A pregnant women is advised by the gemara (Nidda 17a) to avoid stepping on cut human nails out of fear of miscarriage. What can she do if she has already stepped on them? Is there a way to "fix" things to avoid a miscarriage (chalilah)?


  • See Seth J's comment on the question on the related question you quoted. If he is correct, there should probably be no problem.
    – b a
    Jun 7, 2012 at 13:46
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    @ba thanks, but he doesn't cite any source.
    – user1552
    Jun 7, 2012 at 14:08
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    Thanks, @ba. Bchol beisi neeman, I couldn't cite a specific source, but I do very vividly remember being taught that reason and those practices specifically. Basically, it's not a curse to step on nails. It's a Takanah (enactment) forbidding people generally from leaving them lying around for fear that a pregnant woman might think she had stepped on a scorpion and panic. No action on the woman's part is necessary; just don't panic.
    – Seth J
    Jun 7, 2012 at 14:14
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    @bcholbeisineeman speaking of not citing sources... where did you get this miscarriage idea from exactly? Jun 7, 2012 at 14:17
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    @هه see the answers in the related link. Didn't think it was necessary to reproduce here, but I'm happy to edit if you think it's important.
    – user1552
    Jun 7, 2012 at 14:23

2 Answers 2


One source for the two approaches everyone is talking about is in the Ri MiLunel here (second column third paragraph). He writes that some say it is because of her fragility and some say it is because of sorcery. Interestingly, the way he formulates the second option - because of sorcery, not simply spiritual dangers - it would appear that he would hold that this does not apply in an era where we are generally not concerned about sorcerers. Couple that with the fact that (as others pointed out) according to the first option it doesn't seem logical that the danger should last longer than the moment she steps on the nails anyway, and we can basically conclude that according to the Ri MiLunel the answer to the question is she has nothing to worry about.


I believe there are 2 possible approaches. 1st the approach stated by Seth J that we wish to avoid the woman stepping on something and the shock and or disgust will cause her to worry and then subequently cause the loss of the unborn child G-d forbid! So in this case it would be appropriate to simply not worry and put faith in HKB'H.

If however the reason is something spiritual (e.g. the Zohar HaKodesh states that the first drop of semen goes to the nails) then there may well be a spiritual matter.

With all aspects - davening to HaShem can erase any tekana. The is a sefer by the Mevaser Tov (current Biala Rebbe) that writes even if the knife is beginning to cut ones throat davening to HaShem can tear up the decree.

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    "The is a sefer by the Mevaser Tov (current Biala Rebbe) that writes even if the knife is beginning to cut ones throat davening to HaShem can tear up the decree." -- I think that's a Gemara in Berachos Jun 12, 2012 at 17:08
  • Berachot 10A. See this question: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/15875/…
    – Menachem
    Jun 29, 2012 at 8:07

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