What’s the difference between Yom Tov and Shabbat with respect to electricity?

Are they not mostly the same with regard to Halacha, and why do they allow it on Yom Tov, and not Shabbat; same rules with regards to building and and creating?

  • 1
    Can you be more specific? Which use of electricity is allowed on yom tov but not shabbos?
    – shmosel
    Commented Dec 22, 2023 at 22:25
  • I think that there are some old psaks from when electricity wasn't fully understood, where Poskim understood it to be 'fire in the walls', which can then be used l'tzorech ochel nefesh. But even so, that's outdated and not accepted anymore @shmosel
    – Lo ani
    Commented Dec 23, 2023 at 18:18
  • 2
    You seem to believe that some use of electricity is allowed on Yom Tov, which I don't believe is the case. You should clarify your hypothesis if you want to get a good answer. Is it possible you are confusing with lightning fire from an existing flame (which is allowed on Yom Tov)?
    – mbloch
    Commented Dec 27, 2023 at 17:58
  • @mbloch some do allow electricity use on Y"T (product depending). Commented Dec 27, 2023 at 18:28
  • Found its mutar on YT & Shbs. If you want to know more let me know.
    – jonathan
    Commented Jan 24 at 6:16

1 Answer 1


Electricity on Yom tov, like Shabbat, is prohibited by many poskim. On Yom tov, there are Halachic leniencies regarding making flames from an existing fire, but that is not the only issue presented. Creating a new fire (like say turning on an incandescent light bulb) is still prohibited according to many Poskim, and that isn’t the only thing with electricity. According to many Poskim like the Chazon Ish, things other than incandescent lightbulbs are not prohibited because of fire, but different prohibitions of Molid, Makeh B’patish etc. and depending on the individual it could potentially be Derabbanan or D’oraita. For more reading on electricity on Shabbat and Yom Tov: https://www.daat.ac.il/daat/english/journal/broyde_1.htm

  • There were poseqim that permitted the use of electricity on Y"T (depending on the item) and there are some communities (or subcommunities) that continue to do so. I personally know of at least one Ashkenazi community that does so discretely (due to the controversial nature of the topic) and have met and known many Sefaradi individuals from communities where it is accepted. This comment from several years ago mentions many older sources and more recently I know that the Iggud Hakhme ha-Ma'arabh b'Eres Yisrael made a big push in favor of it. Commented Dec 27, 2023 at 19:02

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