The Importance of Gifts to the Poor on Purim

The Rambam (Chapter 2 of Hilchot Megillah) writes: “One must send one’s friend two portions of meat or two cooked foods or two food items, as the verse states, ‘And sending portions to one another,’ which means two portions to one person. The more friends one sends to, the more praiseworthy one is.

One must also distribute monetary gifts or food items to the poor on Purim day, no less than one gift to two poor people, as the verse states, ‘And gifts to the poor’. It is more important for one to distribute more gifts to the poor than to spend a large amount on one’s feast or send food portions to many friends, for there is no greater and more splendid joy than gladdening the hearts of the poor, orphans, widows, and converts; one who gladdens these souls is comparable to the holy presence of

Hashem Himself, as the verse states, ‘To revive the spirit of the downtrodden and to revive the soul of the oppressed.’”