I need something shipped from NY to LA. I don’t need it there before Sunday morning. But the only way I can get it there in time is with express shipping, to which they commit to having it at the door by 12pm shabbos. Is it mutar to send it this way since i don’t need it till Sunday morning? (is it mutar to tell a Goy to do something if I don’t mind waiting b’kdai she’yase?)


It is permitted to use the express shipping service.


There are a number of reasons why using the express delivery service will not infringe the Shabbos prohibition of instructing a non-Jew to perform an act of labor on Shabbos:

1. Because of the presence of local non-Jews, the delivery will be an instrance of marbeh be’shiurim — increasing the “amount” of a melachah on Shabbos. Delivery services usually send a number of items together, and yours won’t be the only item that it being delivered in the area. This is permitted (by means of a non-Jew) according to many authorities (see Machaneh Yisrael 31:2; Shemiras Shabbos Kehilchasah chap. 31, note 71; however, see Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 276). It is probable that the only time when the non-Jew performs a melachah for the Jew alone is the final delivery of the item to the house, which might not constitute any melachah. However, this rationale will depend on particular circumstances.

2. The delivery man gets paid per delivery, or as part of his job. Because he has been contracted to do the job from before Shabbos, it follows that there is no prohibition on his delivery, because we consider him to be doing it for himself — to get his wages (see Shulchan Aruch and Rema, Orach Chaim 247:1, Mishnah Berurah 18, and Kaf Hachaim 12; see also Shemiras Shabbos Kehilchasa 31:20; however, see Shraga Ha’meir, vol. 3, no. 103:5).

3. The “instruction” to the final delivery people is amirah le’amirah (there is no direct contact between the person making the order and the people doing the delivering) before Shabbos, which is permitted (Machazeh Eliyahu, no. 37).

Concerning a newspaper, see Shemiras Shabbos Kehilchasah (31:24), which rules that if delivered on Shabbos it is prohibited to read the newspaper until after Shabbos.

Best wishes.

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