Mishmeres HaSholom: Ask the Rav

Q: I bought two expensive gifts for my mechutanim’s children in honor of their recent marriages. I gave my daughter the presents to pass on to her mother-in-law to forward to the young couples. So far, I haven’t heard a word of thanks from my mechuteneste or her children.

I’m concerned that if I ask my daughter to find out from her mother-in-law if the presents were passed on, it could be considered lashon hara regarding the young couples who may have received the gifts and didn’t bother to express their appreciation.


A: You’re worried that finding out if the young couples received their gifts might cause you, your daughter, and her mother-in-law to speak lashon hara regarding the couples who received gifts and didn’t bother thanking for them. It seems that there is no reason for concern, for the following reasons:

It generally takes newly-marrieds a long time to organize themselves. It could be a while until they sort their gifts, prepare lists and addresses, and mail thank–you cards. It would thus not be considered inappropriate if you haven’t yet received a card.

Not all couples send thank–you cards to the many people who sent them wedding gifts, just as not every bar mitzvah boy mails a card to every person who gave him a sefer. Therefore, even though it is certainly appropriate for young couples to express their appreciation for gifts received, it would not be considered wrong on their part if they didn’t do so.

Another reason for not viewing their behavior in a negative light is that sometimes a gift card gets misplaced and the young couple doesn’t know whom to thank for the particular present.

In light of the above, it is permissible for you to ask your daughter to ask her mother-in-law if the gifts were forwarded. As an extra precaution, your daughter should be tactful in the way she asks her question, so that it doesn’t appear as if she suspects her mother-in-law of not passing on the gifts. An example would be: “Did the couples like the gifts my mother bought for them?”


The following questions and answers were taken from the Mishmeres Hasholom pamphlet in Israel. For details and inquiries please e-mail us at office@hasholom.org or call 972-2 5379160.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Hamodia.