apply within the first 30 days of mourning for any of the direct relatives.

(3) This is because it is no different to giving charity (Ibid. 696:19).

(4) One must send "Mishloach Manos" to two people in order to fulfill one's obligation


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