September 15, 2013 4:10 pm at 4:10 pm #610634
i bite my nails on shabbos (and during the week). i can’t control myself. ill start biting without realizing it. then when i realize i can’t stop myself even though i know it is assur on shabbos. i even did it on yom kippur ;( am i going to gehenim for this?September 15, 2013 4:37 pm at 4:37 pm #977195147Participant
Biting nails with thy teeth as opposed to nail clippers or some pair of scissors is Osuur mi’deRabbonon, so doesn’t carry an Issur Sekilo for Schabbos nor an Issur Koreis for Yom kippur as would a Toroh prohibition.September 15, 2013 4:40 pm at 4:40 pm #977196WIYMember
If you do teshuvah and stop for good then no. Really discuss this with a Rabbi.September 15, 2013 4:45 pm at 4:45 pm #977197
wiy, i wanna do teshuva but i really really cant control myself on this. ive been doing it for years and years since im a child.
147, but dont you go to gehenim for willfully violating an osuur mderabbonon too??September 15, 2013 5:29 pm at 5:29 pm #977199lakewood001Member
Yea you will be tortured by big scary black Malachim who will cause you more pain then evreyone suffered in the Holocaust evrey second you are there. (My rebbeim actually told me that this is what happens in Gihennom)
Why it is not child abuse to tell children the sort of things that lead to questions like the OP’S is beyond me. I always wonder how otherwise nice people can say these kinds of things to impressionable children.September 15, 2013 5:50 pm at 5:50 pm #977200dealieMember
Don’t say you can’t do teshuva. there’s no such thing. Everyone in this world has free choice and its up to you and only you to stop or continue. No matter how long you’ve been doing itSeptember 15, 2013 6:03 pm at 6:03 pm #977202
dealie, yeah i know i could do it. but its much harder than you think. and ive tried to break the habit for years and years literally. i slowed it down but never got rid of it. and if for arguments sake lets say im never successful in breaking it compleytely, even on shabbos, am i going to pay for it in the next world?
lakewood, you dont think genehim is a cakewalk do you? gehenim is meant to be scary because it is scary. my teachers taught us that the seforim describe genhenim in much worse terms than he could relate to us.September 15, 2013 6:04 pm at 6:04 pm #977203akupermaParticipant
If you are on the subway headed “inbound”, then the answer is obviously “yes.”September 15, 2013 6:04 pm at 6:04 pm #977204WIYMember
Obviously thinking about gehennom is not working for you. A.better. idea whould.be to make up.your mind you will try very very hard to stop and be mindful of it. Whenever the urge comes to bite just tell yourself “theres.no need to bite it now ill do it later” basically by pushing it off as.much as you can u will end.up.doing it much less. This will definitely work for.any thing that is a bad habit. Just push it off. Dont tell yourself that its assur and you can NEVER do it. It.just.makes you feel trapped and you give up fighting. Just push it off for.an hour or.whatever and distract yourself.by getting busy with something else. This really works.September 15, 2013 6:50 pm at 6:50 pm #977205mddMember
Harri,they punish in Gehennom even those who do issurim de’Rabbonon. Much hatzlochah in your struggle! Daven for help. At least, you have the right hashkofos aready.September 15, 2013 6:58 pm at 6:58 pm #977206
If you are doing it without noticing, then you could be (I’m not sure) ?????, which according to some Poskim is no problem at all on ???. (Similar to somebody who leans on the wall and turns off the lights; it isn’t a problem at all)September 15, 2013 7:11 pm at 7:11 pm #977207MammeleParticipant
Pharmacies sell some substance to dissuade nail biting. It’s something you apply (similar to how you would nail polish) that tastes horrible, so you get turned off. I don’t recall what it’s called or how effective it is. I also don’t know if it would last for a three day Yom Tov, but it’s probably worth your while to look into it and try to break the habit. You can also try making your own concoction, I’d assume with cayenne pepper–you can search online for ideas.September 15, 2013 7:23 pm at 7:23 pm #977208dealieMember
If it’s that hard to stop doing it maybe there’s something more behind it than just a habit. It might be a sign of anxiety or some other problem. Maybe spek to a therapist about it or do some research yourself. Good luck!September 15, 2013 7:42 pm at 7:42 pm #977209HarotzehbilumshmoParticipant
Yekke2: Ra”e holds that it is an avairoh, just no chiyuv korban. I believe that R’ Chaim held notSeptember 15, 2013 7:42 pm at 7:42 pm #977210golferParticipant
You got some good suggestions here, harri.
What you might want to add to the above-
When you daven Friday night and are mekabel Shabbos, put in a request that you merit Divine help in observing Shabbos fully.September 15, 2013 8:16 pm at 8:16 pm #977211
Harri: If you Mamash don’t notice it then you are a Misasek and completely Pattur. Just make sure to stop the second you notice it.September 15, 2013 8:24 pm at 8:24 pm #977212147Participant
Harri:- You yourself said that you cannot control yourself and you don’t even realize, so this is not connotation of a willful violation of an Issur miDeRabbonon.September 15, 2013 9:09 pm at 9:09 pm #977213NechomahParticipant
What do you do with the pieces? Eat them? Throw them on the ground? I had this problem years ago (maybe not as severe as you, but also biting nails since childhood – which is a nervous habit) and I spoke to a rabbi about it. He told me that if I’m eating the nails, they have tumah and that I’m putting the tumah into my body. If you are leaving them on the floor, then there are issues with a pregnant woman walking over them. Maybe if you focus on what are the consequences in this world of what you are doing it will help give you a sufficient deterrent. It’s not always possible to worry about what’s going to happen after you die unless you are already ill with a terminal illness, since then death has more of a reality to it than something that will happen “eventually”. This finally got me to stop biting my nails.
Another thing would be to see if you can figure out why you do it? As I said above, it is usually a nervous habit. When you find yourself that you are already biting them without realizing it, as you put it? If you are doing it out of stress, see if there are ways to lower your stress level before it gets to the point that you start biting.
Hatzlacha finding a solution to your problem.September 15, 2013 9:13 pm at 9:13 pm #977214iknoMember
harri, put false nails on top of your nails they have ones that are ttally not notceable and then you dont have the ability to bite themSeptember 15, 2013 9:16 pm at 9:16 pm #977215lebidik yankelParticipant
There is a product out there called ‘bite it’ you might want to trySeptember 15, 2013 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm #977216Torah613TorahParticipant
Not to minimize the severity of this issue, but if you are worrying about this, I can assure you you are going to Gan Eden eventually. 🙂September 16, 2013 12:11 am at 12:11 am #977217yitayningwutParticipant
Everyone struggles with different things. Just do your best, and if you get up there and they bother you too much about it, scream for the Shach, and when he comes, tell him he should explain to them that what you did was a ????? ????? ????? ?????.September 16, 2013 1:24 am at 1:24 am #977218
thank you everyone for your helpful input about both practical solutions to help stop it and halachic information.
when i start biting it usually is without being cognizant. but after half a minute or a minute of it, i’ll suddenly tune in to the fact i am biting my nail. and i also then remember it is shabbos. (or in yesterday’s case, also yom kippur.) and i STILL cant break the activity. at that point half nail is peeled and i say STOP. but after a few seconds i peel off the hanging half. or even sometimes “even out” one finger with a longer nail to match one with a smaller nail (since i bit that one.)
based on this is appears i am certainly guilty of willfuly violating a derabbonon that carries gehenim.
i know it makes no sense, but i just cant stop myself even though i want to stop. maybe the underlying cause is anxiety. that is very possible or even likely.
golfer: i try adding specific special bakoshos from Hashem during davening. i havent added this yet, so thanks for the suggestion. but another problem i have is when i add a special tefila (i do it towards the end of shemone esrei in sim shalom before osei shalom), after a few days i am mumbling that bakoshe by rote without feeling special meaning anymore.
nechomah: i am aware of that and have already unsuccessfully tried using that as an incentive to get myself to stop. i even heard that if you leave your nails in public you will have to come back to this world as a gilgul (not necessarily human) to clean them up. i put the cut nail on the table and later throw them out. (really they should be burnt or buried.) sometimes, though, it gets lost before i have a chance too.
yitayningwut: how is it ????? ????? ????? ????? and how does that absolve me?September 16, 2013 1:44 am at 1:44 am #977219AshParticipant
> but after a few seconds i peel off the hanging half. or even sometimes “even out” one finger with a longer nail to match one with a smaller nail (since i bit that one.)
I used to have a similar problem. Part of the obsession is ensuring the nails are about the same length. Here’s what I did, it may work for you:
Try your very hardest not to bite them for one day. Then cut them with proper nail cutters (not scissors). Your nails with be smooth and even for the first time in ages! When you next bite them, notice how they won’t ever be as even as the cut nails, so don’t bite then quite so deep and then recut them with nail cutters. Hopefully, you will find as I did that nail cutters leave them much more even than teeth and biting only ruins the symmetry rather than helping.
Best of luck!September 16, 2013 1:48 am at 1:48 am #977220
Ash: That’s a great suggestion. I actually tried it. And it worked! It actually worked for quite a few months. And then I slipped back.September 16, 2013 2:01 am at 2:01 am #977221
Harri: If you’re that worried about this, perhaps speak to a Rov who might want to recommend a psychiatrist for anxiety issues. That aside, it’s still not Assur. Just stop as soon as you realize what you’re doing. If you start again without realizing a minute later, stop again as soon as you realize what you’re doing. I find it quite improbable that you’re this worried about it and are still actually willfully and intentionally doing it.September 16, 2013 2:09 am at 2:09 am #977222
sam: perhaps i am not stressing enough that even once i both realize that i am biting my nails and that it is shabbos, as much as i want to stop, even being cognizant of those two facts i still simply cannot get myself to stop. and i did it on yom kippur even after realizing what i am doing. i certainly did not want to do it on yom kippur. i did it even though the people sitting next to me might have noticed me doing it. i just couldnt stop myself.September 16, 2013 2:19 am at 2:19 am #977223yitayningwutParticipant
No one really agrees with him, but the Shach in Nekudos Hakesef in YD 198 taynahs that cutting nails is generally a melacha she-eina tzricha legufa, and that theoretically biting nails should be permitted.September 16, 2013 2:54 am at 2:54 am #977224SaysMeMember
if you search the cr there are some thread about nile biting with suggestions from fellow biters. The delay tactic- wait just 10 more minutes before biting off that hang nail..- works best for me. But of course not foolproof. I do see myself finally improving tho after years of working on it, so there is hope!September 16, 2013 6:38 am at 6:38 am #977225jewishfeminist02Member
Try wearing gloves?September 16, 2013 4:59 pm at 4:59 pm #977226dafbiyunParticipant
Here’s what I do. every week before Shabbos I cut my nails (and surrounding skin)with a nailclipper till it is impossible to bite or cut any more.My fingers look pretty horrible but as a man i can get away with it… and it precludes chillul shabbos.September 16, 2013 6:53 pm at 6:53 pm #977227
Even if one is ????it is an ????? on Shabbos to be ?????, if it is ????? (see above) the ?????? says that there is no such thing as being ???? ????? on a ?????. (See ???? ?????)September 16, 2013 9:44 pm at 9:44 pm #977228dafbiyunParticipant
it is not a shogeg. There is no lack of knowledge that it is Shabbos or that nail biting is assur.Those are the only two types of shogeg on Shabbos. What you most likely are claiming is that because the nail biter does so without thinking about it is a misasek.I don’t believe that doing something by rote meets the requirements of misasek either.There needs to be a real lack of daas that the act was assur( mischavin l’talush…..)September 16, 2013 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm #977229YW Moderator-42Moderator
Nechoma, I had heard that the problem of a pregnant woman stepping on nails is only for normally cut nails, not bitten. I don’t remember where I heard this but if true it would minimize the issue and would probably also take care of “eating tumah” which I had never heard of. Do any of the CRabbis here know this halacha?September 16, 2013 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm #977230
42: She mentioned this before (a year or two ago). I thought it was silly and irrelevant then and I still think so now. It’s not Treif, it’s not Eiver Min Hachai, it’s nothing.
The only qualification I’ve seen for stepping on nails is if it the place where they first landed when they were cut (it’s a problem) as opposed to if it’s been moved (it’s no longer a problem). I think the Gemara explicitly mentions this distinction. I don’t recall seeing anywhere that differentiates between bitten and cut, for whatever that’s worth.September 16, 2013 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm #977231HaLeiViParticipant
What does he do with the Mishna?
I think the Ramban ties together doing it for the sake of the person as in cutting nails and hair with cutting for the sake of what you get, as in wool. But you can argue that biting nails is for neither, which will make it Eino Tzricha Legufa which is a Derabanan according to Rebbi Shimon. Couple that with the Derabanan of not doing it Bikeli. Makom Tzaar…September 16, 2013 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm #977232
dafbiyun – Firstly, I didn’t mean to say that this is ????; it isn’t. I meant to say that just like ???? there is no problem (“One doesn’t need ?????”), according to the way the ???? ????? explains it, the same reason will apply to ?????. (Even if ????? on ??? IS a problem, see above).
About your problem with this being ????? – I am not really sure what you are saying – any time when you are doing something and not being ????? to do THAT you are ?????. (Not different to a ?????? ?????* ????? ???? ????? ????, where you are simply not intending to do that ???? even though you know full well that ???? ??? is ????) – So please rephrase your question.
Sorry if I was unclear!
* Not sure how to spell thatSeptember 16, 2013 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm #977233
yekke: Bimchilas K’vodcha, you are confusing several issues here. Biting nails on Shabbos is a Misasek because you are not at all paying attention to what you are doing. That is called a Misasek. We can get in to more detailed definitions (maybe we say Misasek by the Prat of an action, for example by Niskavein Lachtoch Es HaTalush), but the basic definition is if you have no Shaychus to the action being done.
Also, I’m not sure what your point by Niskavein L’hatiach is. That’s still a Misaseik, it’s just Chayav because SheKein Neheneh.September 17, 2013 9:56 am at 9:56 am #977234
Sam – I know that you are only ???? by Niskaven Lhatiach becaus of Neheneh, I was just bringing a raya that such a thing is called “Misasek”.
I am not sure where you are arguing with me here. I also said that it is ????? and therefore you would be ????. I said as well that ????? is where you have no intention to perform the action that you did. What did you say that disagrees with anything I said?
My point was – even if ????? ITSELF will not ??? you (
see Harotzehbilumshmo’s post before), you would be ???? because to be ???? on a derabanan one would have to be ???? (as explains the ???? ????? pshat in the ??????).September 18, 2013 4:33 pm at 4:33 pm #977235funnyboneParticipant
It seems like you bite your nails, maybe b/c of anxiety, but instead of asking for help, you want to know if you should feel anxious about the repercussions for it!
Try to find some time to relax, either deep breathing, exercise, or a hobby. Definitely take a walk on shabbos, where you can relax your mind and stay off your nail biting.
I hope that it’s therapeutic for you to air your question in the cr; I also hope that you are not constantly concerned with the hot place. While it’s important to know, learn and remember schar veonesh, it’s unhealthy to live a life of anxiety based on it. Instead focus on ahavas Hashem, how you are trying to break a bad habit because you love Hashem and are trying to please Him.September 25, 2013 3:09 am at 3:09 am #977237kinneretMember
From this description, it sounds like you have a well-known compulsive disorder which includes things like biting nails, picking at skin, and pulling hair. See no links. There are support groups and therapists for this and since this is clearly causing you a lot of worry, I would get some help. You need to understand that this is not just a habit but a compulsion that you cannot just control by somehow calling up more willpower or worrying about gehinnom. This will just increase your anxiety and shame. I think bc many people bite their nails, it’s not taken very seriously and everyone assumes you can just stop for one day. That’s not the way a compulsion works. If it helps at all, people with these disorders are often intelligent, sensitive and high achieving. The behavior is soothing to them. That doesn’t mean you can’t stop, just that you will probably need help to stop. G-d is merciful and knows you certainly even better than you know yourself — why would you think that G-d would judge you so harshly for something you literally cannot control? However, if it is possible to gain control, through help and support, why would you hesitate to do so?October 1, 2013 5:49 pm at 5:49 pm #977238Lost1970Member
Fear of G-d is a great treasure and asset.
The vast majority of my generation has very little fear of G-d.October 1, 2013 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm #977239
I agree with kinneret. I have my own problems, so I believe what he is saying is 100% There is medication to control anxiety. I’m not saying you need it, buy it might help you quit. (same as quitting smoking)October 2, 2013 2:22 am at 2:22 am #977240
Some people here are so ignorant. Maybe first look up things like tourettes syndrome and trichotillomania and then talk. These are anxiety compulsions that can only be slightly controlled.
As for Shabbos, nail biting and hair pulling is midirabanan.
Second, compulsions are anus. The gemara in Eiruvin discusses similar situations.
Third, dirabanans are mutar in cases of tzar. The anxiety of compulsions is a great tzar.
This does not mean that we should do these things lichatchila. But if one ends up doing it because of an anxiety compulsion, it is not a an issur.
On the other side, these kind of issur look alikes might stem from or be suggestive of deeper issues, so it is always something to you need to be mifashfesh.
These things are also always meant to humble a person.October 2, 2013 3:45 am at 3:45 am #977241
nossond, that was pretty rude. I don’t think anyone claimed to be an expert, and I don’t feel that anyone other than a qualified mental health professional can help.
And while were at it, you seem to be pretty quick to issue your own diagnosis on very little information.October 2, 2013 4:34 am at 4:34 am #977242
Outsider. My post was not in reply to yours at all. I see now that it can seem that way. I actually think we are on the same page.
From many of the posts it seems like there is little understanding about compulsive disorders (which the OP seems to have). They are not controllable. Yes, for a few minutes or sometimes hours or even a whole day, but by and large it cannot be controlled.
3 compulsive anxiety disorders that everyone should read more about are OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder), tourettes syndrome (vocal and motor tics), and trichotillomania (obsessive hair pulling).
There is also little understanding of hilchos shabbos. Compulsions are not misasek. A person may start off not knowing, but then they do know what they are doing and can’t stop. Compulsions are anus, not misasek. In gemarah times it was called ruach raah. See Eiruvin 41b.
I was not discussing the effects of medicine on these disorders. Medicine is always an option, but its effects are somewhat of a mixed bag.October 2, 2013 11:22 am at 11:22 am #977243
Thank you, Nossond,
I’d also like to add that as a real Outsider (slowly breaking in) that I am absolutely amazed by the lack of scientific, literary, and other academic knowledge possessed by many (most?) Yeshiva guys.
I know it’s not their way to study “worldly” things, but on the Outside, if you argue against the world’s age, you are a total religious anomaly. And this is one of many examples.
Lack of study of any other subjects in Yeshiva is another concept appeared quite strange to me.
Since you are obviously quite knowledgeable about the rules of Shabbat, I’m sort of surprised that you would find ignorance of anything scientific among the Orthodox crowd even mildly surprising.October 2, 2013 5:09 pm at 5:09 pm #977244Lost1970Member
>> I know it’s not their way to study “worldly” things,
>> but on the Outside, if you argue against the world’s
>> age, you are a total religious anomaly.
46% of Americans and 58% Republicans believe in Creation less then 6,000 years ago. Most Americans respect Torah which they call Old Testament.October 2, 2013 5:27 pm at 5:27 pm #977245
I am an insider outsider. Many years in Kollel etc etc, mostly part of the regular crowd, but still different.
I do not shun secular knowledge, and I have no issue with evolution etc etc if it is true.
My first allegiance is to the Mesorah, which I will always strongly defend, but not blindly or stupidly. The Torah did not give over every detail in the surface pshat, and some things were said in ways that we can relate to and are not necessarily meant to be literal.October 2, 2013 6:04 pm at 6:04 pm #977246
Lost, that might be true, but quite frankly, I don’t care what the “average population” believes. Heck, they even voted for George W. Bush. What does that tell you?
95% of scientists see the truth about evolution for what it is.
If you want the real answers you have to ask the experts about what is measurable and observable within reasonable parameters.
Maimondies knew this.
Let me ask you this. Would you ask a Native American Shaman about a cure for cancer? Of course not. You would ask a doctor who has studied and observed cancer for the majority of his career.
Gentlemen, I would also like add that I really am impressed by the level of knowledge that young men have about Torah. Since we’re a small shul, our Rabbi tries to bring in guests from a larger nearby city over Shabbat to insure that we have minyanim. I don’t want to appear like I’m putting anyone down.
(ooops… and you ladies too, but we really don’t get too many women guests that talk to me, so I can’t speak from experience)
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