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Giving a donation in leu of MM- the other side
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amother




Honeydew


Post  Thu, Mar 01 2018, 9:28 pm
I don’t have that many friends that I give MM to. Maybe 10. But I have a lot of teachers to give and my kids each give to everyone in their class. I worked hard preparing many MM this year like I always do. I give simple inexpensive things for the kids and nicer bigger but not too expensive things for adults. I must have given out 100 MM today. My kids came home with full bags BH. I on the other hand came Home with a tiny bag. Most of my friends gave to the “in leu of” community MM. and so they didn’t give back anything when I went to deliver.
I get that everyone is busy and don’t want the hassle. We don’t really need more junk.
But I couldn’t help but feel disappointed.
My little daughter felt bad that I had such a small bag that she gave me some things from her bag. Such a sweetie.

I guess I’m just feeling bad. I don’t need the junk food but I enjoy seeing what others make for MM. I felt jipped this year.
Can anyone relate?
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amother




Saddlebrown


Post  Thu, Mar 01 2018, 9:32 pm
Yes I can relate. Even though I don't eat most of the stuff, I still enjoy being the recipient of something tangible, something I can hold in my hand as a representation of the person's care for me.
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amother




Seagreen


Post  Thu, Mar 01 2018, 9:34 pm
yes. It can feel nebachy when you don't get shaloch manos even though it shouldn't. We should rise above and realize that may be some people are only giving one or two so the fact that you aren't one of those one or two is not such a big deal.
I appreciate when people give even if it's something small I also don't really take the community shaloch manos so seriously. A lot of people just give to the whole list, I don't necessarily even know everyone on that list so how can I feel like they are giving to show me they care about me.
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octopus




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Mar 01 2018, 9:37 pm
If you want to give a donation to tzedaka, give a donation to tzedaka! Why do you have to tell me about it?! Mishloach manos is a separate mitzvah. I never got this.
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amother




Navy


Post  Thu, Mar 01 2018, 9:38 pm
Community MM is a fundraiser for the institution, I don't think you fulfill the mitzvah of mm. I think you personally have to give 2 foods to 2 ppl.
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agreer




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Mar 01 2018, 9:40 pm
octopus wrote:
If you want to give a donation to tzedaka, give a donation to tzedaka! Why do you have to tell me about it?! Mishloach manos is a separate mitzvah. I never got this.


R' Moshe Meir Weiss (Staten Island) is very into this. There's no such thing as "in lieu of" MM... You can't do one mitzvah in lieu of another. It doesn't work.

Mishloach manos is such a beautiful mitzvah. It's a shame people are taking the easy way out.
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amother




Bisque


Post  Thu, Mar 01 2018, 10:43 pm
So I also wonder why we made MM into a hakaras hatov event instead of a nice thing to do with friends and neighbors. I'm all for appreciating people but there are other ways and times to do it. And I think because of that, people are too busy to give to friends.
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amother




Lilac


Post  Thu, Mar 01 2018, 10:58 pm
agreer wrote:
R' Moshe Meir Weiss (Staten Island) is very into this. There's no such thing as "in lieu of" MM... You can't do one mitzvah in lieu of another. It doesn't work.

Mishloach manos is such a beautiful mitzvah. It's a shame people are taking the easy way out.


People are doing the mitzvah. They just aren't doing it a hundred times. Maybe they don't have the money, or the energy, or the emotional strength to give to all their friends and neighbors, but they want to acknowledge that they care. We give actual food packages, but I'm delighted with whatever comes my way.
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Simple1




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Mar 01 2018, 11:10 pm
amother wrote:
People are doing the mitzvah. They just aren't doing it a hundred times. Maybe they don't have the money, or the energy, or the emotional strength to give to all their friends and neighbors, but they want to acknowledge that they care. We give actual food packages, but I'm delighted with whatever comes my way.


I'm not one to stop people from giving tzedaka. However, I don't really have use for someone's card - if you can't give, just don't. Today I called parents who live in another state and I was not going to see, and texted out -of- area sibs with pics. And another friend who lives far away, we will talk on the phone a different day when we have time. No cards are necessary IMHO.
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amother




Lilac


Post  Thu, Mar 01 2018, 11:16 pm
Simple1 wrote:
I'm not one to stop people from giving tzedaka. However, I don't really have use for someone's card - if you can't give, just don't. Today I called parents who live in another state and I was not going to see, and texted out -of- area relatives with pics. And another friend who lives far away, we will talk on the phone a different day when we have time. No cards are necessary IMHO.


I feel flattered that they thought to send us a card. Then I throw it out. Good feelings, easy cleanup. A win-win situation.
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amother




Green


Post  Thu, Mar 01 2018, 11:33 pm
I feel that the community mishloach manos is something for people that I am not gonna get to or don't have as much to do with us. I still.give all my neighbors that I have what to do with and everyone on my block. This year I personally delivered just a few but bh I got rid of my 25 mm. People came to me. I did give out to a couple ppl who didn't give back to me but that's their issue. I gave them and I did what I feel I should.

I am sry you only got back one. It can be very hurtful.
Also the tzedaka cards I feel.are for ppl you want to acknowledge but don't have much to do with. I buy 1000 cards each year from a local charity and send them to all the Jewish clients my company has. Ppl like it and we send a note with it as well. For personal use I would only use them for an out of town person I wouldn't get to.personally.
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seeker




 
 
 


Post  Thu, Mar 01 2018, 11:45 pm
I wonder what the happy medium is and whether it's even possible to get there as a community. Everyone either has too much food/nosh they don't need/want/know what to do with, or has too little and feels un-gifted. I get it, I really do. I've seen and heard all the sides of this and they're all valid. But then what?
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amother




Plum


Post  Fri, Mar 02 2018, 12:00 am
Not everyone has the strength or means to prepare dozens of MM. We live in a small community and my kids have small classes so they all gave to their friends while we gave out just a few adult pakcages and donated to the community MM. It's not "in lieu of," it's an actual MM that the community gives on your behalf, so I think you could theoretically be yotzei although you'd have to ask your own rabbi.

We do give to the whole community list, even though we don't know all the people, because we don't want to inadvertantly leave anyone out. I'm sorry if it feels less personal that way but it seems this is a no-win situation. Either you include everyone and then it becomes impersonal, or you give only to select few and then others get hurt/offended.

come to think of it I didn't get much nosh this year but my body really does not need it and I'm glad not to have all this junk to get rid of right before pesach. My kids all got from their friends so they're happy.
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amother




Plum


Post  Fri, Mar 02 2018, 12:05 am
amother wrote:
So I also wonder why we made MM into a hakaras hatov event instead of a nice thing to do with friends and neighbors. I'm all for appreciating people but there are other ways and times to do it. And I think because of that, people are too busy to give to friends.


It is pushed by schools or organizations who make money by selling MM and want to convince you that you ought to give MM to the bus driver, the receptioninst and the medical assistant in your local doctor's office.
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flowerpower




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Mar 02 2018, 12:12 am
I am with you 100 percent. Mishloach manos is one thing and tzedakah is another!!!! I don't see the connection. Would you read megilla three times and skip one meal on Purim instead?
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seeker




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Mar 02 2018, 12:59 am
amother wrote:
It is pushed by schools or organizations who make money by selling MM and want to convince you that you ought to give MM to the bus driver, the receptioninst and the medical assistant in your local doctor's office.

I think that's overly cynical. I think MM is a general time of friendship and goodwill and if you're giving something to all your friends then of course you want to include someone you are grateful to. Or perhaps you wanted to give someone a token of recognition but didn't know just the right time, but MM is a great opening to give something to someone. It's just a plain ol' good idea, that went super-viral, and eventually even got institutionalized in many school/organizational settings and for some reason makes people feel pressured. I think the money-makers are capitalizing on things that were already happening anyway.

Happens to be this year I had my act together a drop more than some other years and I gave to the teachers etc. But other years Purim kind of sneaked up on me and I ended up giving the teachers something at the end of the year instead. I honestly don't think it made any difference to anyone how or when it was done.

I gave a nice MM with a gift inside to a couple of people who watch my kids a bit more often than I can consider "just playdates" when I have to work late or the kids are off, and if I handed them a thanks of any sort they would be very uncomfortable and might refuse it - one of them literally had my kids all day, 9-5, when they were off and I was at work earning an income, and refused to let me pay her for it. But on Purim everyone is passing things all around I am able to shove a nice gift with an "envelope" into her house by way of a daughter, and it's not awkward and my appreciation gets expressed and she gets at least a little of what she deserves. Similar to a therapist who gets paid nicely for her time (not by me because her services are covered) but you can't put a price tag on literally turning your kid's life around (and I think giving gifts/payment in general is an ethical problem but when you're both frum and it's MM you can look the other way and get away with it.)
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seeker




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Mar 02 2018, 1:01 am
flowerpower wrote:
I am with you 100 percent. Mishloach manos is one thing and tzedakah is another!!!! I don't see the connection. Would you read megilla three times and skip one meal on Purim instead?

But what about when you already heard the megilla, gave MM, gave tzedakah, and ate your meal. Done, done, done, and done. And now you want to offer a goodwill gesture to friends in addition to trying to avoid offending anyone who may be waiting for your goodwill. Do you get a choice about whether to do that via food, card, or donation?
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flowerpower




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Mar 02 2018, 1:30 am
seeker wrote:
But what about when you already heard the megilla, gave MM, gave tzedakah, and ate your meal. Done, done, done, and done. And now you want to offer a goodwill gesture to friends in addition to trying to avoid offending anyone who may be waiting for your goodwill. Do you get a choice about whether to do that via food, card, or donation?



If I want to give $18 to yada yada organization then I will do so. I don't feel special getting a small business card in the mail that you gave them $18 instead of sending me some liquor and royal icing cookie based on your theme instead. The whole point of mishloach manos is the feeling of friendship. That someone is thinking of you.... so a card is not the same as food.
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alis_al_kulana




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Mar 02 2018, 1:40 am
I spent less than 40 dollars on making enough shalach manis this year. No theme, paper bag, 2 minim. People feel bad when they don't get anything.
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seeker




 
 
 


Post  Fri, Mar 02 2018, 2:04 am
A card is not food but it can say thinking of you. Maybe it depends what type of cards. I know there are organizations that sell cards where you donate to the organization, they give you a pack of cards with the organization's design on it (like an org that helps children might have a child-painted "happy Purim" design) and then you can write a little note in it. But even if the organization does the printing and mailing, basically you think of the person you want to include and put their name on a list, much as most people giving MM think of the person and put their name on a list while they and their family mass-produce packages.

Mind you, I actually agree that MM is ideal and is a great vehicle for increasing friendships. I'm just kind of playing "devil's" advocate without any devil because I'm interested in uncovering exactly what the underlying feelings and issues are.

I'm thinking that the key might be in the delivery, where the card comes in the mail whereas the MM is delivered and there is either the actual interpersonal exchange, or the feeling that someone came and left something at your door, I.e. they cared enough to come. However, plenty of people outsource their deliveries as well, so that's only a partial answer.

So, next level question: If it's coming in the mail or via messenger anyway, would it make a difference to you if I ordered cards from an organization, or if I ordered nosh from an organization? Because there are fundraising MM services as well. You pay the Foundation for Employing the Disabled, and they have their folks assemble and send out identical little packages to the folks on your list. Or you pay the Deforestation Federation and they send identical little cards to the people on your list indicating that the same amount of money was given to the organization but it went to the people instead of much going to the cellophane-wrapped wafer rolls the other place sends out.
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