Is one allowed to kill an insect on Yom Tov that is "bothering" them (causing some sort of tzar)? (I'm inclined to think, based on the Halachic concept of "m'toch", that since we are allowed to shecht (slaughter) an animal in order to eat, so too the action of killing something would be mutar for other reasons as well. Is this correct?)


Lately, I've heard a lesson from R. Avrohom Kuperman about this topic (what a coincidence!), and he finally told that it is forbidden.

The line of thinking that it should be permitted (as you presented it in the question) is correct, but! We only allow to make melachot (actions) that you enjoy from the melacha itself. But in this case of killing insects you are just remove the disturber and not enjoy from the body of the insect.

This was a long and interesting lesson, and final proof he brought is that Mishna Berura (תקלג, ס"קכ) allows to kill insects on Chol hamoed. From that he concluded that on Yom Tov it is forbiden.

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    Your answer starts out with the word "Lastly" ... Could be you had written more and somehow wasn't included? IF so please add! It's an interesting savarah since l'maseh I'd be very happy if the insect wasn't bothering me anymore! L'olam killing something is a malacha shain tzricha l'gufu so you never really "need" the thing itself. Just the outcome that from killing it, well, leaves it dead! If you do have anything else to add though please do... – Yehoshua Sep 12 '12 at 13:20
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    @Yehoshua I assume he meant "Lately" not "Lastly". – Ariel Sep 13 '12 at 6:40
  • Sorry for confusion about "Lastly", @Ariel is correct, I meant "Lately". I'm not sure that killing is always melocha sheina tsriha legufa, as I remember in Shabbos there is a svora, that the butcher is interested that the meat would be with blood, because this way the meat looks more fresh and it is easier to sell it. – jutky Sep 20 '12 at 10:04

The M"B in simon 627,30 writes that one is not allowed to carry a dead body out on yom tov, even if having a dead body in your house bothers you, even if he is a kohen and is therefore not allowed to go into his own house, even though carrying on yom tov is one of the malachos that we say mitoch, the reason for this is because we only say mitoch on a positive action, not to get rid of something (siluk) based on this one should not be allowed to kill bugs on yom tov. (and take out the garbage!)

In addition according to allot of poskim (ravyah, Ohr Samech, etc) when one kills a big, he also trapping the bug, trapping is not allowed on yom tov

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  • Is that M"B about a dead human body? If so, what does that have to do with bugs?? – Seth J Sep 28 '12 at 17:22
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    yes it is about a dead human body, the case is you want to carry it out of the house, carrying on yom tov is allowed because of mitoch, yet it is not allowed because there is no positive result to your action, we see that we only say mitoch for a positive need, so too killing bugs that are not a positive action (you dont want the dead bug, just the bug not to be near you, like the dead body not being in your house) we dont say mitoch therefore it should not be allowed on yom tov – Gavriel Sep 28 '12 at 17:42
  • OK, that's a lot clearer than the answer. – Seth J Sep 28 '12 at 17:47
  • And when you shecht an animal to eat (which is for sure muter) you are also "trapping" it?!? – Yehoshua Oct 1 '12 at 19:13
  • First of all not everybody agrees that there is a problem of "trapping" a dead animal, see Chut shuni 1 page 122, also according to the Magan Avraham 501,13 whenever you do a malacha that is allowed on yom tov, if another malacha that is not allowed on yom tov happens at the same time, its muttur (he allows you to throw a chair into a fire as fire wood even though you are being soser a chair), here too, even if killing a bug is considered "trapping", since killing a bug is allowed (assuming it is allowed) bec of mitoach, there no concern of the trapping that comes with it – Gavriel Oct 3 '12 at 2:45

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