Gifts to the Poor

Matanot L'evyonim

After the Jews were saved from the decree of Haman, they agreed “to observe [the days of Purim] with…donations to the needy” (Esther 9:22).

Giving to the poor is a mitzvah all year round. However, the mitzvah to do so on Purim is separate even from the general mitzvah of tzedakah (charity).

    • To fulfill the mitzvah of Matanot L’evyonim one must give charity to two individual poor people.
    • One should give each poor person enough money to provide for a meal. One may also give someone the equivalent in food.
    • Matanot L’evyonim should be given early enough on Purim so that the poor can benefit on the holiday. If, however, one does not have someone to give to on Purim, one should hold onto that money (separately) to give when the opportunity arrives. The money may not be given or spent elsewhere.


Purim is a holiday of fun and festivities, like all Jewish holidays it is also an opportunity to fulfill numerous mitzvot.

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Purim Workshop

Host or attend the exciting Purim Workshop provided by NJOP and find out how you or your community can participate.


Discover our exciting guide, watch videos and learn about the histories, origins and customs of Purim.


Browse our archive of Purim Jewish Treats, filled with interesting stories and articles about history and tradition.