Sheva Brachot by Leil Hasder Muktzeh pot lid A Goy who leaves money on Sjabbat wrong name in a ketbuna

Ordering packages

Category: Shabbat // By Rabbi: הרב עופר עוזרי // Answer date: 15.01.2021

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Question:

It is Black Friday and I want to order some stuff online and I do not want to miss the great sales. Will I be allowed to make an order knowing that they may process the order on Shabbat?

Answer:

If you do not order express or today shipping it is allowed to order on Erev Shabbat. However one day shipping is definitely forbidden and f the warehouse is more than a day away then two-day shipping is also problematic. Regular shipping is fine.
The Gemara in Shabbat 19a writes one may not send letters in the hand of a gentile on Shabbat eve. However, on the fourth and on the fifth days of the week it is permitted. Nevertheless, they said about Rabbi Yossi the priest, and some say that they said this about Rabbi Yossi the Chasid, that a document in his handwriting was never found in the hand of a gentile, so that a gentile would not carry his letter on Shabbat.
The Sages taught in a baraita: One may not send a letter in the hand of a gentile on Shabbat eve unless he stipulates a set sum of money for him. In that case, anything the gentile does with this letter is not in service of the Jew, but rather on his own since his payment is stipulated in advance. Beit Shammai say: One may only give a letter to a gentile on Shabbat eve if there is sufficient time for the gentile to reach his house before dark. And Beit Hillel say: If there is sufficient time for him to reach the house adjacent to the wall of the city to which he was sent.
The Gemara asks: Didn’t he stipulate a set price? What difference does it make whether he reaches the city on Shabbat eve or on Shabbat? Rav Sheshet said, the baraita is saying as follows: And if he did not stipulate a set price for the task, Beit Shammai say: One may only give a letter to a gentile on Shabbat eve if there is sufficient time for the gentile to reach his house before dark. And Beit Hillel say: If there is sufficient time for him to reach the house adjacent to the wall of the city to which he was sent.
The Gemara asks: Didn’t you say in the first clause of the baraita, that one may not send a letter unless he stipulated a set price? Without stipulating a set price, one may not send a letter at all. The Gemara answers: This is not difficult, as it is possible to explain that this, where we learned that one is permitted to give a letter to a gentile on Shabbat eve even if he did not stipulate a set price, is in a case where the house of the mail carrier [bei doar] is permanently located in the city. And this, where it is permitted to give a letter to a gentile only if he stipulated a set price, is in a case where the house of the mail carrier is not permanently located in the city.
The Gemara says that in general it is forbidden to give mail to a Non-Jew to carry on Shabbat, because he is doing Melacha for you. This forbidden under the prohibition on Amira l’Akum, asking a Non-Jew to do Melacha for you. If you would give a Non-Jew mail on Shabbat or it was delivered you must wait the time it took for the Melacha to occur. The other issue with sending a letter with a Non-Jew is that he will be working for you on Shabbat which will be solved by setting a price. If you do not set a price then the Goy will charge you for however much work he did to find and deliver the object or letter. This would mean he is working for you on Shabbat. However if you set a price then whatever work he does on Shabbat, whatever raveling he will do will be for his own benefit to make it easier to deliver. The other option is that there is post office which which has set prices and wont’ do any specific work for you on Shabbat.
The other issue is that you have to give him the letter in advance with enough time to reach the city where the destination is. Therefore eve if he is lazy or des not have time to deliver until Shabbat that is his business.
As the Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 247 rules: A letter may be sent with a non-Jew even on Erev Shabbat close to dark, [provided] he specified his wages and he doesn’t tell him to travel on Shabbat. If he did not specify [wages], if there is not an established Bay Do’ar, Post Office in town, it is forbidden to send the letter even from Sunday and if there is an established Bay Do’ar in town, he may send it even on the eve of Shabbat, provided there is enough time remaining in the day that he is able to reach the house adjacent to the city wall.
The Rema argue that this halacha in the Gemara is only referring to Erev Shabbat but if you give the letter on Thursday or earlier then if the Non-Jew decides to delay until Shabbat I is his business and it is permitted.
As he writes: There are those [authorities] who permit this even if he did not specify the wages and there is not an established Bay Do’ar in town provided he sends it on Thursday or prior to this and there is basis to rely on this if necessary.
The Mishna Berura point out that if one gives a letter to Goy close to Shabbat and you tell him it has to be at the destination by Sunday or Monday it I as if you directly told him to travel in Shabbat and that would be forbidden.
So in the case of ordering. If the company has truck and they are out delivering anyway then it I would be like a Post Office and permitted. Even if they are only delivering something specifically to you , like via a drone or something, then he fac that you ordered it and paid for shipping would be fine. If you order early on Friday that there would be technically enough time to get to your house from their warehouse it would be technically fine but you do not now where the they are sending it from so as long as it is in the morning that a plane could travel across country, six hours it should be fine. . If you order one or two day shipping it is forbidden because it is as if you asked him to deliver on Shabbat.

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