Removing cobwebs and spiderwebs on Shabbos

May one remove cobwebs on Shabbos?[1]

Some Poskim[2] imply that it is permitted to break cobwebs on Shabbos, and doing so does not involve the Muktzah or destroying prohibition, or any other prohibition. Other Poskim[3], however, rule that cobwebs are considered Muktzah, just like earth and twigs and other waste. Accordingly, they may only be removed on Shabbos with an irregularity/Shinuiy [such as using ones elbow or feet].[4] Alternatively, if they have become repulsive to oneself, or to the guests in the room, then they may be removed even regularly.[5] Other Poskim[6], however, rule that one is to completely avoid breaking or removing cobwebs that are attached to a wall altogether, as perhaps doing so transgresses the “uprooting an item from its place of growth” prohibition, or other prohibition. Practically, one may be lenient in a time of need to move the cobwebs in the method stated above.[7] Nevertheless, in all cases one must beware not to kill the spider in the process.[8]


[1] See Piskeiy Teshuvos 250:9

[2] Implication of Leket Yosher “One time a spiders web was made on the faucet and he [the Terumas Hadeshen] said that it is permitted to break it on Shabbos.” [Nonetheless, it is still possible to interpret the allowance only to a vessel, such as a faucet, and not to a wall. However, the Betzeil Hachachmah 5:18 and Rav SZ”A in SSH”K 23 footnote 34 clearly rule that there is no destroying or Toleish prohibition involved by cobwebs, and hence when this is joined with the opinion of the Leket Yosher that it also does not contain a Muktzah prohibition, then it is allowed in all cases to be removed or broken on Shabbos]; See Admur 328:53 [based on 1st opinion in Michaber 328:48; Rokeaich 70; Kol Bo 31] that one may treat a bleeding wound through wrapping a spiders web around it, thus proving that it is not Muktzah. See, however, Tehila Ledavid 328:79 that for the sake of relieving pain, the Sages permitted the moving of Muktzah. However, from Leket Yosher ibid, it is implied that it is permitted even not for the sake of relieving pain, as well as that no such allowance is recorded in Admur regarding Muktzah, and on the contrary, he explicitly mentions the Muktzah prohibition even in a case of pain. [See Admur 308:56 regarding placing raw cloth materials on a wound and 328:51 regarding eye pain] Thus, one must conclude that according to the Poskim ibid, cobwebs are not Muktzah on Shabbos. On the other hand, perhaps one can establish the case to be referring to cobwebs that were already prepared before Shabbos. Vetzaruch Iyun.

[3] Mor Uketzia 328; Tehila Ledavid 328:79; Pesach HaDvir 328:11; See Kaf Hachaim 328:270; Orchos Chaim Spinka 328:36

[4] Betzeil Hachachmah 5:18; Regarding the allowance of moving Muktzah with a Shinuiy-See: Admur 308:15; 311:15; 276:9-10; 266:19

[5] SSH”K 23 footnote 34 in name of Rav SZ”A; Beir Moshe 37; In such a case they may be removed even normally, as then they are considered a Graf Shel Reiy. [SSH”K 23 footnote 34 in name of Rav SZ”A]

[6] Yifei Laleiv 328:3 leaves this matter in question as to if its considered a prohibition of removing an item from its place of growth; Kaf Hachaim 328:270; SSH”K 23:9

[7] Betzeil Hachachmah ibid and Rav SZ”A ibid both argue that this prohibition does not at all apply; Piskeiy Teshuvos 250:9

[8] See Admur 316:23; M”A 316:23; M”B 316:48; Biur Halacha “Veafilu”

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