The Matzav Shmoooze: Mishloach Manos Gone Mad

Friday February 22, 2013 9:31 AM - 12 Comments

mishloach-manos3Dear Editor,

I am writing in regard to the ‘mishloach manos syndrome,’ the extravagance and pressure that has gotten out of hand. Priorities are misplaced, while spouses and children suffer due to Mommy’s sleepless nights and egoistic drive to evoke the coveted ‘Wow!’ reaction from relatives and friends.

It is a sad scenario of a mitzvah taken out of proportion and to a wrong extreme. Wrong motive, wrong action, wrong outcome.

Once we’re at it, let me mention that people should realize that the Kiddush at their next son’s bar mitzvah doesn’t have to cost $10,000 so that people talk about it for months after. My mishloach manos doesn’t have to dazzle the 250 people on our “list.”

To be honest with you, I’ve never really been a big fan of mishloach manos themes. I’m from those who always said that our theme is “mishloach manos.”

What about Purim costumes? Why should we be embarrassed to have less money to spend on costumes, especially those of us whose husbands are learning or earning a typical rebbi’s salary? Do we need the costumes to go along with the theme of the mishloach manos?

How about the person whose children dressed up as the Three Blind Mice? They were going to give out Mickey Mouse lollypops, cheese, and runny chocolate chip cookies. The last idea was going to be a little more complicated and slightly corny: “See how they run.”

Have we lost our minds?

And what if, chas veshalom, your youngest daughter doesn’t want to dress up as a blind mouse, but as Queen Esther?

Hashem help us.

Confused in Flatbush

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12 Responses to “The Matzav Shmoooze: Mishloach Manos Gone Mad”

1. Comment from Yankel
Time February 22, 2013 at 10:00 AM

Here to clarify your confusion (even though I feel like wev’e been through this last year)

“What about Purim costumes?”
What about them? Its an old minhag mentioned in the Rama
“Why should we be embarrassed to have less money to spend on costumes, especially those of us whose husbands are learning or earning a typical rebbi’s salary?”
We absolutely shouldnt be ! work harder on your middos if you are
“Do we need the costumes to go along with the theme of the mishloach manos?”
No, but some like it

“How about the person whose children dressed up as the Three Blind Mice? They were going to give out Mickey Mouse lollypops, cheese, and runny chocolate chip cookies. The last idea was going to be a little more complicated and slightly corny: “See how they run.””

Agreed, slightly corny (Ive encountered a corny theme as well including popcorn soda containing high fructose corn syrup etc)

“Have we lost our minds?”
No its just a few self righteous nuts like yourself

“And what if, chas veshalom, your youngest daughter doesn’t want to dress up as a blind mouse, but as Queen Esther?”
Chas Veshalam!!!

2. Comment from anon
Time February 22, 2013 at 10:44 AM

For those for whom purim is an enjoyable outlet for their creativity - kol hakovod! For the rest of us we can enjoy watching without feeling the need to join in, what is to us, the madness. I enjoy listening to music, but since I’m not very musical I never feel the need to get up on stage and sing. Purim is fun! Everyone should enjoy it in their own unique way without putting down others.

3. Comment from USA is bankrupt
Time February 22, 2013 at 10:52 AM

PRESSURE is in the eye of the beholder.

I still put an apple, wafer bar and small wine in cheap Paperific bag with a ‘Simchas Purim’ handwritten note. Educate for confident, self-value and happiness and all these ‘mishagasim’ will disappear.

On the other hand, WHY NOT? If women/men enjoy the creativity, excitement and glamour of a unique Shalach Manos with a rhymed poem or family pic accompaniment…DO IT!!! Tzedakahs are earning extra donations for purchasing Shalach Manos, people enjoy receiving them or can give it to their neighborhood yeshivos for ’sweet snacks’. Let the world turn with ideas, thoughts and fun. Some children look forward to their family costurmes, themes and it injects them with confidence.

Learn to smile, laugh and give a ‘Shalom ALeichem”.

4. Comment from Anonymous
Time February 22, 2013 at 11:13 AM

It’s true that Mishloach Manos has gone over the top. But that doesn’t mean you have to follow along if you can’t or don’t want to. No one will think less of you. But I agree with the previous posts that say Kol Hakovod to those who want to use their creativity that way. WHy Not? To each his own.
A Freilichen Purim to all.

5. Comment from big picture
Time February 22, 2013 at 11:41 AM

There are 2 issues here:

1. other people’ craziness
2. the need to rant

If you have good self esteem then other people’s craziness does not bother you.

If you have low self esteem please have it corrected asap!

6. Comment from yehuda
Time February 22, 2013 at 12:12 PM

its really sad that its the poor of the poor that always spend thousands of dollars wasted on facy simchas & extra cars with expensive vacations etc… how smart does a person need to be to know that their childrens food, clothing & education comes first?

I wish these people a refuah shleima & may Hashem give them some wisdom to help them get their lives back on track & think smart before spending your money this way.

MAY EVERONE HAVE A FREILICHEN PURIM

7. Comment from Anonymous
Time February 22, 2013 at 12:16 PM

One idea behind the theme is that it lets the giver get away with something fairly inexpensive, in many cases.

8. Comment from Oldtimer
Time February 22, 2013 at 12:47 PM

You don’t have to have a theme? Don’t have to spend the money or the time? Sure. And when the shadchan starts asking questions about your family, what are people going to say? That you haven’t the money? That you don’t care?

There’s a reason that people do weird things in response to social pressure. It’s the well-being and life prospects of their daughters (and sons).

9. Comment from get real
Time February 22, 2013 at 1:55 PM

Don’t be wimp. Give whatever you want, and stop worrying about everyone else.

10. Comment from Anonymous
Time February 23, 2013 at 3:27 PM

We always loves that our mother did a creative theme. My mother definitely wasn’t doing it for her own ego but rather because it got us all really excited for Purim. And she usually sewed our costumes herself so if anything she saved money by having us all dress to a theme. I personally refuse to do a theme probably until my kids are old enough to care and I don’t feel an ounce of pressure to extend myself because of anyone else.

If the letter writer feels that themes are important she should do a theme but either way she should not knock those who do other than what she does. Besides it’s always possible to do a really cheap theme that’s also really cute

11. Comment from AL
Time February 24, 2013 at 9:52 PM

Maybe the problem is that you live in Flatbush. Try moving out of town, where those who like themes have them and those who don’t don’t.
Also, a friend of mine just told me that she had a choice, make a nicer bar mitzva and invite 50 people or include her whole community (300) and serve less fancy food. She included everyone and they were very happy with cholent and potato kugel.
Gotta love out of town.

12. Comment from SUCH AND SUCH
Time February 24, 2013 at 9:57 PM

People with healthy self esteem don’t have to knock others that spend more money than they do. I appreciate nice mishloach manos and don’t feel at all pressured to produce equally nice ones or even nicer.

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