| Words Unspoken |

Dear Fellow Mother

Please ask your child to take a moment and think of a classmate who isn’t as likely to get too many mishloach manos deliveries (or even one!)


Dear Fellow Mother,

Think back to last year, right after Purim ended. Do you remember where you were? Like you, I’m sure, I sat surrounded by piles of dirty costumes, candy strewn about, and mishloach manos packages still sitting on the table waiting to be unassembled.

But did you get up and start straightening up? I couldn’t seem to get up and do what needed to be done; my heart was too full of pain.

I was in pain for my daughter. Like all the girls her age, she’d eagerly planned her costume for weeks, agonized over which container she would choose for her mishloach manos, and excitedly joined us at the store picking out the nosh that would be most appreciated by her friends.

The day had started out well. A responsible oldest, she helped her younger siblings prepare their bags and get dressed in their costumes. She made sure to daven right away and even went to hear the Megillah independently.

Then the doorbell started ringing, and the knocking began. She ran to open the door with a bright smile. And every single time, she watched as her siblings greeted their friends, exchanged mishloach manos, and shared their good wishes. She even offered to take a picture or two as her sister and a friend draped their arms around each other.

Each time the door opened, or a car pulled up in front of the house, and it wasn’t for her, her smile faltered.

Can I describe to you, fellow mother, the pain of watching your child hurting on what is supposed to be the happiest day of the Jewish calendar for a frum child?

Can you fathom the struggle as you watch your child bite her lip, square her shoulders, and offer to deliver a family mishloach manos? As the day progressed, she lay on the couch pretending to sleep so she wouldn’t have to face the reality head-on. No one had come. Her bag, waiting to be filled with the candy and nosh that symbolizes friendship, remained pitifully empty.

Of course, we went out with her to deliver to classmates. This one wasn’t home; others clearly didn’t have one prepared for her, coming up with half-hearted reasons why there wasn’t one available. She walked away just a bit more crushed.

And yet, she soldiered on. She smiled as she gave a package to her morah, and finally, finally received a mishloach manos. Now she had something to share as her siblings compared nosh and analyzed themes.

Dear mothers of Klal Yisrael, I know my daughter might not have the shiniest packaging. She may not be the trendy one on the block. Friendships don’t come easy to her.

But she is a bas Yisrael. A child just like yours.

And so, I beg of you, when you help your child prepare mishloach manos, please turn it into a chinuch opportunity.

Remember my daughter. Envision her pain. Please ask your child to take a moment and think of a classmate who isn’t as likely to get too many mishloach manos deliveries (or even one!). Encourage her to bring one over. Guide her in discovering the joy of giving to someone who could really benefit. Prepare one or two extra for the unexpected classmate who arrives at the door.

You never know. You might be the one to make her Purim.

A Mother in Pain


(Originally featured in Family First, Issue 885)

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