Lots of organizations print and sell donation cards at this time of year… but what if you want to make a donation to an organization of your choice? What if you don’t LIKE or want to buy the Purim cards they sell?
What if, instead, you want a happy sweet Poetic Purim Fairy such as the one shown on the postcard above???
This will be the second year that I have halved our Purim-day shalach manos list by sending cards in advance to Rabbonim and other families who we are either not all that close with or who I feel are really not honoured properly with gifts of cookies and candy.
Click any of the images on this page to download a PDF of this 3-up postcard layout. I’m having ours printed on cardstock at Kinko’s (now FedEx office) because it will look nicer that way and they have big cutters I can use in their office to make this super-easy.
On ours, I added a Tomchei Shabbos logo, because that’s the organization I make the donation to. The text of the poem indicates that the money is going towards feeding the needy at Purim time, so you could really donate to any local Jewish food-oriented charity.
A couple of halachic nitpicky notes: from what I understand, these “donation cards” do NOT count for the mitzvah of matanos la’evyonim, which must be given to poor individuals, preferably on the day of Purim itself.
ALSO, and this is the biggie. No matter how many donations you make and no matter how many cards you send out, you are still obligated in the mitzvah of mishloach manos (manot): sending gifts to friends.
To fulfill the mitzvah properly, you should send AT A MINIMUM gifts to at least two people, preferably not family members. Each gift should contain immediately-edible food (ie not raw spaghetti) of two different kinds. By “kinds,” I mean that the foods should comprise at least two different brachos – ie a mezonos (cookie, cake), plus a shehakol (candy, bean dip, juice, soda) or ha-eitz (fruit) plus a ha-adamah (red pepper, cucumber) or ha-motzi (bread sticks, loaf of challah) plus ha-gafen (wine, grape juice) in any combination.
It is my understanding, though I’m not a rabbi, that no amount of cards or donations or raw ingredients or fanciful costumery or elaborate Purim plays or parties can substitute for this raw, essential mitzvah of the day.
And it’s an easy mitzvah. TWO people; TWO food items! You can do more if you want to – fifty or two hundred, in elaborate pekelach (packages) and shrink wrap and whatever. But the MINIMUM is two. Shrink wrap optional.