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Section: Halacha   Category: Shabbos
Rav Elyashiv - Permits Lice Spray For Children On Shabbos

The gemara says that it is permissible to kill lice on Shabbos since the issur of killing creatures on Shabbos only extends to those creatures who can produce offspring, which the gemara says that lice cannot. However, today most poskim forbid killing lice because the lice we see today produce offspring, and it is possible that today's lice are not the same as in the times of the gemara.

When a child is terribly itchy from lice on Shabbos, the Orchos Shabbos (14:30:46) writes that Rav Elyashiv permits spraying the child's hair with lice killing spray. Since the child is in pain we can rely on the Din of the gemara without question. The Orchos Shabbos says there is an additional reason to be lenient. When a child really needs something, he has a din of a Choleh She'ein Bo Sakana, a sick person who is not in danger. For this person we permit Melacha D'Rabanan according to some opinions. Even if killing lice is assur, it is only M'D'Rabanan since it is Melacha She'ein Tzricha L'Gufa as we don't care about the specific outcome. Therefore it would be permissible to do this for the child.

Important Note: We try to convey the Tshuva to the best of our ability. We admit that our understanding may not be accurate. One should learn the tshuva to verify the accuracy of our interpretation. Please also understand that this Tshuva may not be the final word on this topic. One should consult a Rav before drawing any conclusions.  

RELATED ARTICLES:halacha  lice  Rav Elyashiv  Shabbos

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