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Mishloach manot with holy baked/cooked items

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I was planning on preparing lemon meringue pies using holy shemitah lemons for mishloach manot. The lemon juice is just part of the pie. There are other ingredients, though (I know the whole pie is holy). Does this make a difference?


Rabbi Moshe Bloom

This is an abridged answer, based on the responsa of Rabbi Yaakov Ariel.
Even though it is forbidden to fulfill an obligation with holy fruit, baked goods have a different status, because the obligation is being fulfilled by the extra time and effort you invested in processing the fruit, especially when it makes the product more valuable (if you were to sell your pie you could buy a minimalistic mishloach manot!).

Even though the pie is holy, and it is still forbidden to pay debts with holy fruit even after processing, if you tell the recipient that it is holy and that you wanted to make them happy with the pie you sent, Rav Ariel holds that this is fine. 

Furthermore, fulfilling the mitzvah of mishloach manot with processed shemitah fruit has a double value:

Both the mitzvot of shemitah and mishloach manot are supposed to bring us closer together, unite us and serve as an equalizer.

Two examples of this can be found in the megillah: "Go and gather all of the Jews" (Esther 4:16); "Vekibel hayehudim", "and the Jew(s) accepted" (ibid. 9:23) - as one person with one heart.

Therefore, Rav Ariel believes that performing the mitzvah of mishloach manot with baked/cooked goods is actually lechatchilah.

May we merit that the Jewish People come together and unite this Purim.

See Rav Ariel's full article (Hebrew) here.