The Avodah of Mishloach Manot: True Giving

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Written by:
SAR Staff
Access editable doc with student handouts:

ברכה ראשונה

Ask each person to say their name. When they share their name, the rest of the group claps for them.

מספר נוכחות:

On a scale of 1-10 how present are you? How much are you here right now? 1=you may see me but my mind is in a totally different place, 10= I am completely with you, energized and fully locked in to whatever is happening here. 

You can try: Now, get up and sit in the seat of someone whose number was lower than yours. Get up and sit in the seat of someone whose number was higher than yours. 

סיפור שלי להיום:

In one or two sentences, what is your story for today? What’s going on for you today? 

This can be done going around one by one or by breaking people into pairs.

After סיפור שלי להיום:

You can try: Does anyone have any follow up questions for anyone about their story?

Take 2-3 questions and let the person answer. 

Or try: Get up and sit in the seat of someone’s story you related to. Ask one or two students to share why they related to this person. 


  1. The parnas chooses one question from the questions below to talk about:
    • Describe a time during the week that you most enjoy
    • What is a show that you watch, enjoy watching
    • What type of music do you listen to? What do you like about it?
    • Tell a funny story from your childhood.
    • What is your earliest memory?
    • Something that people don’t know about me is…
    • What’s your full name and why are you called that?
    • Who in your family are you most similar to? Different from?
    • The last place you would find me is…
    • If you had a million dollars what would you do with it?
    • Who is a role model of yours? Someone you would like to be like?
    • My favorite time of the week is..
    • What’s your favorite chag / Jewish holiday? Why?
    • What does a typical Shabbat look like for you? A special one?
    • What’s a Torah idea/Torah teacher that you found particularly
      meaningful? Why?
    • Tell about a time when you felt a strong connection to Torah/the Jewish community.
    • What’s a part of tefillah that is meaningful to you and why?
    • Who is a Jewish role model for you? Why?
    • What is your favorite mitzvah and why?
  2. Share a dilemma
    The parnas shares a dilemma he/she has been faced with recently. It can be school-related, or not. 
  3. III. ReflectionAfter sharing of the dilemma - do two rounds of quick response (one sentence each from each person)
    1. What I heard X say is…
    2. What resonated with me is…

If parnas takes the whole time - that is fine!

לימוד ועבודה פנימית

And likewise is a person obligated to send two portions of meat or two types of dishes or two types of food to his fellow, as it is stated (Esther 9:22) "and sending portions, one man to another"— two portions to one man. And anyone who increases sending to friends is praiseworthy. And if he has no [means to do this], he should trade with his fellow: This one sends his meal to that one and that one sends his meal to this one — in order to fulfill, "and sending portions, one man to another."

וְכֵן חַיָּב אָדָם לִשְׁלֹחַ שְׁתֵּי מְנוֹת בָּשָׂר אוֹ שְׁנֵי מִינֵי תַּבְשִׁיל אוֹ שְׁנֵי מִינֵי אֳכָלִין לַחֲבֵרוֹ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (אסתר ט יט) "וּמִשְׁלוֹחַ מָנוֹת אִישׁ לְרֵעֵהוּ", שְׁתֵּי מָנוֹת לְאִישׁ אֶחָד. וְכָל הַמַּרְבֶּה לִשְׁלֹחַ לְרֵעִים מְשֻׁבָּח. וְאִם אֵין לוֹ מַחֲלִיף עִם חֲבֵרוֹ זֶה שׁוֹלֵחַ לְזֶה סְעֻדָּתוֹ וְזֶה שׁוֹלֵחַ לְזֶה סְעֻדָּתוֹ כְּדֵי לְקַיֵּם וּמִשְׁלוֹחַ מָנוֹת אִישׁ לְרֵעֵהוּ:

(you can also note, if it comes up,  that the Rambam says:

מוּטָב לָאָדָם לְהַרְבּוֹת בְּמַתְּנוֹת אֶבְיוֹנִים מִלְּהַרְבּוֹת בִּסְעֻדָּתוֹ וּבְשִׁלּוּחַ מָנוֹת לְרֵעָיו. שֶׁאֵין שָׁם שִׂמְחָה גְּדוֹלָה וּמְפֹאָרָה אֶלָּא לְשַׂמֵּחַ לֵב עֲנִיִּים וִיתוֹמִים וְאַלְמָנוֹת וְגֵרִים.)

Discussion question: 

  • According to the Rambam, what is the point of mishloach manot?
  • Why send mishloach manot if you are just trading gifts?

The idea of mishloach manot gives us the opportunity to think about why we give, and receive gifts. 

Ask everyone to stand up. Think about a gift you would really like to receive today - from a friend, a teacher, a parent. Model this for students so they understand the gift does not have to be physical - ie, a compliment from person X, a smile, etc. Give students 3 minutes to walk around the room and ask as many people as possible the “gift” they would like to receive today. 

Bring everyone back to the circle. Ask everyone to think about a specific gift they can give to someone today. Model it for students. If there is time, have students walk around the room again and ask each other. If there is not time, ask a few students to share - or have the sharing be the bracha achrona. 

ברכה אחרונה

Choose any one of the following:

  • What is your מספר נוכחות now?
  • What is one thing you learned about someone else today?
  • What is one thing you learned about yourself today?

Notes to the teacher

  • This is the place to make suggestions to the teacher of different ways they may choose to facilitate this limmud
  • Or particular grade levels or sensitivities to take into account Or anything else you think is important for the teacher to know

עבודת המורה

  • This is the place to raise some questions that make sure the teacher tests the limmud on themselves or others
  • Could be a general question like - which part of the limmud resonated most for you? Which question was the hardest for you to answer?
  • Or questions anticipating students’ responses- What do you think students will say for X or Y? To what extent are you open to being surprised?
Download with student handouts:
Please help others by sharing how you used the resource, how you adapted it (link to your own version!) and what worked more or less well. You can also post questions that Lifnai Vlifnim staff or community members will try to respond to.

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