Saturday, April 02, 2011

Not Mailing

Lately I've been blog-wrestling. I have at least four recently started posts. For my eyes only - so far. It's Motzai Shabbos. Here I am.

I have some of books to mail out. I thought of doing it before Shabbos, but wondered if it was mutar. This, from, sounds reasonable:

Sending Mail on Friday

Is it permissible to send mail on Friday afternoon, knowing that the postal workers will be transporting and/or delivering the mail on Shabbat? Seemingly, sending mail late in the day on Friday violates the Halachic prohibition against instructing a gentile to perform Melacha (forbidden activity) on one’s behalf on Shabbat, and should be forbidden.

The Shulhan Aruch addresses this question in Orah Haim (247), where he writes that one may send mail on Friday, on two conditions. First, the price for the service must be a fixed amount, as opposed to an hourly rate, and, secondly, the Jew may not specifically ask that the mail be delivered on Shabbat. In the case of the modern day postal service, both these conditions are met. The postage is a fixed amount, and one does not specifically request that the postal workers deliver the mail on Shabbat. It is their decision to do the work during Shabbat, and therefore even though one knows for certain that the mail will be delivered on Shabbat, he
may mail the letter.

I'm looking for an excuse for why I'm not mailing them now. Any ideas can be emailed or submitted as comments. Operators are standing by.


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