So it turns out that the USPS has a feature where you can ask them to come and pickup a package. So you go online to their site, enter your information, choose a date for the pickup, and tell them where the package will be. They then come and pickup the package for you...

So the question is: can a Jew schedule such a pickup so that it occurs on Shabbos?

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    It's one thing if you request a pickup for some range of dates, and you know that he will come on Shabbos even though you do not explicitly require him to do so. If you explicitly require him to pick up a package on Shabbos, however, I don't see how you could argue that it's אדעתא דנפשיה.
    – Fred
    Jan 21, 2013 at 0:49
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2 Answers 2


Generally speaking, you cannot specifically ask a non-Jew to do melacha for you on Shabbat even prior to Shabbat (Aruch HaShulchan 243:4). However, in this case there are mitigating circumstances that could make it permitted.

And a couple of them are:

  1. When sending mail, you are instructing the post office manager, who instructs an employee to deliver the mail. This is amira lamira and the Chatam Sofer holds that if done on Friday there is room to be lenient. (See Mishna Berura 307:24 who brings up this concept).

  2. In many cases, the post office worker may not be doing any additional melacha, or it is reasonable that the post office can complete the task efficiently without doing additional melacha. (A candle for 1 is a candle for 100)

See the Shmirat Shabbat kHilchata Chapter 31 for a more thorough discussion.

  • So what's the answer? Jan 10, 2016 at 10:36
  • But can you prove that this process is amira lamira? You're direct electronic request determines what get's loaded on to the truck, not some intermediary making a judgement call. Additionally, the worker will be carrying it from the truck to your house, so at least that portion of hotza'ah doesn't fall under the rubric of ner le'echad ner leme'ah Mar 9, 2016 at 16:55

To add on to Lael345's answer, if there is no Eruv around the city, or if you don't hold our modern day Eruvs count, then you'd be prohibited from having the package which is in your house, being taken out of your house.

  • Why is moving it out of your house any more of a problem then the various other Melakhot going on? He puts it in a car, probably takes it outside the city Eruv anyway, etc.
    – Double AA
    Aug 16, 2016 at 18:35

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