In Lieu for You

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mishloach-manos3By Chaim Bashevkin

This year’s Mishloach Manos
I dont know what to do
So I guess I’ll stop my worries
And just send, an ‘in lieu’!”In lieu of mishloach manos
I’m sending you this note
And in your honor, I have sent
A check to three mosdot!

“We’re sorry we’re not sending
No chocolate or fine wine
‘Cause this year I have sent a check
To a tzedakah of mine”

I thought that’s really interesting
In fact I thought it cool
Imagine if I could do that
For every single rule

Would not look for an esrog
‘Cause that is often hard
I will just send the soicher
A brightly colored card

“In lieu of buying an esrog
No need to look for flecks
Instead I’ll sent some mosdos
A couple of nice checks

I need not set menorahs
I need not twist a wick
I’ll send a card
That’s not too hard
And it can do the trick

It may even work for weddings
A new response card kind
We won’t reserve a seat for you
I’m sure you will not mind!

Don’t need to send a gift back
Or say if you’ll attend
Instead just choose a charity
To them a gift you’ll send

No more crunching matzoh
Or blowing shofar too
‘Cause you can send a card that says
“I’m doing this in lieu!”

Why not take it further
Now here’s a real nice test
Where “in lieu” would really work
Where some would like it best

In lieu of a new Lexus
I bought a beat up Ford
And sent a card with a big check
To a mosad I’ve adored

Imagine if at weddings
No flowers would they place
“In lieu of flowers we have helped
A real rachmanus case!”

And then a strange thing happened
I think it was in July
I got mishloach manos
From someone who stopped by

Inside the simple basket
A crumpled note I saw
Inside the box with hamantash
They left beside my door

“The money that I owe you
I cannot really pay
But here’s mishloach manos
For that’s my way to say

“In lieu of paying up my debt
Which I felt was too hard
I sent mishloach manos
With this brightly colored card”

I mean not to knock tzedaka
Or brightly colored notes
But let’s not shirk our mitzvos
With types of antidotes!

{This poem originally appeared in Yated Ne’eman and is republished here with permission of the author.}

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  1. I understand the point being made here. However I believe the author is mistaken on a couple of points.

    1. No one ever claims one should not give shalach manos but give tzedaka instead. Rather, one must give at least one shalach manos but instead of spending hundreds of dollars on giving fancy gift baskets, etc… to many people give that money to tzedaka instead.
    2. The Rambam in Hilchos Purim clearly states that there is no greater mitzvah than to brighten the faces of those who are less fortunate. Continues the Rambam, one should spend more money helping those less fortunate than in giving shalach manos. This I believe is why people minimize their shalach manos and rather give to those in need.

  2. Last year I sent Mishloach Manos with a note that read “in lieu of a donation to Tzedaka, A Mishloach manos is being sent to you”

  3. I choose to reply
    Although I do not know why
    I read your poem oh my oh my

    It seems to be clear
    That good humor you share
    But the pundits I fear
    Will pull out their hair

    They will get up and shout
    Of this there’s no doubt
    How you speak on a topic
    You know nothing about

    After all they will say
    Dear lord I pray
    That it must be okay
    To be busy all day

    With food and with drink
    Costumes red blue and pink
    We deliver in sync
    Hoping our gift s don’t stink

    Then it all must stop
    For a neighbor did flop
    Instead of food and a pop
    Only a card did he drop

    a Mitzva for Tzedaka he got
    But Shlach manos its not
    And reward for that Mitzva
    Certainly there’s not

    So stop complainen
    And start explainen
    If your kids your trainen
    To think Mitzvos are a pain-in….

    Don’t be rude
    Get in the mood
    Send the food
    You hear me dude?

    Mitzvos are a Bracha
    They bring Hatzlocha
    And through that your Zoche
    To a feiner mishpacha

    It’s a Mitzva that’s fun
    And to do we must run
    With daughters and son
    To give everyone

    Mark the date
    Make the day great
    I love your gift
    But those cards I just hate

  4. #5 – nobody ever said not to give Tzedaka.

    And if one person DOES give Mishloach Manos instead of a card it will be his Zchus 🙂

  5. The Mitzva is to give 2 food items to one person! Not 100. Its a greater Mitzvah to give Matanos La’evyonim – Apparently you have a lot of free time on your hand but not everyone does so this is a great idea. Also a lot of this food get thrown out as people get ready for pesach.

  6. Dovy….
    Maybe he is not giving Tzedoko because he had to go to Tashlich???

    There are two different Mitzvos. One is not in lieu of the other.

    Why does giving Tzedoko have to be instead of Mishloach Manos?

    And this clever wiseguy is not responsible for people’s tzedaka. You sound like the guy who said Martin Grossman was executed because of officer Park’s mother!

    Stop blaming others and learn to make decisions on your own…

  7. This is a breech of KOVOD HATORAH MAMASH!!! are you DAAS TORAH??? just beacaus you can make a cute ryme we have to listen who do YOU THINK YOU ARE. The Tzionim Hoarurim probably rote this and tryed to be mashpiah the oilam with this KEFIRA!!! Please take this 100% SHTUSS of of our interweb.

  8. Efsher is a Gaon!

    We should not waste time sending food! It is an Israeli plot to buy Zionist oranges. Let’s all send cards to Mr. Efsher!

  9. The mitzva is to give mishloach manos to one person. Once you are yotzei the mitzva, what could possibily be wrong with giving tzedaka?

    To follow this poem to its logical conclusion, if I buy one esrog and then give tzedaka, it’s a bad thing?

    If I eat one matza with lunch, and then give tzedaka it’s a bad thing?

    And I love the idea of giving tzedaka instead of buying flowers. You might notice that at many weddings, people do exactly that – they rent flowers from a gemach, and give the money to tzedaka, instead of spending a fortune on something that will be thrown out.

    I am surprised to hear the author would rather get another bag of potato chips than see money given to Tomchei Shabbos. By the way, those cards cost me more than I’d spend on nash, butthe money is going for a mitzva, and not being thrown in the garbage like much of the food people give.

  10. #7 – not so my friend. The MINIMUM is 1 Mishloach Manos. Give as many as you wish and racjk up the Mitzvos. Of course remember the Rambam which states one should spend more money on Matonos Levyonim then the other Mitzvos Hayom.

    My friend – it’s all in the atitude. it his Mitzva is exciting to you then you love it. If it is a burden or a pain in the neck then you look for excuses.

    as for food getting thrown out? Why? Each city has organizations that would be thrilled to come and pick it up or has places to drop off what you don’t want. And, if you learn the halocho it seems the best is to give foods that one can eat that day at the Seuda with no prperation required. Someone I know gives out home made adorable vegtable platters every year and they go onto the table for the Seuda and all is eaten.

    All in your attitude……all in the attitude. Embrace the opportunity and enjoy the Mitzva don’t look for a copout

  11. I always wanted to write a note saying – in lieu of shalach manos, I shoveled my neighbor’s path from snow! Who decides which Mitzvah should replace the one you’re shirking off?!?! Noone can!

  12. if it does not sound like Torah’dik, you should explain. Where does it say in Torah that you insult another Jew with all your heart. Explain why you don’t think it has the right hashgafa, but don’t insult.

  13. He didn’t mean not to give tzedaka on Purim… I”m sure he was specifically addressing the “in lieu” line on many of the cards. Purim cards are a marvelous idea, send cards, give tzedaka, all wonderful (with or without mm – who said they’re instead?). “Mishloach Manos cards” are his issue, apparently, the ones that tote themselves as “in lieu” of mishloach manos. CALM DOWN FOLKS it’s just a really cute poem!!

  14. Must admit I am a little sick of seeing year after year people competeing and sending expensive gifts. No tachlis and not all can keep up with the game. What is the purpose in giving and receiving and eating all that sugar? No one needs it. This holiday may be nice but its a big energy zapper. Unfortunately while most people are wrapped up in themselves and their gifts and families, bottles of drinks and plates of meat, many are unfortunately sitting sick or alone in hospitals or orphanages. They are waiting to be remembered.

  15. One fulfills the mitzvah of mishloach manos with two brachos to one person. You don’t get more mitzvos for every additional one that is sent.

    When a mother’s nerves are shot to pieces, and she’s shrieking at her children to take this then that and get over there with this one, what is her motivation? What are her feelings for Purim?

    Give one. Spend the rest of the day visiting family. Your children will remember a cheerful mother, and that’s all they want anyway.


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