The laws of shalach manos state that on Purim day, every person should send at least two portions of different foods to at least one person to demonstrate friendship and achdut among the Jewish people. This obligation pertains to every man, woman and child from the age of Chinuch. One should send food that can be eaten immediately without any further preparation.
Two different foods to one person. I repeat. Two different foods to one person. So, how did we spiral out of control to 15 or more foods to 100 people? I was shocked to find a magazine advertsing shalach manos baskets ranging up to 185$. You can do the calculations of ordering such a basket for all your friends.
A number of years ago, a good friend and I decided that we would not be sending each other shalach manos. And guess what? We have remained the best of friends.
This Purim, I hope to focus more on Matanos leevyonim. I am going send a friend a modest package of two different foods, along with a card stating that I have donated some money to a tzedakah organisation in her name.
I don't need lavish baskets containing nosh that can't possibly be all eaten before Pessach. Besides which, I read a Reuters article this week with the headline, "Diabetes soars in Britain".
It begins with the statement, "Cases of diabetes are soaring in Britain, according to new research, with medical experts linking the rise to higher obesity rates caused by unhealthy diets and lack of exercise."
Two weeks ago, I heard a lecture by a nutritionist about healthy eating and how important movement is for an individual. She took out Rambam, Hilchos Dayot, Perek Daled to lend credence to her words. When I returned home, I read through the Perek. Nowhere does the Rambam recommend licorice, chocolate coconut bars and the like as staples for a healthy diet.
Wishing everyone a happy and healthy Purim.