May one do Shiluach Hakein to birds that made a nest in the wall of my house?

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Question: [Wednesday 16th Tamuz 5780]

May one do Shiluach Hakein to birds that made a nest in the wall of my house?



There are several Halachic issues involved in doing Shiluach Hakein in such a case, including:

  • Some Poskim rule that it is forbidden due to Tzaar Baalei Chaim to the birds since you don’t plan on eating the eggs or chicks.
  • Everyone agrees that there is no Mitzavh of Shiluach Hakn if you already own it as part of your Chatezer/house. [This is dependent on several factors, including which side of the wall the birds are in and if its open to the public or to your porch etc]
  • There is no Inyan to search for Shiluach Hakein. Some understand this to be because it is not a positive command, but rather a negative command connected to a positive command.

While many disagree with the above in 1 and 3, and hold that one should do whatever one can to perform the Mitzvah, the above seems to be the Rebbe’s opinion. Practically, due to all the above I would suggest that you leave the birds alone, unless it is bothering you in some way in which case you may relocate the entire nest elsewhere.

Sources: See Michaber Y.D. 292:2 Perat Lemizuman”; Rambam Shechita 13:1 that is not a positive command to do unless transgress negative command; Rashba Teshuvah 18 that no blessing is said because it is a Mitzvah Haba Beaveiora!; Chavos Yair 67 brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah 260 [Must do if saw]; Givat Pinchas 1:33 and Birkeiy Yosef 292:2 Chasam Sofer 100 [forbidden to do if don’t plan to take birds as is cruelty]; Likkutei Sichos 34:289 [no Inyan to search] and Likkutei Sichos 9:138 that one is obligated only if he wants to take the birds; Torah Lishmah 277 [no Inyan to search and is opposite the Mitzvah]; Mashmia Shalom 60 [According to Rambam no positive command to do]

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