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Cutting / Bitting Nails On Shabbat

The Daily Halacha Moment - Nails & Shabbat💅

״כל השונה הלכות בכל יום - מובטח לו שהוא בן העולם הבא״ (נידה עג ע״א, מגילה כח:)

“Anyone who studies Halachot every day is guaranteed that he is destined for the world-to-come” (Megilla 28b, Niddah 73a)


May one cut one's nails on Shabbat?

May one bite ones nails on Shabbat?


Cutting or removing fingernails or toenails with an instrument is prohibited on Shabbat and is considered Gozez. [1] Similarly, one may not file his nails with a nail filer. [2]

Biting one’s nails or cutting one’s nails by mouth or by hand is prohibited under rabbinical prohibition since doing so is not the ordinary method of cutting Nails. [3]

Once a nail has become detached from most of its width and is causing pain may be removed by hand or by biting it off but not with an instrument. [4]

Furthermore, If a woman forgot to cut her nails on erev Shabbat and she must immerse on Friday night, she should clean them and may immerse even though they are not cut. If possible, she should ask a non-Jewish woman to cut them for her. [5]


[1]. Shulchan Aruch 340:1. See also in Levyat Chen, p. 197.

[2]. Shiyurei Taharah, Y.D. 198:39; see also in Biur Halachah, siman 161, “Hu tzarich l’nakran.”

[3]. Mishnah Berurah 340:1-2. It is proper to train oneself to not get into the habit of biting one’s nails even during the week, so that one does not accidentally do so on Shabbat. See Chazon Ish, Dinim VeHanhagot, 13:31 who states that one who is not careful in this during the week will certainly do so on Shabbat as well.

[4]. Shulchan Aruch 328:31; Halichot Olam, vol. 4, p. 201.

[5]. Taharat HaBayit, vol. 3, p. 93; Levyat Chen, p. 117; Halichot Olam, vol. 4, pp. 237-240. See also Biur Halachah at the beginning of §340.

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