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  • Shabbat and Holidays
  • Halachot of Yom Tov

Ordering and Accepting Packages during Yom Tov


Rabbi Yoel Lieberman

Nisan 13, 5780
Dear Rabbi I ask if I order before Yom Tov some food and other things for Pesach, and the package will come during Chol Hamoed, am I permitted to accept the package or packages and open and use them during Chol Hamoed and Pesach? I need some things for the holiday and need to have them shipped as I am staying at home. Will this be permitted? Also, if the package will come during Yom Tov and left outside, am I permitted to bring it in during Yom Tov and then open it and use it during Chol Hamoed? Thank you so much Rabbi for your kindness and answering my Shailos
ב"ה Shalom I'm sorry but I don't fully understand what you feel the problem is. If your concern is that the gentiles are working for you on Shabbat or Yom Tov, I've answered in an earlier question and I will repeat here. The Gemara says that if the payment was made before Shabbat, even just before Shabbat (according to the Rambam , רמב"ם הלכות שבת פרק ו הלכה כ and Shulchan Aruch (שולחן ערוך אורח חיים הלכות שבת סימן רמז סעיף א then one may give it to the non-Jew for delivery . Since, once the money was given the non-Jew is working on his own behalf and may do things as he wishes. This is the principle which applies when throwing something in the mail box even just before Shabbat, (or making a mail order) which is allowed and this is the custom in all Jewish communities abroad. However, the above Shulchan Aruch then follows in the next clause, "as long as he doesn't tell the non-Jew" to do it on Shabbat." You are permitted to accept the package or packages and open and use them during Chol Hamoed and Pesach, but you should not accept the package in your hand, rather have the delivery service place it down for you,. And of course you may not sign to accept the package, rather you should tell the delivery serviceperson that you cannot sign and then this person will sign on your behalf. See Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchata 31: 22-24) It goes without saying , the issues of "muktzeh" still apply if relevant in your situation,and also if you open the package on Yom Tov itself all the issues of opening packages and tearing letters also apply. All the best and a very happy, kosher and HEALTHY Pessach
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