I am an unmarried man. If I pay an unmarried woman (freelancer, not my employee) for a service like writing a business letter etc. is there any issue if I give her the money directly? True, she is performing a service/job for me and I am receiving something in return but we find that by Hilchos Shaloch Manos (Siman 695:4 – Rema) that a man should not give a widow shaloch manos because we are concerned that perhaps these are the סבלנות (gifts) that are given after קידושׁין. Does that same logic apply here or because the money is being given in exchange for a service, there’s no concern for סבלנות etc.
Thank you very much for your time.
Thank you for your question.
You don’t have to be concerned that what you are paying her is for a service, whereas mishloach manos is essentially a present, (that we are obligated to give on Purim). The Rema continues and says that it is permitted to give even an unmarried woman matanos l’evyonim, and we aren’t afraid that it is סבלנות. In fact even if the matanos l’evyonim is given as food it is permitted, because it is given not as a present but as tzedakah. Therefore there is no concern when a single man pays a single woman for work that was performed.
Rema O:CH 695-4, M:B 695-27.