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This is a two-part question:

  1. What do you do if while you are at home during Shabbos, someone knocks at your door, and when you open it a delivery person (UPS/FedEx/USPS/DHL etc.) hands you a package that you ordered? Is the package muktzah? Should you take it? If the deliverer says "Should I sign for this for you?" what do you say?

  2. What if you do not answer the door and the deliverer leaves the package at your door (not in anyone's way, though)? Are you allowed to bring the package inside to protect it from possible theft? Does the crime rate in your neighborhood affect this decision?

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related: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/640/… –  Menachem Nov 28 '11 at 17:59

2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

The best thing to do is tell him to put it down inside. Regarding moving it from the outside due to theft you can move it with your foot so long it is in your Reshus.

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For deliveries on shabbos, you can usually get around this by inferring what the problem is. If the guy asks you to sign for a package, you can tell them "I can't sign on the sabbath." Most delivery guys, wanting to just move on, will sign for the package themselves.

The package itself can be moved in an unusual manner (kicking the package across the ground) to move it inside the house. Because it's not something that you would be using on the sabbath, it probably would be considered muktzah, but the type you can 'use' for a permitted activity. For example, if you want to keep a door open, you can use the package as a doorstop. In this sense, you can move it to a different location. But it should not be placed somewhere where you'll be prompted to pick it up again (i.e. don't put it in the middle of the floor, where you'll want to pick it up and put it on a table).

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