What’s the punishment for breaking Yom tov (i.e. doing one of the forbidden melachot)? Is it like Shabbat and you get karet?

2 Answers 2


It is not like Shabbat but like any other ordinary prohibition (eg. eating pig) whose statutory punishment is lashes (Rambam Shvitat Yom Tov 1:2).

  • Thanks. Why does the Mishnah in Megillah say that the only difference between Shabbat and Yom Tov is Ochel Nefesh when this punishment factor is also a difference? And the Mishnah after says the difference between Shabbat and Yom Kippur is about the punishment, so clearly it’s not an overlooked point Commented Jun 5 at 9:21
  • @Curious Rashi and Tosafot there note that. Seemingly, the plane of issur vs heter is a more interesting one to deal with if you can
    – Double AA
    Commented Jun 5 at 12:32

See Peninei Halakha at https://ph.yhb.org.il/en/12-07-03/ (Chapter 7, section 3) [emphasis added]

"The laws pertaining to Shabbat and Yom Tov are generally the same, except when it comes to melakhot which are necessary for okhel nefesh. These melakhot are prohibited on Shabbat but permitted on Yom Tov. Shabbat and Yom Tov are also the same when it comes to rabbinic prohibitions. True, violating Shabbat is more severe than violating Yom Tov, as we see from their respective punishments. One who knowingly performs melakha on Shabbat is liable to stoning; unknowing transgression makes him liable to bring a sin offering. In contrast, on Yom Tov one who transgresses knowingly is liable to lashes, while one who transgresses unknowingly is exempt from a sin offering. On the other hand, one could also argue that it makes sense to be stricter on Yom Tov. Since melakha for okhel nefesh is permitted on Yom Tov, there is more of a concern that people might not take Yom Tov seriously enough, and thus end up doing prohibited melakhot. In fact, we have seen that the halakha is more stringent about muktzeh on Yom Tov than on Shabbat (see above 6:6).

"Since Shabbat is stricter in some ways and Yom Tov is stricter in others, unless it is stated explicitly that there is a difference, the laws are the same for both (see Beitza 35b-36a, 37a; Harḥavot 6:6:7)."

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