MAILBAG: Nobody Cares About Your Insane Mishloach Manos


I am so ridiculously fed up. Why does Purim have to be this way? I flip though magazines, I scroll through websites, and all I see are insanely expensive mishloach manos gifts being hawked and peddled to the frum community.

I don’t have a problem with expensive things; I enjoy the finer things in life too. But this is beyond the pale. In the past week alone, I have come across advertisements for $5,000 meat boards, $1,000 meat platter (different than a board, apparently), and a $2,500 “King Achashveirosh” platter. Those are at least the ones I can remember off the top of my head.

I’m afraid we’ve all fallen on our heads. Just a few years ago, Purim was a day of celebration. Now, it’s a day of agitation, when families feel the need to throw their hard-earned money down the drain to impress their friends because, you know, “everyone else is doing it.”

Think about it this way. If everyone else was jumping off 10-story buildings, would you do it too? I can’t help but think that many of you reading this would begrudgingly answer ‘yes.’ Because that’s the same thing that’s happening with mishloach manos.

Nobody needs your $5,000 meat board. Barely anyone would even appreciate it. You’re just trying to impress others by flaunting the money that you have – or don’t have, and had to take out a second and third mortgage to pay for your fancy mishloach manos.

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to take a step back and take a deep breath. Nobody cares. Stop thinking people do. A nice, simple mishloach manos will do just as well as the fancy shmancy garbage you’re buying.

And if you’re so intent on spending that much money, here’s an idea: give it to tzedakah. There are more than enough people who need financial help. Give the money to them and stop blowing it on your insane meat boards. Grow up.

NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of YWN.


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  1. Facts again,
    Most ads are selling shalach manos under 100$
    Most shalach manos that most people give cost under 20 each and many under 10
    U probaly spend more on one day chol hamoed outing than shalach manos
    Finally if a gevir gives your org 1800 u give a nuttery.nutters.. 18000 u give ???
    The gevirim getting these platters give 50x the total party cost to tzedaka I don’t buy , u don’t it’s not an issue

  2. Unfortunately all these holidays became a business and then they want to know why Jewish people have a reputation for money. Not to points fingers at any business but we all know who’s taking advantage

  3. Yes, I agree, there is some kind of insanity going on with the meat board. I got a real kick out of the Bisli board in one of the rayze it campaign yeshiva videos. That was super funny.

  4. This is only a prelude to the great big Pesach vacation extravaganza coming up soon after.
    Look, the horse has left the barn. After you now have $20,000.00+ catered vach Nacht, these misloach manos are a kleineh keit. The pleasure seekers will stop at nothing in order to get their fill of enjoyment.

  5. According to some, in order not to ashame the poor we give mishloach manos. Aren’t we ashaming the poor when they get so little and mishloach manos is so great? To show each other love, a small amount would suffice.

  6. The halacha is that Matanos l’Evyonim should cost more than Shlach manos/Seudah. So the $5K meat board would be an excellent gift to the poor.

  7. I have the same attitude about this as overly expensive Chadunos, B’nai Mitzvah, shevah brachos. Don’t do it!

    If you can’t afford it, don’t go into debt to do it. If you can afford it and do it, you are showing that you are nouveau riche.
    Old and real money is never conspicuous in spending. Showing off is in bad taste.
    What ever happened to the simple Purim plate with a couple of home baked misshapen hamentaschen, a small box of raisins, a couple of walnuts, a couple of hard candy and two shiny Lincoln pennies?

  8. I think it’s meant for businesses who are using these shaloch manosas for clients. Most likely they would use the company’s funds and book it as a marketing expense (which it is). If so they are tax deductible. My father who deals with businesses has gotten these $100+ shaloch manosas from vendors he uses. I can’t imagine these are meant for individuals giving to their neighbors, relatives, or friends.

  9. I agree.
    Unfortunately. Every jewish holiday has been changed to money making matter.

    They come up with this crazy idea to make money to pay off their own high maintenence life.

    Ppl fall for that.
    How do we stop that?

  10. I’m jealous of wealth just like you. But you don’t need to go and prove it. There are some things that you can think, but not say (or blog about, online) personal jealousies which don’t affect you in any way, are not something that give you a right to rant about.

  11. I am told that Rav Hutner said if you shame the wealthy into cutting back on personal extravagences, the result will be an unwillingness to “splurge” on tzedaka. As meir G said, many of these people give fifty times as much to matanos l’evyonim. For them, a thousand dollar gift is like for others a five dollar gift.

  12. I hear you, but ‘no one cares’ is not the message. The problem is that people do care. The issue is a lot greater than this specific thing. Then again, it doesn’t hurt to assume that those buying these are enjoying simhat yom tov at their own level. Most people will always be bewildered at the prices for some items and left to wonder, “who buys this??”. Well, there is a market for everything and some people want to spend as large of a percentage of their income on their mishloah manot that you did. If you get this mad you most probably are jealous. You’ll never know what you’d do if you had that much money until you have it. Enjoy your holiday and stop judging people.

  13. I’m calling total BS. Don’t believe the figures. Find me a Mishloach Manos (without expensive Alcohol) anywhere close to $1000.

  14. Purim is a time to open up our hearts and stand together. Purim is the day of kiymu mah she’kiblu kvar, and just as we accepted it ke’ish echad be’lev achad the first time we need to do so again be’achdus on Purim.
    The best way to show we’re all together as one is to fargin, to feel joy in each other’s simcha and not to look with an ayin tzarah. Send whatever mishloach manos you like and let others do the same. I couldn’t believe one of you went as far as to suggest the hamentashen be misshapen! A heimishe balabusta sends beautiful hamentashen and we should be happy together with her that she put her heart into the mitzvah, not wax nostalgic over the misshapen ones your Grandma sent.

  15. If I gave a huge donation to a shul or other organization, the last thing I would want from the organization is a $2,500 carving board, or any other crazy-extravagant gift. I want my donees to spend their money wisely.

    And just to be clear, I can’t donate enough to make anyone do something stupid.

  16. didn’t have time to read the whole letter i asked openai to read it for me:
    The letter appears to be a response to a previous article or letter about mishloach manos, a traditional Purim custom of giving food gifts to friends and family. The author of the letter expresses frustration and annoyance with the excessive and over-the-top nature of some people’s mishloach manos. The author argues that these elaborate gifts are unnecessary and that the recipients do not appreciate them. The author also criticizes the social pressure and competition surrounding mishloach manos, which can make people feel obligated to participate even if they do not want to.

    The language used in the letter is somewhat confrontational and sarcastic. The author uses phrases like “nobody cares” and “insane mishloach manos” to express their disdain for the tradition. The tone is somewhat dismissive and critical, and the author seems to be making a statement about the excess and waste that can sometimes be associated with mishloach manos.

    Overall, the letter seems to be making a statement about the value and meaning of the mishloach manos tradition. The author is arguing that the focus should be on the intention and sentiment behind the gift rather than the grandeur and extravagance of the presentation

  17. I once visited a guy in manhattan. He had this huge unopened mishloach manos sitting there weeks after purim from some organization. I said what do you do with it, he said “I have no idea why they send this to me, I don’t touch this stuff”.
    I don’t believe donors to organizations care for your mishloach manos, send something small and bakavodik and you’re fine.

  18. On one hand we are past the days when my grandmother put 3 hamantaschen and an apple on a paper plate to give her neighbors. Today Purim has become employee / employer appreciation day and I think for the most part the platters and fancy mishloach manos are going to the above but also mechutanim or roshei yeshivos and others you need to impress or show hakoras hatov. Most people I know who are just giving to neighbors or relatives make their own mishloach manos which can also add up. One other point the themed mishloach manos or even these pre packaged mishloach manos can fall into the category of זה קלי ואנוהו.

  19. Upcoming attractions coming to a neighborhood near you:

    1. Deluxe board of gourmet hard-boiled eggs and bread, spread upon a generous bed of ashes, available for Erev Tisha B’Av, for only $100. For the $200 version we’ll throw in a bencher and a luxurious soft mat to place on the floor while you eat.

    2. For Lag B’Omer, a seven layer cake in the shape of a madura (bonfire) with a wick at the top to light, covered with luscious drizzled chocolate, for only $350. The double deluxe verison for $500 will play a recording of R’ Shimon bar Yochai whenever a piece is cut.

  20. The only people I know with an actual justification to buy these things for people, are B2B sales persons who are trying to get the attention of a potential client.
    They need to give some thing that is so outlandish that it will actually make the recipient pick up the card to see who sent it.
    The hope with this, is to earn Name, recognition for the next time that they reach out with their sales pitch.

  21. As a young yeshiva bocher, I once gave another bocher one sardine and one Krembo in a plastic sandwich bag. He thought it was quite creative!

  22. I missed the ads for the expensive meat boards. What meats could possibly be that expensive? Giraffe, reindeer and meat from other exotic animals?
    We have surely gone from what Mordechai and Esther indended.

  23. I only partially agree. While it has gotten a little bit expensive for more “fancy” mishloach manos, there are many businesses and people who use this as an opportunity to show appreciation to others (whether that’s right or wrong is a separate discussion) though a pricey gift. They are also supporting local frum businesses in the process.

  24. These mailbag rants have gotten soooo overblown. Sounds like you are screaming and maybe a little jealous. I’m no fan of all the extras and extravagance you disdain and we certainly have lost our way but a screaming rant is only going to put most people off and make the next mailbag letter less enticing to read. Can’t we find a smarter way of conveying the same message?

  25. You mean $500? Where can you buy a $5000 meat board? I’ve never even heard of such a thing. That’s the price of 2-3 full cows. Is the board itself diamond encrusted? Is there 2 full ounces of edible gold on the plate? Where does one even find such an expensive ad?

  26. Author of article of more than 1000% right!!
    Mishloach Manos which AL Pi Torah should consist of 2 foods which have 2 separate Brochos.. and can be eaten that day by meal has spiraled way out of context. With people using the opportunity to giving gifts which is perfectly OK for those you have to show appreciation too. But to coerce people into buying lavish silver pieces because it is a MUST for Purim and expecting that one to pay $1000, $5000 or whatever amount for MM is retarded.
    Sending mega $800 chocolate and nut arrangements is beyond a waste of time and money. No one appreciates all these overly sweet chocolates.
    I get them every year with the choc logs from The Nuttery or the Choc Bar. They go right into the garbage. It’s pure Baal Tashchis but we don’t enjoy these chocs. So please people. The mitzva is to give 2 edible foods which have 2 different Brochos. Just keep to the mitzva and stop causing Baal Tashchis and pressure by raising the bar. We are not mekayem the real mitzva by emptying out bank accounts. Tzedaka is way more important and also a mitzva of the day.