mixednuts.jpgI used to be a religious nut. In fact, I’ve been all types of nuts. My life is basically a can of mixed nuts — especially the kind that, when you open them up, release a fake snake that leaps into your face. (You know, I once kept one of those cans on my desk at work, and damn if a few fools didn’t open it. Now, that is fucking funny. I’m laughing just thinking about it.)

Okay, back to the point. Religion is based on dogma. As you become more and more religious, the dogma becomes increasingly didactic. Then it becomes debilitating or sometimes disturbing. But enough alliteration. As a chassidic nut one thing I learned is that when you cut your fingernails, you shouldn’t let them fall on the floor. What you are really supposed to do is bury them, or if you’re a tzaddik (really holy person), you burn them. But, in the modern world, the layperson may simply flush them down the toilet.

The thought behind this is that the fingernails are basically a displaced piece of a live human, and since it is disconnected from its source it becomes a negative force a.k.a jinxed. Therefore, you shouldn’t touch the cut-off fingernails ’cause you may get some bad juju or something.

Why am I telling you all this? Because even though I am no longer religious and don’t even believe in god, I still have to cut my fingernails over the toilet. Moreso, if I see someone cut a corner of a nail and let it drop to the floor, I am thoroughly offended. And *even moreso*, K — a person who was never religious — has adopted the kabbalistic habit of cutting nails over the toilet. Hey, you never know, you don’t want to get jinxed over a fingernail.

ryf2.jpgI just think this is the strangest thing. I never got caught up in the strange “bad luck” myths of my youth about ladders, mirrors, black cats, etc., but the damn fingernails (yes, this includes toenails) have got me in their hold.

BTW, that picture is of the great Rabbi Yehudah Ferris (in his band The Ferris Wheels), one of my favorite people in the world, a very funny and truly great person. He’s taught me many things, fingernails being the least of it.

Comments

6 Responses to “fingernails”

  1. K on May 23rd, 2009 5:28 pm

    hey, didn’t I find one of your fingernails on the floor the other day? WTF?

  2. the nerger on May 23rd, 2009 5:31 pm

    AAAIIIEEEEEE!!! NOoooooooooo…….

  3. E on May 26th, 2009 6:36 pm

    Oh my God I haven’t seen Rabbi Ferris in years. I guess I have a whole different picture of him in my head. I don’t even recognize him. Wow

    I have an incredible amount of bad luck.

    Why did I never know about the fingernail thing before?
    L

  4. the nerger on May 27th, 2009 7:21 am

    R. Ferris used to look different when you knew him. He had a very short beard and coke-bottle glasses. And brown hair, of course. But you’d know him if you saw him in person, because he still just as funny.

  5. Inevitable : the nerge on December 17th, 2009 12:16 pm

    […] and then I find myself thinking about Rabbi Ferris, whom I wrote about here. When I was at Chanan’s memorial last week, he spoke about their 30-year friendship. True to […]

  6. The Demoness-haunted World* | the nerge on July 17th, 2015 10:59 am

    […] or ideas, for when they fail, one can be plunged into despair. This happened to me in my youth, when I went to being a religious fanatic to atheist in short order. That is not such a bad thing, but I did have a spell of terrible depression before I got my […]

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