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Purim is always a rough time for me, as I am always worried about being mekayem Matanot Laevyonim properly. The problem is of course that if you share an עני with someone else, then if the other guy gives him the money first he might not be technically an עני by the time it's your turn to give matanot.

As such, I usually find my evyonim 30 days before purim and lock them up to make sure nobody gives them any money (drugged fruit on Tu-Bishvat is perfect for this). This year however, one of my evyonim managed to chew through his ropes and got away (will need to conisder mehadrin rope next year).

This is my dilemma. All the local evyonim have already been taken, so what is the shiur for how I must go to look for a real evyon? Also, is it technically possible to temporarily rob someone of everything? What if I just threaten them until they are mafkir everything they own? Not sure that it would really work...

Does anyone have any better ideas? My best plan right now is to get an eved then release him. I think that "Kana Eved Kana Rabo" should suffice to ensure that he is an עני deorita.


This question is Purim Torah and is not intended to be taken completely seriously. See the Purim Torah policy.

4 Answers 4

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I would not advise the robbing path. After all, if you steal, you are already liable to have to pay him back twofold deoraita, and thus any payments would not qualify as Matanot Laevyonim.

Similarly, the eved path may sound interesting at first, but then you have the responsibility to feed and dress him as well, so Matanot Laevyonim is also right out. Releasing him would not help, as you still owe him some of your things deoraita (Deut. 15:13–14) or he regains what was his in other situations.

It's an interesting quandary. I'd suggest running after the escaped evyon before someone else gets to him.

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    What if I just force him to be mafkir everything he owns at gunpoint? I don't think that's technically stealing.
    – Nic
    Mar 4, 2015 at 16:15
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This is not really a problem, as there are several solutions you could use-

1) Disown your underage children, preferably after leaving them on a deserted island somewhere. This latter detail is crucial if you believe your wife will not support this plan, in which case you must hide them somewhere where she will be unable to find them. Halachically you will not owe them anything if they are over 6 years old. However, you will not be able to then take them right back home again since if you do this, they will be expecting the same behavior next year and will not be wondering where their next meal will come from, and then they will not be halachically an evyon next year.

2) Get an eved knani and immediately release him, there will be no obligation of hanaka. The problem this would be considered illegal according to every constitution in the world, and so since dina demalchusa dina, the eved would not get a chance to be an evyon. Arguably this might work in a war-torn country such as Syria, since the constitution is worthless and there is effectively anarchy. However the only way for a Jew into Syria is to pretend to be an Islamic Jihadist and this would involve building a reputation for yourself. It definitely wouldn't work for this year.

3) Convince your best friend to give you all his belongings. The use of force won't be necessary, since I'm sure your friend will understand the need. It's crucial that this not be a matana al menas lehachzir though, since the friend must be left uncertain where his next meal will be coming from. Therefore you should agree to flip a coin - if its heads, you give him his stuff back right away, and if it's tails, you withhold it from him for a few days. Note: The matanos laevyonim must be given before the coin is flipped.

Your dedication to this mitzvah is truly admirable :)

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    Welcome to Mi Yodeya, and thanks for some Purim simcha! Please consider registering your account, which will give you access to more of the site's features.
    – Scimonster
    Mar 5, 2015 at 8:55
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I think it's pashut and inherently the answers lies in part of your question, about robbing him. as we know from the story of yakov and esav or as some might spell it esu that rashi teaches us that when yakov ran away and elifaz ran after him and took his money yakov became was at that point technically considered a dead man cause uni chasuv k'mess therefore it would seem only logical that a dead man is avaday chasuve k'uni therefore I think u should find the nearest cemetery dig up the greatest tzadiks grave that's in your vicinity and throw your matanos la'evyonim in to the grave the only issue that might arise would be that since the dead man now has money im not sure u can consider him a mess lechatchila I think that this question is what chazal would considure a teku and iyh next year in yerushalyim we will have the answer (ps if there is no local cemetery just get drunk and kill your best friend and you'll be patur as the famous gemarah teaches us so don't worry and have another drink purim sameach

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    Welcome to Mi Yodeya, Benny, and thanks for the answer. I found it a bit hard to read though. Would you be so kind as to edit some punctuation in? Thanks. Hope you continue to contribute. :)
    – Scimonster
    Mar 5, 2015 at 5:27
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Oy vey! I'm almost tempted to downvote this question based on the very premise of your asking it. How is it possible that you can't find an evyon anywhere? Don't you know that Deavrim 15:4 says:

אפס כי לא יהיה בך אביון

It will not happen that you will not have an evyon among you

So, surely you can find some evyon

The other problem in your question is that you propose to feed him just drugged Tu Bishevat fruit. Feh! Ptui! No wonder he chewed through his rope and ran away. That's not fulfilling your obligation to support the poor! See Devarim 15:8:

חעבט תעביטנו די מחסורו אשר יחסר לו

Supply him sufficiently according to what he is missing!

If I were poor and you gave me just dried fruit for matanot l'evyonim, I would stare at you and give it right back and say "Here's my Shlach Moniss to you ... and my matanot l'evyonim to you, too. Sounds like **you**** need it more than me".

Happy Purim, and don't be so stingy! :-) :-) :-)

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    I always thought חעבט תעביטנו meant you needed to kick him until he stopped being poor, and אפס is just the shuir of being an evyon deoryta. You need him to have absolutely zero wealth.
    – Nic
    Mar 4, 2015 at 16:11
  • A poor person reading this might get insulted with that comment. I like your definition, though +1 - funny! The zero wealth translation doesn't seem to fit in grammatically, though.
    – DanF
    Mar 4, 2015 at 16:21
  • I think the drugged Tu B'Shvat fruit is to keep the evyon from escaping before Purim so the matanos laevyonim can be given then. The fruit itself isn't matanos laevyonim. You can't be mikayem that obligation before Purim.
    – Daniel
    Mar 4, 2015 at 19:51

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