Congregation Har HaShem celebrates Purim with a wonderful gift-giving tradition each spring.
Mishloach manot is a Purim gift bag and literally means, "sending of portions." It is also spelled mishloach manos and is sometimes shortened to shalach manos. Traditionally, these food gifts are sent to friends, relatives, neighbors, teachers, business associates, and any other acquaintances on Purim day. The mitzvah of giving mishloach manot derives from the Book of Esther. It is meant to ensure that everyone has enough food for the Purim feast held later in the day, and to increase love and friendship among Jews as a counter to Haman's assertion that the Jewish people are characterized by strife and disunity.
At Har HaShem, we have constructed our mishloach manot program so that every Har HaShem household receives a gift bag. This includes new members, members in health care facilities, our teaching staff, and even members living out of state. We also provide gift bags to elders through Boulder Jewish Family Services.
We encourage you to also join in sending gifts to your friends or to the entire congregation. Prices are $10 per congregant recipient or $100 to provide every congregant with a gift in your name, $15 per extra box for a local pickup, or $25 for shipping a box via US Postal Service.
In 2016, the gift "bag" will celebrate our 50th or "golden" anniversary, and it will be personally delivered to every (local) congregant home by a neighborhood captain or designated volunteer. The components included a generous presentation of hamentaschen and treats as well as a personalized gift scroll listing each of the people who contributed to the gift.