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Recently our rabbi gave a lecture from the Mishna Brurah concerning the obligation to divest oneself of ownership and possession of chametz during Pesach. The rabbi noted that if you accepted delivery of packages for your neighbor, then you have responsibility for the package as if you were the owner. A classic situation of a bailee. But with that responsiblity comes the issue of possibly owning chametz that might be contained in one of the boxes you accepted delivery for.

In our community, a member just opened a service that provides mailboxes to customers and helps them with mailing packages, as well. In theory, one of the packages he holds for a customer could contain chametz. Nevertheless, the owner of the service is not the owner of the package. How can the Jewish service provider release himself of responsibility for these packages during Pesach? Note: Decision of LOR is pending.

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LOR was able to avoid making a ruling because shipper's clients were all frum jews who were not shipping or receiving chametz. –  Bruce James Apr 21 '13 at 23:36

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Well if LOR is pending than who am I to answer ? I think it depends on the extent of how much your friend takes responsibility for the contents of the pkgs. Can you post his customer guarantee ? Although he won't guarantee the chometz wont go stale, I am sure he does take responsibility for theft and negligence. In that case, are customers entitled to a full re-imbursement ? Flat fee ? I would think it makes a difference.

http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/937303/jewish/Chapter-Four.htm

A gentile who entrusted his chametz to a Jew: Should the Jew accept the responsibility of paying for the worth of the chametz if it is lost or stolen--behold, he is obligated to destroy it. Since he accepted responsibility for it, it is considered as though it were his.

Read the whole chapter since it really depends on the extent of the owners responsibility and that there are lenient opinions as well based on Tosfot Pesachim 6b.

What is interesting is since the guy never knows if there is chometz in the pkgs, and its a safek d'oritah then he would really need to sell the whole business since he can't sell somethng that doesn't exist yet.

please post response of LOR.

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Would it make a difference if he had insurance? –  Bruce James Mar 22 '13 at 10:46
    
I don't think this is really an answer... –  Daniel Apr 21 '13 at 5:30
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This seems to raise more questions without answering the one that was posed. What am I missing? –  Monica Cellio Apr 21 '13 at 14:47

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