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
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
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