Rabbi Yehoshua Alt
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Rabbi Alt merited to learn under the tutelage of R’ Mordechai Friedlander Ztz”l for close to five years. He received Semicha from R’ Zalman Nechemia Goldberg Ztz”l. Rabbi Alt has written on numerous topics for various websites and publications and is the author of the Sefer, Fascinating Insights: Torah Perspectives On Unique Topics. His writings inspire people across the spectrum of Jewish observance to live with the vibrancy and beauty of Torah. He lives with his wife and family in a suburb of Yerushalayim where he studies, writes, and teaches. The author is passionate about teaching Jews of all levels of observance.
A Moving Mishloach Manos
One idea of giving Mishloach Manos is to increase unity. What are some ways we can do this?
1) Instead of just giving the Mishloach Manos that we “must” give such as to our friends and neighbors, we should also think of people that we may have had a conflict or some friction with and give them. Perhaps giving to these people is even more important. Purim is a great day to do this because people’s hearts are open and more receptive on this festive day. Someone once put it this way: Make a list of everyone you want to give Mishloach Manos to. Now rip up the list and give Mishloach Manos to those who didn’t make it to the list.
2) Another idea is to think of someone who could use encouragement and uplifting. Send this person a Mishloach Manos. It is not about what you give rather about the fact that the person feels like they matter, that someone cares about them, that they were acknowledged.
3) Make something special that you know the person enjoys. We can extend this even further. For example, don’t send a Mishloach Manos full of candies and cakes to an older couple that is health-conscious. Similarly, if you know someone is allergic to certain foods, make a special effort to send them that which they aren’t allergic to. Then your Mishloach Manos has so much more meaning to them which truly increases unity.
4) Another great idea is to write a letter or at least some nice words in the Mishloach Manos you send. For example, if you send to a teacher of your child, write how much you appreciate the teacher. Or if you give to a neighbor, you can write we are so lucky and grateful to have you as neighbors. This puts some “soul” into the “body” of your Mishloach Manos. This therefore brings feelings of unity.