Matanot LaEvyonim



Last Purim I was on the way to home to eat Seudat Purim. After Mincha, On the way home, I saw one Gabbai Tzedakah ask a bachur if he did Matanot LaEvyonim yet. He answered no and the Gabbai said he could give him. The bachur took out two ten Agorot coins and told the Gabbai for Two Aniyim. The Gabbai took the coins and said thank you. I thought to myself can you relay fulfill the mitzvah with just two ten Agorot coins?


 It is true that you can fulfill the mitzvah of Matanot LaEvyonim with ten Agorot for each per person. However, this is Bdiavad, ideally one should give enough for each Ani to have a Seudah.

The Gemara in Megillah 7a writes: Rav Yosef quoted a Beraita Mishloach Manot Ish L’re’ehu-portions from man to his friend. Matanot LaEvyonim- gifts to the poor, two Matanot for two people.
Rashi explains “It is enough for each person to give one gift-poor- is also plural. the meaning of giving Matanot LaEvyonim is that one must give one gift to one and second gift to another. The Gemara though doesn’t define how much one must give.

Later Poskim discuss what the amount is. The Shaarei Teshuva quotes the Teshuvot Zera Yaakov-siman 11, if one gives money it has to e enough that he can buy three ‘eggs’ worth of food. If eh give s food, it must be three egg worth to each poor person.

The Maharsh”a in Chidushei Aggadot  Megillah 7b states similarly: the gift has to be a substantial gift.
The Ben Ish Chai ( Tetzaveh 15) agrees: Every person is required to give two gifts to at least two poor people and the more one gives the more blessed he will be. The amount must be: If you are giving food, three egg worth’s of food, or if money, enough to buy three egg worth.

On the other side of the coin, the Ritv”a in Megillah 7b writes that even two Perutot (the smallest denomination of money, for example, a penny, or Agorot. So ruled the Mishna Berura 694:2. So ruled R’ Ovadiah Yosef in Chazon Ovadiah Purim Dinei Matanot LaEvyonim, “The basic din is that one Perutah for each poor person is enough. This equals one Agorah which is like a perutah since it is the least denomination that can be used in transactions. Today perutah is a coin of five Agorot (today ten). A G-d fearing person should give generously and happily, and his reward will be great.”

One can definitely fulfill his mitzvah of Matanot LaEvyonim by giving twenty agorot. There are many modern-day Poskim who added to the basic amount. Harav YS Elyashiv Zt”l said one needs o give five shekels to each poor person
Harav Vosner said one should give ten Shekalim to each Ani.
R Ovadiah Yosef held that twenty agorot was enough.