Which Melachot are forbidden on Yom Tov?
Difference between Yom Tov and Shabbat
- All the Melachot that are forbidden on Shabbat are also forbidden on Yom Tov except making a food for that day (Ochel Nefesh), carrying, and lighting a fire.  The details of these differences between Shabbat and Yom Tov are described below.
- Carrying and lighting a fire is permitted on Yom Tov.  Carrying is only permitted if there’s some need for Yom Tov, however, it’s forbidden to carry for no reason. 
- One may not light a fire from scratch. 
- Extinguishing a fire for the purpose of Ochel Nefesh, according to Ashkenazim is permitted and according to Sephardim it is forbidden. 
Preparing Food on Yom Tov
- Ashkenazim are strict to only cook for Ochel Nefesh things that couldn't have been prepared on Erev Yom Tov, however, food which would have tasted the same whether it was cooked on Yom Tov or before, it must be cooked before Yom Tov.  if one forgot and there’s a need for the Yom Tov one may do it on Yom Tov with a shinui.  If one was unable to make this type of food before yom Tov because of Ones (unforeseeable circumstances). 
- For example, it is proper to bake cake before Yom Tov which could be prepared before Yom Tov without a loss of taste.
- One is permitted to do Melacha to fix vessels in order to make food that's Ochel Nefesh if the fixing couldn't have been done before Yom Tov. 
- The Melachot of Kesirah (Harvesting), Techinah (Grinding), Besirah (picking grapes), Sechitah (Squeezing liquids out of a solid), and Tzedah (Trapping), are forbidden on Yom Tov even if they are needed for Ochel Nefesh. 
- The accepted practice today is not to do shechita on Yom Tov since it can be slaughtered before Yom Tov without a loss of taste. However, it is permitted to do shechita on birds on Yom Tov. If one is going to do shechita on a bird on Yom Tov one must prepare it in advance by specifying which bird one was going to use. Additionally, the dirt needs to be prepared so that it isn't muktzeh and the knife needs to be sharpened before Yom Tov.
- Regarding Lighting (Haavarah) and Extinguish a fire (Kibuy), see Cooking on Yom Tov.
Derabbanan Prohibitions on Yom Tov
- It’s forbidden to ask a non-Jew on Yom Tov to do any activity which is prohibited for a Jew to perform (just like Amirah LeNochri on Shabbat). 
- Mutkzah items which are permissible to be moved Shabbat are forbidden on Yom Tov as the rabbis were strict on Yom Tov regarding Muktzeh. 
- For example items which were meant to be sold, items put away for storage and aren’t meant to be moved for a while, or items which aren’t used because it’s disgusting, and Nolad are Muktzeh on Yom Tov. 
- Bones which were removed from the meat on Yom Tov is Nolad and is Muktzeh on Yom Tov. 
- There’s a dispute whether taking medicine applies to (first day of) Yom Tov nowadays and one should be strict but those who are lenient have what to rely on. 
- It’s forbidden to violate Techum on Yom Tov. 
- It’s forbidden to do any activity which is forbidden by the פסוק of VeDaber Daver on Yom Tov. 
- It’s forbidden to buy and sell on Yom Tov. 
- It’s permissible to do a verbal preparation from one day of Yom tov to the second day of Yom Tov Shel Galiyot, however, it’s forbidden to do an action as preparation from one day to another (which is called Hachanah). 
Carrying on Yom Tov
- It is permitted to carry on Yom Tov for a need on Yom Tov. However, if there’s no need it is forbidden unless there is an eruv.
- Outside of an eruv it is forbidden to carry a siddur back from shul after it was used unless it is going to be used back at home or one is afraid of it getting stolen if left in shul.
- A person who can walk without a cane may not walk with a cane on Yom Tov in a public domain or karmelit outside of an Eruv. However, if he can walk without a cane he may only carry the cane in a private domain.
A Non-Jew who Does Melacha for a Jew on Yom Tov
- If a non-Jew does a melacha for a Jew on Yom Tov such as picking fruit or tapping an animal, no Jew can benefit from it or even move it until after the time it would take to perform that melacha after Yom Tov is over. Sephardim hold that it will become permitted on Yom Tov Sheni, while Ashkenazim hold that it is forbidden until after the time it would take to perform the melacha after Yom Tov Sheni.
- Even Sephardim hold that if a melacha is performed on the first day of Rosh Hashana it is forbidden on the second day of Rosh Hashana. The same is true about a Yom Tov that falls out on Friday or Sunday that if the melacha is done the first day it is forbidden the second day as well.
- If a non-Jew brought something from outside the techum on Shabbat for a Jew it is forbidden for the Jew for whom it was brought to benefit from it until the time it would take to bring that item after Shabbat is over. Nonetheless, the item isn’t muktzeh. 
Having One's Animal Rest on Yom Tov
- Similar to Shabbat it's forbidden to rent out one's animal to a non-Jew on Yom Tov because one is not allowed to have one's animal do work on Yom Tov. 
- One is not allowed to have one's animal carry a burden for them even in a courtyard. 
Fixing Utensils on Yom Tov
- If a roasting spit broke on Yom Tov it is forbidden to fix it, whether it is usable as is or not.
- It is forbidden to fix a spit that is too long and needs adjusting.
- A knife that dulled on Yom Tov may not be sharpened with a knife sharpener. Theoretically, if it still cuts it is permitted to sharpen the knife on a rock but even this may not be permitted publicly. However, if it can't cut it is forbidden to sharpen it.
Mitzvot of Yom Tov
- Mishna in Betzah 37 says that anything that is forbidden on Shabbat is forbidden on Yom Tov except "Ochel Nefesh" which is limited to making food that that day alone. The Gemara Betzah 12 explains that since Bet Hillel holds of the principle of "Metoch" (lit. based on) and so it's permissible to carry and lit a fire on Yom Tov becasue once the Melacha is permitted in order to do Ochel Nefesh it's permitted also not for Ochel Nefesh purposes. Shulchan Aruch 495:1 rules like Bet Hillel and permits making food for Ochel Nefesh, carrying and lighting a fire on Yom Tov.
- Shulchan Aruch OC 495:1
- Rama 518:1, Beiur Halacha 518:1 s.v. Mitoch
- Shulchan Aruch OC 502:1
- The Gemara Shabbat 134a states that it is permitted to put a piece of meat on coals in order to cook the meat even though it'll temporarily extinguish the coals. Rashi s.v. lo efshar explains that the reason one may extinguish the coals for cooking the meat is because one may do melacha on Yom Tov for Ochel Nefesh that couldn't have been done before Yom Tov.
- The Rif (Betizah 12a) however, explains that cooking the meat on the coals is permitted because it doesn't cause the coals to be extinguished. The Ramban (Milchamot 12a s.v. Amar HaKotev Zeh) and Ran (12a s.v. Iybaya) explain the Rif as saying that putting the meat on the coals isn't considered extinguishing because it is temporary and will reignite. Accordingly, the Rif holds that in general one may not extinguish for the purposes of Ochel Nefesh.
- The Rosh (Beitzah 2:23) quotes the version of the Rif, but seems to side with Rashi in Beitzah 4:8. Additionally, the Rambam (Yom Tov 4:6) doesn't side clearly with the Rif or Rashi. With regards to the halacha, although the Bet Yosef 511:4 quotes the Rif and Ran, in Shulchan Aruch 507:4 it is clear he follows the opinion of Rashi. Taz 511:7, Eliyah Rabba 511:6, and Mishna Brurah 511:25 rule like Rashi that extinguishing is permitted for Ochel Nefesh.
- The Sefer Hachinuch (Mitzvah 298) and Raah (Beitzah 22a s.v. eytevey) might have a middle opinion. If the kibbuy directly prevents the food from being burnt that isn't ochel nefesh, however, if the kibbuy is part of the normal process of cooking that is permitted. Another similar compromise is the opinion of the Meiri (Beitzah 22a s.v. vchen) who holds that kibbuy as a necessary unintended part of the cooking is permitted but actual direct kibbuy is forbidden. See footnotes to Rashba (Beitzah 22a Mosad Rav Kook fnt. 226) who suggests that Rashi 22a s.v. chayav agrees with the Meiri. However, Eliya Rabba 514:6 understands Rashi differently.
- Sephardim are strict like the Rif as is the ruling of Shulchan Aruch 514:1. Chazon Ovadia (Yom Tov p. 58) agrees.
- Agudah (Beitzah 2:33) holds that directly violating extinguishing for the purposes of eating on Yom Tov is permitted. Therefore, he permits removing oil from a burning flame on Yom Tov. However, Eliya Rabba 514:6 writes that the Rashba in Avodat Hakodesh (Bet Moed 3:3:18), Roke'ach (299), Rabbenu Yerucham (4:1 29b) hold that removing oil from a candle in order to eat the oil is forbidden on yom tov. Meiri (Beitzah 22a s.v. gedolei) also forbids.
- Rama 495:1 rules in name of the Or Zaruha and Maharil that one should only do Ochel Nefesh if the food couldn't have been prepared before Yom Tov. Mishna Brurah 495:8 in the name of the Achronim that such is the halacha.
- Rama 495:1 writes that if a food would taste just as good if it was cooked before Yom Tov then one shouldn’t cook it on Yom Tov itself. After the fact if one didn’t cook it before Yom Tov one may do so with a shinuy. Shulchan Aruch 495:1 implies that any ochel nefesh activity is permitted even if it was possible to do from yesterday.
- The Biur Halacha s.v. mihu explains that there are 3 opinions: The Ran who allows ochel nefesh even if it is possible to do yesterday, the Smag (Lavin 75) who says initially it is forbidden but after the fact it can be done with a shinuy, and the Or Zaruah (Pesach n. 248) who says it is forbidden altogether. The Shulchan Aruch follows the Ran and the Rama the Smag.
- Pri Chadash 495:1 s.v. umah shekatav veyesh writes that most rishonim agree that there's a rabbinic prohibition to do ochel nefesh that you could have done before Yom Tov. He writes that this is the opinion of the Rambam (Yom Tov 1:5), Ran (Beitzah 12b), and Tosfot (Shabbat 95a, Beitzah 21a, 23b) in a few places. However, it is evident from the certain places in the Ran (Beitzah 5b and 7a) and Tosfot (Beitzah 3a) that it is clearly permitted completely. Peni Yehoshua (Beitzah 12a s.v. bgemara) seems to agree in understanding the rambam.
- Many rishonim hold that ochel nefesh is forbidden if it was possible from yesterday. These include: Tosfot (Megillah 7a s.v. kaan), Kol Bo (no. 58, cited by Bet Yosef 504:1), Or Zaruah (no. 248), Maharach Or Zaruah (no. 33), Michtam (Beitzah 28b) in understanding the Rambam, Rivash (responsa 184), and Maharil (Hilchot Yom Tov, cited by Darkei Moshe 495:2). See Chazon Ovadia p. 8 who is concerned for this opinion initially. The Achronim who agree with this approach include: Maharshal (Beitzah 3:1), Pri Chadash 495:1, Shiurei Knesset Hagedola (Bet Yosef 495:5), Birkei Yosef 495:2, and Kaf Hachaim 495:10.
- The Gra 495 answers the proofs of the Pri Chadash that it is only forbidden if it the type of work that is done for multiple days.
- Those who agree with Shulchan Aruch that ochel nefesh is permitted even if it was possible yesterday: Rav Avraham Antebi in Chachma Umussar no. 155, Bet Dovid (OC 286), and Chazon Ovadia (Yom Tov, p. 8). The Maamer Mordechai 495:3 is lenient and explains that the Rambam means that any melacha which is generally used for food is permitted even if it could be done before Yom Tov and he only meant to say that those melachot which are generally used for preparing food in advance of when you're ready to eat it are forbidden. This idea is similar to that of the Maggid Mishna. The Sefer Hachinuch (Mitzvah 298) also holds like this approach.
- The Mordechai (Beitzah no. 657) writes that it is forbidden to make sour dough in order to make dough rise since it can be made before Yom Tov. Shulchan Aruch 506:8 holds like the Mordechai. Seemingly this is a contradiction to Shulchan Aruch 495:1. Biur Halacha 495 s.v. vechen answers that preparing sour dough is worse since it is usually prepared a long time in advance.
- Rama 495:1, Mishna Brurah 495:8
- Mishna Brurah 495:10
- Chazon Ovadia Yom Tov p. 9
- Gemara Megillah 7b records a dispute whether on Yom Tov one can fix a vessel needed for Ochel Nefesh, and Rabbi Yehuda permits. Shulchan Aruch 495:1 rules like Rabbi Yehuda.
- Shulchan Aruch 495:2
- Rabbi Eli Mansour on dailyhalacha.com
- Shemirat Shabbat KeHilchata 5:14
- Magen Avraham 498:16 quotes the Maharshal who says that the minhag is not to do shechita on Yom Tov today unless there is a need. Chazon Ovadia Yom Tov p. 17 writes that the minhag isn't to do any shechita on Yom Tov since it can be done before Yom Tov without any loss of taste.
- Mishna Brurah 498:49 writes that the minhag is not to do shechita of large animals but the minhag is to do shechita on birds on Yom Tov. Chazon Ovadia Yom Tov p. 20 agrees.
- Shulchan Aruch 497:10, Chazon Ovadia Yom Tov p. 21
- Shulchan Aruch 498:14
- Chazon Ovadia Yom Tov p. 21
- Melachim Emunecha (p. 279) quoting Rav Yakov Kamenetsky that it is permitted to kill bugs on Yom Tov that are bothering you since it is an application of mitoch from shechita. Rabbi Zilberstein in the footnote argues that perhaps it is forbidden since it is only removing something bothering you and not producing a positive benefit (similar to the Ran's logic by Kibbuy).
- The approach of Rav Yakov Kamenetsky assumes that mitoch also applies to shechita, which is the opinion of the Lechem Mishna (Yom Tov 1:4) and implication of Beitzah 12a. However, the Levush 495:1 writes that mitoch only applies to hotzah and haavarah. This is also the opinion of the Binah B'ittim (Yom Tov 1:4) in understanding the Rambam (see also Maggid Mishna 1:4).
- Melachim Emunecha (p. 279) questions whether it is permitted. Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchata (ch. 2 fnt. 40) implies it is forbidden. See an article by Rabbi Kayam who quotes a number of poskim about this question.
- Chazon Ovadyah (Yom Tov pg 1), Mishna Brurah 495:1
- S”A 495:4
- Mishna Brurah 495:15
- Mishna Brurah 495:17
- Piskei Teshuvot 496:1
- Hilchot HaMoadim (Dinei Yom Tov, 1:16, pg 32)
- Hilchot HaMoadim (Dinei Yom Tov, 1:22, pg 39), Piskei Teshuvot 495:1
- Hilchot HaMoadim (Dinei Yom Tov, 1:26, pg 40)
- Rama 495:15, Mishna Brurah 495:23
- Bet Hillel in the Mishna Beitzah 11a says that it is permitted to carry on Yom Tov. Tosfot s.v. hachi garsinan records a dispute between the Rabbenu Chananel and the Tosfot as to what purpose it is permitted to carry. Rabbenu Chananel implies that it is only permitted to carry for a mitzvah such as bringing a baby to shul for a brit milah. However, Tosfot argues that it is even permitted to carry to take a walk outside which is part of simchat yom tov.
- In terms of carrying for no purpose, Rashi 12a s.v. elah holds that it is permitted on a biblical level and only prohibited on a rabbinic level. However, Tosfot argues that it is forbidden biblically. The Rashba (Beitzah 12a s.v. umekol makom), Ran (Beitzah 5b s.v. aval avanim), and Rosh (Beitzah 1:18) agree with Tosfot. Yet, the Maggid Mishna (Yom Tov 1:4) explains that the Rif and Rambam hold a third opinion. Really carrying is permitted on Yom Tov whether it is necessary for Yom Tov or not and it is only forbidden to move muktzeh. The Magen Avraham 518 follows the opinion of the Tosfot.
- The Ran (Beitzah 9a s.v. tanu rabbanan) writes that it seems like from the gemara that there’s no need for an eruv chatzerot on Yom Tov. However, according to the Tosfot it seems that one should require an eruv. Either way, he concludes that certainly if it is necessary then having an eruv is sufficient. The Hagahot Mordechai Beitzah no. 659 (cited by Bet Yosef 518:1) agrees. Rama 518:1 codifies this opinion.
- The Rosh 1:18 writes that just like it is permitted to carry on Yom Tov for a need it is permitted to bring those items back afterwards. His logic is that chazal permitted you to complete the process otherwise you wouldn’t begin it and be prevented from simchat yom tov in the first place. The Tur 518:1 agrees. However, the Maharshal (Yom Shel Shlomo Beitzah 1:30) adds that it is only permitted if one is afraid to leave the item there and feels the need to return it. The Magen Avraham 518:3 and Mishna Brurah 518:6 accept the opinion of the Maharshal.
- The Gemara Beitzah 25b establishes that it is forbidden to walk with a cane, effectively carrying it, in a public domain on Yom Tov since it appears like a weekday activity (Rashi s.v. alunki). The Rashba (Beitzah 25b s.v. ein hasuma) writes that someone who can't walk without a cane may use it on Yom Tov and it is no different than shoes which he couldn't walk without. Tosfot (Shabbat 65b s.v. hakiteya) even writes that on Shabbat it is permitted for someone who needs a cane to walk to go out with it to a public domain on Shabbat. The Shitah Mikubeset (Beitzah 25b s.v. vekatav mori) quotes the Radvaz who argues with Tosfot but concludes that he doesn't feel confident to reject the ruling of Rabbenu Tam that it is permitted. Shulchan Aruch OC 301:17 accepts the opinion of Tosfot. Regarding Yom Tov this is cited by the Mishna Brurah 522:2.
- Taz 522:1, Mishna Brurah 522:2. Aruch Hashulchan 522:1 explains that the issue with carrying the cane is a desecration of Yom Tov in that it appears to be a weekday activity. However, that issue only exists in the public domain or a karmelit, but in private there's no concern of appearing like a weekday activity.
- Rashi Beitzah 25a s.v. chutz and Tosfot Beitzah 25a s.v. haba hold that if a non-Jew does a melacha for a Jew on Shabbat or Yom Tov it is forbidden for all Jews. The Baal Hameor Beitzah 13a, Raavad Beitzah 13a, and Ran Beitzah 13b argue that for every melacha if a non-Jew does melacha for a Jew it is only forbidden for that Jew and permitted for everyone else (if there’s no question of muktzeh). Ramban in Milchamot Beitzah 13b disputes the points of the Raavad and defends Rashi. Rabbenu Tam (no. 286) seems to side with the Baal Hameor. Shulchan Aruch 276:1 rules like Rashi.
- Why is techum different according to Rashi? Rashi explains that since techum isn’t a real melacha and is only derabbanan it is permitted for other Jews to benefit. The Ran 14a s.v. vehaba answers based on the Ramban that even if techum is deoritta at some point still it doesn’t forbid for all Jews since techum is relative to a person’s location and not objective. See Magen Avraham 515:18 who answers that since techum isn’t written in the torah it is permitted for another Jew. Biur Halacha 276 1.v. afilu makes the point that if the non-Jew carries on Shabbat for a Jew no Jew may benefit from it according to Rashi.
- The Rif Beitzah 13b, Rosh Beitzah 3:2, and Ran Beitzah 13a s.v. matnitin write that if a non-Jew does melacha for a Jew on Yom Tov it is forbidden for a Jew to even move as it becomes muktzeh. Bet Yosef 515:1 supports this from the gemara Beitzah 24b. Shulchan 515:1 codifies this.
- The gemara Beitzah 24b states that when a non-Jew does a melacha for a Jew on Yom Tov it is forbidden for him to benefit from it until the time it takes to do that melacha after yom Tov. This is codified in Shulchan Aruch 515:1.
- Shulchan Aruch and Rama 515:1
- Rashi (Beitzah 24b s.v. im) explains that the reason chazal forbade the product of a non-Jew’s melacha for a Jew on Yom Tov is so that a Jew shouldn’t benefit from the desecration of Yom Tov (even though a non-Jew doesn’t keep Yom Tov). Accordingly, this prohibition expires after the first day of Yom Tov since chazal viewed Yom Tov like a doubt as to which is the real day of Yom Tov. However, the Tosfot argues that the reason for this prohibition is that chazal were afraid if they permitted it then a Jew would be encouraged to ask the non-Jew to melacha for him next time.
- Shulchan Aruch 515:1
- Rav Papa in Beitzah 24b states that a non-Jew who brings something from beyond the techum on Yom Tov for a Jew it is forbidden for that Jew to benefit from it. The Shulchan Aruch 515:5 codifies this halacha.
- The Ri (Tosfot Beitzah 24b s.v. ulerev) writes that if a non-Jew brings something from beyond the techum for a Jew it is permitted immediately after Shabbat without having to wait the time it would take to bring it to that place just like we find that for techum we’re more lenient not to forbid it for another Jew. Rosh Beitzah 3:2 agrees, but cites the Rif, Sefer Hatrumah, and Smag who argue. Shitah Mikubeset (Beitzah 25a) quotes the Raah who agrees with the Ri. The Shulchan Aruch 515:5 follows the opinion of the Rif.
- Rosh Beitzah 3:2 clarifies that an item brought on Yom Tov for a Jew from outside the techum isn’t muktzeh since others can benefit from it. The Shitah Mikubeset (Beitzah 25a) quotes the Smag who agrees and compares it to animal food which isn’t muktzeh even though a person isn’t going to eat it. See also Tosfot Shabbat 127b s.v. kiyvan.
- Bet Yosef (OC Siman 495) quotes a dispute whether Shevitat behemto (letting one's animal rest) applies to Yom Tov or is it specific to Shabbat. (This dispute is also quoted in the Orchot Chaim (Hilchot Yom Tov #5) and Kol Bo (Siman 58 pg 17d)). The Bet Yosef concludes that it seems from the poskim (Rif, Rambam, and Rosh) who don't make this distinction between Shabbat and Yom Tov that Shevitat Behemto is forbidden on Yom Tov.The Bach 495 argues on the Bet Yosef explaining that the reason that Shevitat Behemto and Mechamer don't apply to Yom Tov is that they aren't included the Melachot but rather a specific prohibition which is exclusive to Shabbat. The Rama 246:3 rules that leniently. Magen Avraham concludes that one should be strict based on this Bet Yosef. This is also the opinion of many achronim.
- Rambam Yom Tov 5:2 writes that one is forbidden to have one's animal carry for him on Yom Tov as it's a activity usually done on the weekday. Shulchan Aruch 495:3 rules this as halacha. Magen Avraham 495:5 explains that this law isn't dependent on Shevitat behemto but rather based on doing activity on Yom Tov like one would do on a weekday (which would only be a rabbinic prohibition). Mishna Brurah explains that according to such an explanation it's forbidden to have the animal carry a burden even in a courtyard without crossing any halachic domains.
- The Gemara Beitzah 28b states that it is forbidden to fix a pit that broke on Yom Tov. Rashi s.v. asur litakno explains that it is only forbidden since the spit can be used if it is bent and it is an unnecessary effort to fix it. Rosh Beitzah 3:13 agrees with Rashi. Therefore, the Rama 509:1 writes that a spit which broke to the extent that it can't be used can be fixed on Yom Tov but it is forbidden to permit this to others. Even according to the Rama, the Biur Halacha s.v. oto adds that according to the Ran (Beitzah 15b s.v. amar rav yehuda) it is forbidden to fix a spit that is totally broken since it is completely fixing a utensil which even Rabbi Yehuda forbids. The Ran (15a s.v. amar rav yosef) explains that anything which is done for a long period of time is forbidden even though Rabbi Yehuda usually permits machshirei ochel nefesh. Mishna Brurah 509:6 adds that if it is possible to borrow from someone else one should do so and it is forbidden to fix the spit. However, the Shulchan Aruch 509:1 based on the Rambam says that it is forbidden in all cases. The Kesef Mishna (Yom Tov 4:9) explains that it is forbidden to fix the spit even if it isn't totally broken lest one come to permit fixing the spit when it is totally broken. Further, the Bet Yosef 509:1 forbidden fixing the spit in all cases since the Rambam doesn't hold like Rabbi Yehuda that machshirei ochel nefesh is permitted. Mishna Brurah 509:1 adopts the explanation of the Bet Yosef.
- Mordechai (Beitzah no. 691) quotes the Ravyah that it is forbidden to shorten a spit on Yom Tov. This is similar to the opinion of the Ran (Beitzah 15b s.v. amar rav yehuda) that it is forbidden to create a utensil even according to the opinion that machshirei ochel nefesh is permitted. Shulchan Aruch 509:2 codifies the opinion of the Mordechai. Shaar Hatziyun 509:11 maintains that it is forbidden even according to Rashi (Beitzah 28b) who disagrees with the Ran based on the gemara Beitzah 32b.
- Shulchan Aruch 509:11 rules like the Rambam.
- Piskei Teshuvot 495:1