Cutting nails on Rosh Chodesh that falls on Erev Shabbos

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May one cut his nail when Rosh Chodesh falls on Erev Shabbos?[1]

Normally, one may[2] not cut their nails[3] on Rosh Chodesh.[4] However, when Rosh Chodesh falls on Erev Shabbos, some Poskim[5] rule it is permitted to cut the nails on Erev Shabbos Rosh Chodesh, and so is the implied opinion of Admur. Other Poskim[6], however, rule one may not cut the nails on Rosh Chodesh even when it falls on Erev Shabbos. [Practically, one who cuts his nails on every Erev Shabbos may be lenient to do so also on Erev Shabbos Rosh Chodesh.[7] Likewise, one with very long nails may be lenient to cut them.[8] However, some Poskim[9] conclude that initially it is proper to cut the nails on Thursday, or Wednesday if Rosh Chodesh falls on Thuursday-Friday, and hence avoid entering the dispute.]

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[1] See Piskeiy Teshuvos 260:10

[2] Kneses Hagedola 260 writes “forbidden”, however the wording in Rav Yehuda Hachassid ibid and Beir Heiytiv is “One may not”; In Admur ibid the wording is simply that “Some places are accustomed” however this is referring to Erev Shabbos and not to every Rosh Chodesh.

[3] Rav Yehuda Hachassid 49; brought in: Olas Shabbos 260:1; Beir Heiytiv 260:2; Kneses Hagedola 260; omitted from Admur 260:1 and M”A 260:1; The Ketzos Hashulchan 73 footnote 4 questions as to why no mention of this is made by them. See however Shaar Hakolel in Nesiv Hachaim 48:3; Shivim Temarim 57 who explain Admur omitted it because on Erev Shabbos it is Mitzvah to cut the nails even when it coincides with Rosh Chodesh. However, on a non-Erev Shabbos Rosh Chodesh he would agree that one may not cut the nails. See next!

[4] The reason: As Rav Yehudah Hachasid warned that doing so involves danger. [Admur ibid; Beir Heiytiv ibid; See Likkutei Sichos 13:264]

[5] Tehila Ledavid 260:1; Shaar Hakolel in Nesiv Hachaim 48:3; Shivim Temarim 57 as is the simple implication of the Kneses Hagedola ibid, Beir Heiytiv ibid, Elya Raba ibid, M”A ibid, and Admur ibid who all omit the custom to avoid cutting nails when mentioning the custom to avoid cutting hair on Erev Shabbos Rosh Chodesh [However, see Ketzos Hashulchan 72 footnote 4 who leaves the opinion of Admur on this matter in question.]; Opinions brought in footnotes on the Tzavah ibid; See Minchas Shabbos 72:66; Alef Hamagen 12; Maharam Brisk 2:99; Meishiv Halacha 2:4; Kitzur Hilchos Shabbos-Supplements

The reason: The reason some have the custom not to cut their hair on Rosh Chodesh even when it falls on Erev Shabbos, despite the fact that it is a Mitzvah to get a haircut on Erev Shabbos, is because one is not obligated to cut his hair every Erev Shabbos. However, being it is a Mitzvah to cut the nails on every Erev Shabbos [see wording of Admur ibid], one is allowed to cut his nails even on Erev Shabbos Rosh Chodesh, as one who fulfills a Mitzvah will know no harm.  It thus seems that no such custom exists against cutting the nails on Erev Shabbos Rosh Chodesh and they should therefore be cut in honor of Shabbos. [Shivim Temarim ibid]

[6] Derech Hachaim Dinei Erev Shabbos; Ashel Avraham Butchach Tinyana 417; Mili Dechassidusa 57; Kitzur SHU”A 72:14; Aruch Hashulchan 260:6; M”B 260:7 “There are communities who do not cut their hair or nails on Rosh Chodesh even when it falls on Shabbos”; Likkutei Maharich “It is difficult to do an action against the great Poskim”; Kaf Hachaim 260:12 allows only cutting the nails that stretch past the skin; Piskeiy Teshuvos 260:10 “Initially one is certainly to suspect for the ruling of these Poskim”; See Shaareiy Teshuvah 260:1 in name of Machazik Bracha 260; Ketzos Hashulchan 72 footnote 4 leaves this matter in question

[7] Shivim Temarim ibid; Orchos Chaim Spinka 260:3 in name of Alef Hamagen 12 and Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid that if one forgot to cut them on Thursday/Wednesday, one may cut them on Erev Shabbos in such a case even if he only cuts his nails every other Shabbos

[8] Mili Dechassidusa ibid; Kaf Hachaim ibid; Piskeiy Teshuvos ibid

[9] Shaareiy Teshuvah 260:1 in name of Machazik Bracha 260; Ashel Avraham Butchach Tinyana 417; Mili Dechassidusa 57; Darkei Chaim Veshalom 394; Az Nidbaru 12:4; Piskeiy Teshuvos 260:10

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