Are there any sources in Halacha that would suggest shipping a package to a random house in my neighborhood that no one lives in and taking the package is a sin? (The house is for sale, also you payed for the package)

  • -1 As it is unclear what case exactly you're asking about. You should also remember, that besides the general Halochos (like what @Isaak mentioned) a lot depends on local customs and one Halachah cannot be ruled for all. After all דינא דמלכותא דינא. – Al Berko Nov 3 '18 at 15:51
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    I'm failing to understand why you would do this, or need to do this. – ezra Nov 4 '18 at 5:29
  • Guys I’m trying to get an a absolute answer. Please let me know if this is okay with halacha. – Daniel Nov 6 '18 at 21:38
  • Are you trying to set up so that the package is meant for you, but you are trying to avoid having it shipped to your home address? – sabbahillel Dec 26 '18 at 2:42

A July 2018 Yeshiva World piece by R' Yair Hoffman explores whether trespassing on someone else's property briefly without their permission (in that case, to park your car) is permissible. He concludes that such trespassing is stealing and not permissible.

The whole piece is valuable, but the core sources necessary to reach his conclusion are:

  • Shulchan Aruch Choshen Mishpat 292:1 (among other places) rules that borrowing someone's object without permission constitutes theft.

  • It is the consensus of authoritative rabbis that it is forbidden to borrow without permission even if you believe that the owner won't mind if asked about it afterward. A representative expression of this consensus is Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 182:13.

  • In a comment (s.v. "לקולא") on Bava Batra 57b, the Rashbam says that one partner being allowed to put his animals on shared property without consulting the other is an exception to the general rule that borrowing without permission constitutes theft. This indicates that "borrowing" land by trespassing on it is in the same category for this purpose as borrowing an object.

It seems to me that having a package delivered to and picked up at someone else's property without permission is squarely addressed by this analysis.

  • It can not be learned from one case to another, as there are so many details that could revert the ruling. In Meah Shearim, it is an accepted practice, in America it is not. So while it's important to know the Halachic implications (that you brought), the Halachah cannot be ruled in general. – Al Berko Nov 3 '18 at 15:48
  • @alberko would it be allowed in America? Why would stepping on someone’s land to retrieve a package be different then stepping on someone’s property to knock on the door without permission? – Daniel Nov 23 '18 at 5:03
  • @Daniel Everything is a subject to מנהג המדינה and not only מדינה but every single neighborhood and house. Some don't mind and some do, some will allow other to do it if needed. There's also ניחא ליה לאדם דתיעביד מצווה בממונא - we could count on the fact that most people don't mind when others use their property for Mitzvos (not only profit). THat's why I think the question does not have enough details to rule. – Al Berko Nov 24 '18 at 19:47
  • @AlBerko, fortunately, we're here to inform, not rule. – Isaac Moses Nov 24 '18 at 22:59

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