Purim – Two Mitzvot at Once?

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By: Rabbi Ari Enkin

Can one discharge the mitzva of mishlo’ach manot and matanot la’evyonim at once by giving a poor person a generous food package?

A number of authorities address this issue and most rule that one is unable to discharge both mitzvot at once. This is due to the principle of ain osim mitzvot chavilot which teaches that one should not perform two mitzvot at once even if the opportunity should arise.[1] Each and every mitzva that one performs must receive one’s undivided attention.[2] According to this approach one is required to choose which mitzva one desires to perform when giving a food package to a poor person – either mishlo’ach manot or matanot la’evyonim .[3] 

Other authorities rule that the mitzvot of Purim are somewhat of an exception to the rule of ain osim mitzvot chavilot. It is argued that since both mishlo’ach manot and matanot la’evyonim are constant and concurrent Purim mitzvot they are not subject to the principle of ain osim mitzvot chavilot.[4] There is also an opinion that the principle of ain osin mitzvot chavilot only applies to mitzvot that are bein adam lamakon and not to mitzvot that are bein adam l’chaveiro.[5] According to this approach it would permissible to perform both mishlo’ach manot and matanot la’evyonim in a single food package if its content and value suffice to cover the minimum requirements of both mitzvot. 

Nevertheless, most halachic authorities rule in accordance with the stricter view and one should not attempt to discharge both mitzvot at once.[6]


[1] Ketav Sofer O.C. 159

[2] Tosfot;Moed Katan 8b, Yerushalmi Moed Katan 1:7

[3] Turei Even;Megilla 7b

[4] Rivevot Ephraim 2:193, 6:393

[5] Rivevot Ephraim 2:193

[6] Biur Halacha 695

About Ari Enkin

Rabbi Ari N. Enkin, a resident of Ramat Beit Shemesh, is a researcher and writer of contemporary halachic issues. He is the author of the “Dalet Amot of Halacha” series (8 volumes), Rabbinic Director of United with Israel and a RA"M at a number of yeshivot. www.rabbienkin.com

13 comments

  1. A number of authorities address this issue and most rule that one is unable to discharge both mitzvot at once. This is due to the principle of ain osim mitzvot chavilot which teaches that one should not perform two mitzvot at once even if the opportunity should arise.[1] Each and every mitzva that one performs must receive one’s undivided attention.[2]=============================================
    two thoughts – i think the more common reason given is that it makes the mitzvot seem a burden. also iirc this is a drabbanan, would they say bdieved you aren’t yotze if you did it that way?
    KT

  2. Joel-

    Everyone weighing in on the issue already takes into account that it is derabanon.

    Ari Enkin

  3. Would this same issue arise, like an ain oisin mitzvos chavilos chavilos with respect to mishloach manos and seudas purim, as per the Gemorah in Megillah, I believe 6b, where two amoraim exchanged their seudos to fulfill mishloach manos?

  4. Why should one get away with this? If I pledged $100 to my shul twice, can I fulfill both obligations with one payment?

    At the seder we eat two kezasim of Matzo to fulfill two obligations (Matzo and Motzi) and I believe there’s some discussion about fulfilling two obligations with one act.

    Also see RaN, Rosh haShana (32b), intent to perform one mitzva prevents the fulfillment of a second (e.g. blowing shofar for chinuch and for the mitzva).

    Also see Sh”a (568) about fasting one day to discharge two obligations.

  5. MiMedinat HaYam

    1. but bedi’avad have you fulfilled your mitzva?

    2. can you give two separate bags (chavilot)?

  6. Memidinat –

    1. Yes, according to a minority view

    2. That’s for sure ok. 1 is MM and 1 is ML.

    Ari Enkin

  7. Big Maybe-

    1. Thats not “concurrent”

    2. That’s in order to be yotazai two different shitos, not two different mitzvos

    Thank you for the additional sources!

    Ari Enkin

  8. Rafael-

    There they did not do two mitzvos at once. They first did the mitza of MM and then -with those items- did the mitzva of seudas purim.

    Ari Enkin

  9. So, the fact they used the same food twice for these two mitzvos is not a violation of “ein oisin mitzvos chavilos chavilos”?

  10. ….many have the custom to use the wine from bentching at seuda 3 for havdalla.

    As long as two different mitzvot are not beign done at once you cna use the same ITEM for two different mitzvot at two different times.

    Indeed, there is a principle that once you use something for a mitzva you should try to use it for another mitzva.

    Ari Enkin

  11. MiMedinat HaYam

    to ari 1:34

    also (supposed) pblm of drinking after seuda 3 and before havdalah.

    also, issue of two “kzaitim” matzah is only hidur / chumra, not halachically required.

  12. “Indeed, there is a principle that once you use something for a mitzva you should try to use it for another mitzva.”

    Yes, I recall seeing that principle, maybe in Maseches Brachos with respect to mitzvas matzah (in Tosafos?)

  13. Source [1] appears in Bar Ilan Responsa Project as siman 139

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