I have a friend who is planning on converting to Judaism but is not yet Jewish. I know it would mean a lot to him to receive mishloach manos. I would like to know if a person is yotzeh the mitzvah of giving shaloch manos by giving it to either a non-Jew or a Jewish child under the age of bar/bat mitzvah.

Note: I am not asking for a psak halacha in my particular case (for which I will CYLOR) I am merely presenting the background information to help people better understand the context of the question


4 Answers 4


Aruch Hashulchan 695:18 writes:

ויש להסתפק אם שלח לקטן אם יצא ונראה לעניות דעתי שיצא דהא לרעהו כתיב וגם קטן בכלל כדמוכח מקרא דכי יגוף שור איש את שור רעהו והנוגח שור של קטן חייב׃

One can be in doubt as to whether, if one sent [mishloach manos] to a minor, he has escaped [the hold of his obligation]. It seems to my humble opinion that he has escaped [it], for "to his friend" is written and even a minor is in the group [so designated], as is proven by the verse "when a man's ox pushes his friend's ox": the gorer of a minor's ox is obligated [to pay].

Nowhere that I see does he (or Mishna B'rura) discuss a non-Jew as mishloach manos recipient.


I did a bit of searching and came across this.

It quotes from Reb Ovadia Yosef tz'l's sefer חזון עובדיה on פורים to the effect that you cannot give it to a non-Jew, since they are not included in רעהו.

Perhaps the reasoning behind this is that since giving gifts in general (not for purposes of shalom) should be avoided:

רמבם הלכות עכום פרק ' הלכה ד

"... ואסור ליתן להם מתנת חנם...." (please look up for full context)

Maybe, chazal did not allow one to fulfil their obligation through a non-Jew.

  • 1
    It sounds like R' Ovadia Yosef's reason is based on Esther (9:22, "ומשלח מנות איש לרעהו"), which implies that the obligation can only be fulfilled by giving to a Jew. The prohibition mentioned by the Rambam seems like an additional but separate factor.
    – Fred
    Commented Mar 14, 2014 at 18:56

The Kaf Hachaim 694:12 writes that by matonos levyonim a minor works ,but shaloch Manos a minor does not work because he is not called reiyu.

Regarding a non Jew ,I think it is safe to assume that he is definitely not called a reiyu.


Besides for textual exclusion through רעהו a non-Jew ought to to be excluded on logical grounds as well: The Trumas Hadeshen writes (ch. 111) that the reason for the enactment of Mishloach Manos was to provide food for the Purim seudah. It is thus reasonable logically that non-Jews were never included as recipients in the enactments.

  • I know that the manos halevi is cholek.
    – mevaqesh
    Commented Feb 5, 2015 at 2:23

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