Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

11 Nissan 5765 - April 20, 2005 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Travelers Beware when Taking Packages

by Y. Frommer

All travellers are well-advised to be extremely careful and to check the parcels that they have accepted to take for other people. It is recommended that they not take anything from people they do not know personally, and in any case they should be sure of the contents of the package. An incident that occurred just last week, which could have turned out far worse if not for the foresight of the bochur's father, shows the pitfalls that can await the innocent.

An Australian bochur learning in a prominent Chassidic yeshiva in Jerusalem was approached last week by a heimishe-looking man who asked him to take a parcel to Australia. An acquaintance had asked him to find someone going to Australia. The man proceeded to pour out the tale about a sick relative living in Brisbane, Australia, who desperately needed this medicine which you can't get in Australia. The bochur didn't hesitate to do a chesed for a fellow Jew and readily agreed. The bochur who lives in Melbourne, then rang up his father and mentioned how was he going to get the parcel to Brisbane .

The father realized straight away that something was amiss and told him to open the box. Inside he found syringes and powdery substances.

The father insisted that his son ring the contact number. When he did so he was told to ring another number and so it continued until the bochur demanded that the parcel be picked up within the hour or he would dump it on the street. Half an hour later two Russian-looking men turned up at the door and promptly took the box.

A similar thing happened about two years ago when an avreich and his wife had taken a box for someone and they were caught at Sydney airport carrying illegal substances in that box. The Jewish community of Sydney had to raise funds to hire lawyers and eventually they were successful in getting the avreich and his wife released.

In light of the above incidents it would be prudent of people to check the contents of packages received on behalf of others that one might not know that well. Even from a security standpoint it is proper to ask someone who wants to send a package to open it up to show that its contents are innocent.


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