Is there a problem if I kill an ant that is bothering me? What does Hashem expect that my attitude should be towards an ant?
Let me explain something. If you’re on the street, there’s no mitzvah to kill an ant. An ant is very useful on the street. Very useful. The ant is doing its job.
But in the house, the ant is like a robber that has entered into your house. He has no business in your house. So you have the right to kill it; you can step on it. Of course, you can’t kill a robber today because they’ll put you in jail for thirteen years. Kill a robber who comes into your home, and you might get thirteen years in jail. But an ant you can still kill. It has no right in your house, so you can kill it.
And therefore, on the street; no, you shouldn’t kill an ant. The ant is doing good work. He’s causing the earth to be fertilized. The ants are our salvation. One of Hashem’s many armies is the army of ants. All day, all night, they’re digging through the earth. They loosen the earth and thereby aerate the soil. They’re fertilizing the soil for us. The ant helps us have parnasa; without them there would be no food. But in your house, no question, you can kill the ant.
TAPE # E-239 (July 2000)