There are various disadvantages to having long fingernails. These disadvantages are enumerated in an article by R' Daniel Doron Levy.

[Edit: But DonielF writes: "You're not allowed to cut your nails on Wednesday." See his comment attached to this question.]

You neglected to cut your fingernails last Friday. Now it's Wednesday, and they are too long. Should you cut them now, or should you wait until this coming Friday?

Second edit

Regarding cutting your nails on Wednesday and/or Thursday, please see an article by R' Avi Zakutinsky, plus a relevant Mi Yodeya thread.


In practice, please ask your rabbi.

  • 1
    ben ish chai says that long fingernails brings tuma on a person.
    – ray
    Commented Oct 25, 2013 at 5:37
  • Since they continue growing, they are a bracha from HQBH. Similar to hair, which is given for warmth; nails are given for protection. Commented Oct 29, 2013 at 21:44
  • I don't know enough about this to answer. But I am reminded of a concept relating to aveilus, where in the first year, you can cut your hair if and only if someone tells you that your hair is getting too long. I would wonder if a similar concept might apply to nails. However, CYLOR, CYLOR, CYLOR before cutting them!!!!!!
    – SAH
    Commented Aug 25, 2016 at 20:14
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    @DonielF Where does it say you can't cut your nails on Wednesday?
    – user9643
    Commented Aug 11, 2017 at 22:20
  • 1
    @DonielF AFAIR the issue is that is starts to grow on the third day after being cut, and Thursday is the day that is the issue.
    – user9643
    Commented Aug 13, 2017 at 7:28

2 Answers 2


The shulchan aruch 531 '2' forbids one from hair cutting on chol ha'moed so that one shall not postpone the cutting until chol ah'moed when he has got more time.

In the following siman the Rema' brings down those that are scrupulous about nail cutting on chol ha'moed for the same reason.

Now,being that the mishna berurah 260' brings down those that say specifically not to cut ones nails before Erev Shabbos,along side the above reasoning that by allowing oneself to cut them on Wednesday he will slowly stop being conscientious about this mitsvah,being that shall he be desperate he will do it during the week,he should refrain from cutting them on Wednesday as when becoming a habit it would minimize in kovod Shabbos.

Although there is an issue of chatzitza in hand washing when growing your nails long that is however only pertaining to washing prior to eating bread which you need not do on a weekday.Concerning the morning hand washing there is no such issue lehalacha. Therefore there is no problem waiting for Shabbos.

However when the nails are so big that poeple,kind of nicely,notify him that his nails are quite long,then we may say he should not wait for erev Shabbos.

The reason being since in hilchos aveilut Y'D' 390' it is said that an avel after his parents may cut his hair after 30' days when peaple are screaming at him already the reason being i guess because of chilul Hashem whenbeing a disgrace in front of people.

More so Rabbi Akivah Eiger says that an avel after 30' days need not wait to hear people screaming at him before cutting his nails since nails after 30' days are disgracefully long to go around with.

Therefore we may conclude that when his nails are reasonably normal looking (as he 'did' cut them within the last 30' days) then because of the reasoning explained at first he should wait for erev Shabbos.

However when his nails are embarrassingly long (perhaps as those the avel after 30' days has) he need not and probably should not wait for erev Shabbos.


There is no prohibition to cut them on Wednesday, especially if there is a need for this (e.g., dirt under the nail is an interposition for netilas yadayim).

If you cut them on Friday, you fulfill a mitzvah; through cutting them on Wednesday, no mitzvah is fulfilled.

  • כתב אבודרהם ... באזהרה לך אתה תקוץ יום רביעי והלאה צפרניך כי עד יום רביעי הוא משבת שעברה ולכן יקוץ אותם מיום רביעי ואילך לכבוד שבת עד ע"ש. From sefaria.org/Prisha,_Orach_Chaim.241.4.1
    – hazoriz
    Commented Apr 13, 2017 at 16:07
  • 1
    I'm not fluent in Hebrew. I wonder if you (or anyone) could please translate that quote? Commented May 8, 2017 at 13:52
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    The gist of what @hazoriz is quoting is, until Wednesday is connected to the past Shabbos, and therefore he should cut his nails from Wednesday and on, until erev Shabbos.
    – user9643
    Commented Jun 13, 2017 at 1:46
  • 1
    This post would be greatly improved if you could edit in your sources.
    – user9643
    Commented Jun 13, 2017 at 1:47
  • @Ploni: Ah; fair. Today I found an article by R' Yehuda Shurpin; the article discusses that same idea of R' Abudirham in more depth. Commented Nov 27, 2017 at 19:25

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