Thursday, March 09, 2006

Mishloach manos for one's wife

My wife was in Brooklyn today and picked up an advertising magazine that had a short article of he'oros on kashrus and Purim by a Rav who lives inthe 5T-Far Rock area. He mentioned that one must renounce ownership over the funds and food for mishloach manos and matanos l'evyonim given to one's wife, because otherwise the food and money is not hers based on the principle of "mah shekansa isha kanah ba'alah".
B'mchilas kvodo, I do not think this is correct. Such a hakna'ah would be necessary if there was a halacha of "lachem" (like by lulav) which indicated that the mitzva must be performed specifically with one's own funds and food. (Parenthetically, I have yet to see anyone be makneh one's lulav to one's wife on Y"T rishon). There is no such requirement of "lachem" for mishloach manos or matanos l'evyonim.
(See Halichos Baisa ch 24 footnote 55 in the name of R' Shlomo Zalman Auerbach who makes the same point. For those intrigued by the lulav issue for wives, see The Tosefes Bikkurim in the back of the Aruch l'Ner on Sukkah on S"A siman 657)
One other note in passing: according to the Pri Chadash and GR"A mishloach manos is davka "ish" l're'eyhu, to the exclusion of women, who have no obligation.


  1. Anonymous8:35 PM

    B’michilas k’vodcha, even if the mitzva of mishloach manos doesn't need "lachem", she is not giving anything of hers. There's no dimyan to lulav, where the Torah says to shake a lulav - and there happens to be a limud to require it to be your lulav. Here, it's impossible to give mishloach manos if it's not your maneh - even if she doesn't need it to be hers. It's like me taking your wine and cheese and giving it to your neighbor. Am I yotzei (assuming you weren't miyayesh)? Of course not. The food I gave wasn’t mine to give, and it wasn’t my food. Here too, she didn't give anything of hers, mimaila she didn't give. I don’t know if this rabbi is right or wrong – it could be one’s wife is yotzei with him – but your kasha doesn’t seem to be shver.

  2. I appreciate what you are saying, but I think we are going to have to agree to disagree on this one. You can get permission to use or even give away someone else's property without them being makneh it to you - who says it has to be yours to constitute "giving"? Let's say I came to your house and found some wine and cheese lying around - I ask you for reshus to use it for my mishloach manos and you nod OK. Even if the food is technically still yours, why would I not be yotzei mishloach manos? I think you need a ra'aya for that.

  3. Anonymous11:43 AM

    Maybe I'm looking at this too black-and white, but let's put it this way:

    After you give my wine and cheese to your friend (with my nod of approval), who owns that wine and cheese? I would say your friend owns it. How did he get it? Who was makneh it to him? You were. How can you be makneh something (unless you're acting as my shliach, which in this case you're not) unless you own it? Where's the "daas makneh" in this transaction?

    Similarly, let's examine a case of g'neiva (leaving aside any "mitzva haba b'aveira" considerations):

    Yanky steals my wine and cheese and gives it to Chaim (no relation to you), and I am not miyayesh. Is he yotzei shalach manos? Of course not! How could he be? Chaim is required to return the food to me (if it's still in existence), so Yanky never gave him anything.

  4. I don't see why you cannot have da'as makneh to sell something that is not yours, provided the original owner does not object. This may be a poor analogy, but it will get us an an early start on learning hil. peasch : ) - the Rav who sells your chameitz is using his da'as makneh when serving as your agent to sell chameitz that is not his. All he has is your consent to the sale, not formal possession of your chameitz. The difference between us I think is that you view mishloach manos as a formal kinyan - I view mishloach manos as a simply a delivery vehicle.
    Time to prepare for Shabbos!

  5. Anonymous8:13 PM

    A gitten voch:

    Is a ganav yotzei mishloach manos (ignoring mitzva haba b'aveira)? It seems to me that according to you, he would be. After all, he gave something; it just wasn't his. If you say yes, I will agree that we are disagreeing.

  6. The difference is in my case the sender has permission to use the manos; the ganav does not. I see your point - maybe ain hachi name, if you take off the problem of mitzva haba'ah b'aveira then he would be yotzei mishloach manos.