MISHNAH. IF A MAN SENDS HIS ERUV [MEAL] BY THE HAND OF A DEAF-MUTE, A PERSON OF LOW INTELLIGENCE OR A MINOR, OR BY THE HAND OF ONE WHO DOES NOT ADMIT [THE PRINCIPLE OF] ERUV, THE ERUV IS NOT VALID.
IF, HOWEVER, HE INSTRUCTED ANOTHER PERSON TO RECEIVE IT FROM [ONE OF THESE], THE ERUV IS VALID.
The person who delivers the meal to a place in the courtyard or separate area which helps define it as private must, according to this Mishnah, be an eligible agent to a transaction. Minors, and others, are not because they cannot be party to the transaction.
But the rabbis dispute that:
Is not a minor [qualified to prepare an eruv]? Did not R. Huna in fact rule: “A minor may collect [the foodstuffs for] the eruv” ?
And, so long as the courier is met by an acceptable agent (IF, HOWEVER, HE INSTRUCTED ANOTHER PERSON TO RECEIVE IT FROM HIM) the eruv is valid, although the argument is made that the sender might “stand and watch” thus legitimizing the transaction. But even so:
It is a legal presumption that an agent carries out his mission
So the agent is not important – he is simply a courier. The rabbis go further:
For it was taught: If he gave it to [a trained] elephant who carried it, or to [a trained] ape who carried it, the eruv is invalid;
but if he instructed someone to receive it from the animal, behold the eruv is valid.
Good to know there are full employment opportunities for elephants and apes! All the more so for human carriers who might not be legal representatives. So longs as they are met by an acceptable agent.