Does One Fulfill the Mitzvah of Mishloach Manot by Giving an Anonymous Package?

The obligation to recite kidush on Shabbat morning takes effect only after the tefilah of Shacharit. Therefore, before one prays on Shabat morning, he is permitted to drink This question hinges on the reason underlying the obligation of Mishloach Manot. There are two possible reasons for this Mitzvah. The first is that this Mitzvah serves to foster a feeling of love and closeness among people. If so, then the Mitzvah would certainly require informing the recipient who brought the package. If a person receives an anonymous gift and has no idea who gave it to him, no special feelings of love and closeness have been fostered.

According to this reason, one would not fulfill the Mitzvah with an anonymous package. The other possible reason for Mishloach Manot is that it serves to provide people with food for the Purim Seudah. The obligation for each person to give food packages to others helps ensure that people will have provisions for a festive celebration. According to this reason, it would not seem to matter whether or not the recipient knows who gave him the food package. As long as he received food, the person who gave it fulfills his obligation.

As for the final Halachah, the Ketav Sofer (a”h) and the Aruch Ha’shulchan (a”h) rule that one does not fulfill the Mitzvah with an anonymous gift. Therefore, if one leaves a Mishloach Manot package for the recipient by his door, and does not hand it to him in person, he must affix a card or note so that the recipient knows who gave it to him.

When it comes to Matanot La’evyonim, however, it is preferable to give an anonymous donation. A needy beneficiary suffers less embarrassment when he does not know the donor’s identity, and it is therefore preferable to give one’s Matanot La’evyonim anonymously. Many people fulfill this Mitzvah by giving money to organizations that distribute the funds to needy Jews on Purim, and this is the ideal manner in which to fulfill this mitzvah.
tea, coffee and water – those beverages that are allowed before the morning prayers. Since the Kidush obligation descends upon a person only after Shacharit, the prohibition against eating or drinking before Kidush does not apply before he prays; hence, he is allowed to drink whatever is permissible to be consumed before one prays in the morning generally.

The question arises as to whether or not this halachah applies to women, as well. According to the Ben Ish Chai (a”h), women become obligated to recite Kidush immediately when they awaken Shabat morning and therefore they may not eat or drink anything until they recite Kidush. Others, however, including the Kaf Ha’Chaim (a”h) and Chacham Bentzion Abba Shaul (a”h), distinguish between women who normally pray Shacharit in the morning, and those who do not.

If a woman normally prays Shacharit, then her status is no different from that of a man with regard to this halachah, and her obligation to recite kidush does not take effect until after she prays Shacharit. But if a woman does not normally recite Shacharit, and she recites only the morning blessings and the like, then her kidush obligation takes effect immediately when she arises in the morning, and she may not eat or drink anything until she first recites kidush. In such a case, when a woman must recite kidush in the morning, if she finds it difficult to recite the entire text, she may recite from “Ve’shamru,” or even from “Al Ken” or just the beracha itself.