Matanot L’evyonim

Matanot L'evyonim Chabad Online
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Matanot L’evyonim

Welcome to Beit Chabad’s Purim website
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One of the most important mitzvahs of Purim is Matanot La’Evyonim – “giving support to the needy”
This is your opportunity to fulfill the mitzvah of Matanot L’evyonim via Beit Chabad website
Thanks to your donation, on the day of Purim, we will bring joy to the unfortunate and give hot meals to the families in need, the elderly, and the lonely people.
In addition, your donation will help us to continue all the Torah and Chesed activities of Beit Chabad throughout the year
The donation is secured and performed through credit card or paypal.
Clearing of funds and issued receipts are done by the Beit Chabad Foundation, Sderot, under Tzeirei Agudat Chabad Bn No. 580134229

Table of Contents:

Matanot L’evyonim  Chabad

One of the mitzvos of the holiday of Purim is matanot l’evyonim- gifts for the needy. Two gifts of food or money should be given to two needy people, one gift to each.

What amount should be given?

In principle, a minimum amount is sufficient, but it is better to donate an amount that a poor person can buy a portion of food with.

  The Jewish custom is to donate wholeheartedly to one another as much as one is able.

 And as Maimonides wrote, “It is better to increase in gifts to the needy than to increase in his meal and in sending food gifts to friends (mishloach manot), for there is no greater and more glorious joy before God than to rejoice with the poor, orphaned and widowed.”

Who is obligated to perform this mitzvah (commandment)?

The mitzvah of giving gifts to the needy applies to both men and women alike.

 It is worth making an effort that even children who have come to an age old enough to understand will observe the mitzvah of giving gifts to the needy.

How to fulfill the mitzvah

The mitzvah can be fulfilled by giving money or food but not by giving clothes, dishes or gifts.

How the poor person uses the gifts

After the poor person receives the money, he can use it to buy whatever he wishes, and one can’t impose the condition that he uses the money for food.

Matanot La’Evyonim on Purim day

The purpose of the mitzvah is for the needy to have what they need for the holiday feast. Therefore, there it is worth making sure that the poor receive the gifts on the same day so they have what they need for the meal.

Here in Beit Chabad, we make sure to distribute the gifts on the same day, and aim to help you fulfill the mitzvah properly – in addition, the donation helps Beit Chabad’s holy activities throughout the entire year.

Can the money be given after Purim?

As a rule, the money should be given on Purim itself, but if it is not possible, the money should be kept safe and given to the needy after the holiday.

A quote from the Rambam

The Rambam wrote “It is better for one to give many donations to the needy rather than have a large feast or send many Purim baskets, since there is no greater joy before God than to cheer up the hearts of the poor, the orphaned and the widowed”

Who receives money on Purim?

In principle, the needy should receive the money. In this case, “needy” refers to someone who cannot get through the month properly. Someone who has sufficient income should not take from the charity funds.

Not being picky with Purim funds

As a rule, one should not be picky with Purim funds, but rather money is given to anyone who asks for it. In addition, one should not inquire whether the person requesting money truly needs it or not. Either way, the mitzvah is fulfilled.

When is the mitzvah observed?

The funds should be given to the needy after the reading of the Megillah – we remind you that there are date differences

In most cities, Purim is celebrated on Adar 14.

In cities surrounded by walls from the times of Joshua, such as Jerusalem, Purim is celebrated the next day on Adar 15, called in Israel Shushan Purim.

Can Purim funds be given from Ma’asrot (tithe) money?

Halakha states that funds should not be given from Ma’asrot money. The base sum should be given from one’s own money and if they wish it, they can add more at the expense of tithe money.

Expanding on the mitzvah from the Gemara and the Rishonim

It is said in the Gemara, in the Bava Metzia tractate, that funds collected during Purim are meant for Purim and not for other purposes. And no inquiries should be made.

The Rishonim interpreted the words of the Gemara as follows:

“One should not make inquiries”, that is, one should not interrogate a man asking for charity whether he is truly poor or whether he has some financial means, since unlike the charity mitzvah Lashon Tsedek where one should inquire with the person asking, in Purim it is a mitzvah to give a gift even to someone who might not absolutely need it – the Halakha says “anyone who asks for charity should receive it”.

Observing the mitzvah by forgiving a debt

Since the mitzvah of Purim funds is meant to bring joy to the needy by enabling them to eat and celebrate, the mitzvah is not fulfilled by forgiving a debt despite the poor person technically gaining money.

Matanot La’Evyonim – support for the needy – defining “needy”

There are those who believe that one should make sure to give gifts to the needy, while others claim that the recipient does not necessarily have to be needy, and the mitzvah can be fulfilled by giving to any poor person.

Definition of poor 

A man with no fixed income to support his day-to-day living expenses is considered poor. Of course, day-to-day expenses refer to food, clothes etc. save for luxury items.

In addition, a man who incurred exceptional expenses such as medical expenses or for the purpose of a child’s marriage / moving from a small apartment to a large one for the benefit of the household members is considered poor.

Is the mitzvah fulfilled by giving support for the needy before Purim?

First, we emphasize that if there is concern that the poor person will use the money before the holiday, the mitzvah is not fulfilled.

If the person giving the money gives it before the holiday begins such that the recipient receives it during Purim, or even if he gives the recipient the money to keep with him until Purim begins –

there is a Machloket – dispute between Poskim on whether the mitzvah is fulfilled in this case.

In any case, according to the Chasidut, it is best to give the funds to the poor on Purim day, after the reading of the Megillah of Esther.

Chabad House Activity

The Chabad House is a non profit organization that serves the general public.
The activity includes support for the needy, support for mothers in the difficult period after birth, Spreading Judaism, Torah lessons, activities for children and youth, and a listening ear.
Your support helps us to continue and grow in our charity activities all year round, and especially on the holiday of Purim, G-d willing you too will have a share in the charity and support of the Chabad House for the poor and needy.

Is the mitzvah of gifts to the needy the same as the mitzvah of machatzit hashekel?

Giving Gifts to the needy is one of the 4 mitzvahs (commandments) of Purim as it is written in the Book of Esther “and sending portions to one another and gifts for the needy”. Our sages regulated this mitzvah on the holiday of Purim. The goal is to give two gifts of food or money to two people in need.
In addition, there is another mitzvah of half a shekel (machatzit hashekel), which you can read about on the Machatzit HaShekel page.

Matanot L'evyonim

Matanot L'evyonim

The names of the donors will be mentioned for blessing at the Lubavitcher Rebbe's Tziyun