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Rambam and Shulchan Aruch say you can send two types of meat as mishloach manos on Purim.

Yet somehow I (and many other people, apparently) were taught that the two different items have to be in two different bracha categories.

If this is a halachic folktale, does anyone know where it came from?

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I don't have an answer, but I think it may have (always?) been guidance more than requirement. If you send two items that are so different that they require separate Berachoth, then you have unquestionably fulfilled the requirement for two types of food. I hesitate to refer to it as a myth or urban legend, but I think it's spread to the point that people assume it is Halachah when it is not - or is not regarded as such by most rabbinic authorities. –  Seth J Mar 14 '11 at 17:10
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According to matzav.com/harav-dovid-feinstein-purim-halacha-tidbits , R' Dovid Feinstein says that there's no Halachic source for this. –  Isaac Moses Mar 14 '11 at 17:38
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So then it's a history question. Who started this? –  Shalom Mar 14 '11 at 19:18
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... and a good one. I fear it may be difficult to even track down how old it is if it propagates primarily as an oral tradition. –  Isaac Moses Mar 14 '11 at 20:15
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But you can't send two pieces of the same meat -- it must be two different types of meat, see the Aruch HaShulchan 695:14. So it makes sense that people wanted to be careful to send two different types of things and therefore made sure that they were so different that their berachos were different to avoid any doubt. –  Curiouser Mar 14 '11 at 23:09
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3 Answers

One can send two portions as their mishloach manos and there is no halachic idea of sending things with different brochas, which is a very common mistake as Rav Dovid Feinstein has pointed out.

See the Mishna Breurah 695:4, where he says that the two foodstuffs for the mishloach manos that you send, can be meat and ‘other foods’. In MB 695:4:19 he says that drink is fine as another ‘other foodstuff’. Therefore, you could have meat and drink as your two food items, both having the same brocha of shehakol! (Rashi explains in the Mishna in Yoma 93B, that drinking is included in the category of eating.)

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Reb Ephhraim, Welcome to mi.yodeya, and thanks very much for the sources! I look forward to seeing you around. –  Isaac Moses Mar 20 '11 at 20:12
    
I don't see how this addresses the question. –  Double AA Feb 13 at 18:16
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I did not see this anywhere, however I think what I am going to say is true.

The Gemara in Megila 7a-7b (translation courtesy of ArtScroll) says as follows:

R' Yehuda Nesiah sent to R' Oshaya the thigh of a calf born third to its mother and a bottle of wine.… Rabbah sent with Abaye to Mari bar Mar a basket filled with dates and a cup filled with the flour of roasted wheat.… Mari bar Mar sent back to Rabbah a basket filled with ginger and a cup filled with long peppers.

We see from the first two stories that they sent two different Brachos.

Although from the final story we see that both items were the same Bracha, I would venture to say that, since the first 2 stories of Mishloach Manos were of 2 different Brachos, that is where the misconception started that you need the 2 items to be 2 different Brachos.

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The mitzvah is to have two different foods. If you make them foods of different brachas then you can be sure that they are certainly 'different' from each other even if you aren't an expert in the Shulchan Aruch. Having one be a food and one be a drink would also work (even if they are both shehakol). Meat from two different kinds of animals would also work, but meat Shalach Manos seem to be uncommon today. Whereas it might not be very clear if , for example, two different shehakol candies would fulfill the requirement to have two different foods, so why take chances?

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