One year ago, then Chief Rabbi Metzger sent out a unique Purim message: Do not send a lot of Junk Food. It is not in the spirit of the mitzvah.
One year later, people in Israel are choosing healthier options for their Mishloach Manot. In fact, instead of creating a competition for the healthiest basket, people seem to embrace a simple homemade trend this year. Homemade granolas, salads, simple vegetable plates or healthy whole grain breads and spreads are becoming increasingly common here in Israel.
The other trend this year is giving fewer baskets. Entire communities are joining together to have raffles. A raffle is a system where all of the residents are assigned two people in the community randomly. This encourages community harmony and helps residents meet new people and fulfills the spirit of the
Even on Facebook popular Bloggers are sharing that they will be giving only two baskets this year. Blogger Andi Leubitz of Moma Sutra shared her goal this year to focus more on charity and limit herself to two baskets and received a huge surge of support from people eager to join her. This movement is growing around the world as mothers stand together to reduce the amount of junk food floating around our homes during and after the holiday.
This year everyone can improve the quality of their Mishloach Manot. Ideas can be as simple as a beautiful salad for the festive meal, the seuda, with a bottle of wine. Try homemade soup with its recipe and fresh bread. Granola and yogurt is always a popular choice and in Israel there can be a bit of competition
about who makes the best hummus or tehina. The gifts we give in our community speak highly about what we value and what we want to share with others.
The value of the mitzvot of Purim is community unity and friendship among Jews. Charity is a key mitzva for that reason. Choose a charity that is meaningful to you and contributes to the community in a practical way. If they sell cards, that is a nice way to remember those who don't get regular mishloach manot from you.
The Israeli Chief Rabbi may have begun this new trend but everyone can benefit. This year the worldwide Jewish community is focused on the health of our nuclear families and our greater family.