A long time ago I heard a number of vertlach that the reason why the destruction of Purim was decreed on the Jews was because they were refusing to eat in each others' houses because they didn't trust each others' kashrut (I feel I have even seen this in a gemara, probably Megilla). This idea intersected with the sin of attending Achasheverosh' party in some way that I cannot recall (e.g. they were happy to eat there but not by each other, oy vey).

I also heard at the same time that in order to make up for this, we were instituted the mitzva of mishlo'ach manot, whereby we give each other food, demonstrating that we trust each other about kashrut.

I have tried searching but I am coming up empty. Does anyone have the sources for this? The fuller the discussion the better, including analysis about if this has worked, what the state is nowadays etc).

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    This seems to follow the teaching of the Chatam Sofer in his responsa, Orach Chaim 196:3. Haman made the accusation that the Jews were a divided and scattered people separated by disagreements. Therefore, as a Tikkun to this charge, the requirement of sending 2 or more gifts of food to your Jewish neighbors was required. Mar 16 at 10:48
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    Close but not exactly the same @YaacovDeane
    – robev
    Mar 16 at 17:49
  • @robev It seems to be exact to me. The Takanah is a Middah Keneged Middah to the accusation from Haman HaRasha (the Amalekite). Remember, Amalek is gematria (equated with) doubt (ספק). The anonymous "King" in the Megillah Esther is G-d. This is a paradigm of the false charges from the Satan made against the Jewish people. He quotes Rabbi Shlomo Alkabetz & explains the false charge is that in a place where it is appropriate to be "one nation", they are divided & separate in disagreement. Thus, they were required to send 2 gifts of 2 kinds of immediately consumable food to their Jewish neighbors Mar 16 at 18:06
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    Your source has no mention of kashrus. That's why I said not exactly the same. See instead my source.
    – robev
    Mar 16 at 18:07
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    Does the Chasam Sofer say that? Or that's your interpolation.
    – robev
    Mar 16 at 18:09

2 Answers 2


You're probably thinking of the reason behind mishloach manos that I heard from Rav Daniel Glatstein in the name of the Ostrovtzer Rebbe. It is brought down in a biography of his life and Torah (make a free account and you can access it). There he says that people who went to Achashverosh's meal must have not cared about kashrus, so people stopped eating at each other's homes. After the Purim story, they showed they trusted each other again by sending mishloach manos.

A somewhat similar idea is quoted from his sefer Ohr Torah on this website. I didn't find it in his sefer Ohr Torah, but I did find it in his Meir Einei Chachamim. There, he says that the Jews worshipped idols, albeit outwardly, as the gemarra explains. However, people didn't know what the intent of others were, so everyone was an idol worshipper in each person's eyes. After the Purim story, they sent gift baskets to show they were friends again. He didn't say anything about kashrus, but it's implicit in his idea.

A third source, this time summarizing an idea in his name, is from the chassidishe compilation sefer Siach Sarfei Kodesh Purim § 12 (you need Otzar HaChochmah to see it). It's basically a combination of the above two ideas. Since Jews saw others bowing to idols, their meat now became forbidden, and other kashrus issues would have arisen. People then stopped eating in each other's homes. After the Purim story, people realized that they were only saved because the whole bowing to idols was outward, and therefore everyone could eat in each other's homes. They therefore sent each other mishloach manos to demonstrate this regained trust.

  • I am prepared to accept this answer FYI, but I would like to let this question sit for another week or 2 to see if there are any other variations or sources for the idea. Thanks so much either way shkoyach
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Mar 17 at 11:08

The Gemara חגיגה כו states that although all year round we have an issue with the kashrus and tummah of an עם הארץ, on yom tov we make an exception and we treat everyone like "חברים" (the gemara finds a source in a passuk), perhaps חז"ל tried to make purim into a true yom tov as stated in מגילה ה therefore they instituted the mitzva of משלוח מנות to trust everyones kashrus as seen from the gemara chagigah a true indication of yom tov. Gemara מגילה ז that people ate at each others houses

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  • 3
    This is an interesting comment, but not an answer to the question posed.
    – robev
    Mar 17 at 8:48
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