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There are many discussions of when the fingernails can and cannot be cut according to halacha and minhag. It is very hard to ascertain anything coherent from this information, other than that Friday is the best day to cut them, and that many other days may be prohibited.

Could, though, a woman who needs to cut her nails to prepare for mikvah do so on any day of the week (except Shabbos)?

I'm quite sure the answer is "yes," but I'd like to see a source that actually discusses it.

  • I found a tertiary source mentioning that she can cut them during the Omer and I think also the Nine Days (and possibly any day except Shabbos or Yom Tov), for mikvah, if one had any doubt. – SAH Mar 31 '17 at 14:43
  • Also this: judaism.stackexchange.com/a/3113/1516 – SAH Mar 13 '18 at 0:18
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It is not easy to find an explicit source for this. Here's what I have:

  1. We know that cutting nails is traditionally a mandatory part of chafifah (pre-mikvah preparation). See Shulchan Aruch 198:19 and Rama there.

  2. We know the entire chafifah is done on the day of the tevilah (ideally, with special rules for Shabbos and Yom Tov). See Shulchan Aruch YD 199:3.

  3. The Shulchan Aruch does not say that one should cut nails on the previous Friday, or that any other day is prohibited. In contrast, regarding Shabbos the Shulchan Aruch does discuss what should be done before or after Shabbos (YD 199:4-7) (or Yom Tov). One should therefore conclude that no such restrictions apply.

Here's another argument one can make:

  1. Even of those who do not wash during the Nine Days, some permit cutting nails, and some prohibit it. (Mishnah Brurah 551:20)
  2. Even those who do not wash during the Nine Days permit washing for mikvah, and in some cases even on Tish'a B'av itself. (Rama 551:16)
  3. Certainly, therefore, even those who prohibit cutting nails during the Nine Days would permit it for mikvah, it being no worse than washing.
  4. If it is permitted during the Nine Days, which has more of a consensus to prohibit, it should certainly be permitted on a non-Friday, where the prohibition is not as clear (as discussed in your referenced thread).
  • I upvoted this answer because i like it, but the OP does seem to only want a sourced answer so this doesn't technically qualify as a proper answer. – user6591 Aug 26 '16 at 17:08
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    @user6591 I agree it's a good answer, possibly as good as we're going to get. +1 – SAH Aug 29 '16 at 17:43

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