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Feb 25, 2021

Interesting Psak: mishloach manot with the wrong hechsher

Kikar is reporting on an interesting Purim-related psak given by Rav Avraham Yosef Scwartz. I don't know who this rabbi is or anything about him, but the issue he discusses is interesting.

The question posed to Rabbi Schwartz was if people preparing mishloach manot to send to others on Purim should be with food items that bear whatever hechsher is acceptable to the specific recipient or can you not worry about that and just send whatever you want, as long as it is kosher? The presumption that you have to take into account the acceptable list of hechshers of the recipient could make things complicated as you could have to potentially buy or prepare different products and different ingredients for different people.

Rav Schwartz answered explaining that mishloach manot is meant to accomplish two objectives:
1. ensuring the recipient has food for his Purim meal
2. to increase love, friendship and comradery among people

So, Rav Schwartz says, if you were to send food to someone with a hechsher that the recipient doesn't accept, you haven't accomplished the first goal of providing food for his meal, as he won't eat it, but you have accomplished the increasing friendship as the "giving" aspect is more important for this. While it would be better to send food that the recipient will eat but nowadays with so many hechshers on the market it isnt always possible to know what each person relies on and which he does not.

So, Rav Schwartz says, you should buy products that bear good kashrut certifications and send them. And especially on Purim when the goal is to increase love and friendship among people, we should receive any mishloach manot given to us happily and gratefully, while at the same time instructing household members to check carefully before eating anything received to make sure what was given is acceptable in your house.

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  1. In some circles this can be difficult. Next year with shemitta, it's a nightmare.

  2. http://havolim.blogspot.com/2010/08/ki-savo-devarim-2718-arur-mashgeh-iveir.html


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