Rebbe Naftoly Ropshitz was renowned for his humor. He equally couldn’t stomch people who thought the world of themselves.
One day, a fellow approached him with a question. It was common practise then to publicly clip the nails in the bathhouse. Now, typically this was done before the bath, in order to better clean the fingers. However, this fellow noticed Rebbe Naftoly clipping his fingers following the bath. He decided to ask the holy Rebbe about it.
“What is the reason you clip your nails after washing yourself?” our friend inquired expectantly.
“Oh, there’s a deep mystical explanation behind it. But being you noticed it, I can share it with you provided you first prepare yourself accordingly.”
The Rebbe gave him a full schedule of immersions, study, prayer and conduct. Our friend was to return to the Rebbe when he was done with the schedule to obtain the answer to his question.
As per the Rebbe’s instructions, the fellow returned to the Rebbe when he was ready for the answer. The Rebbe motioned to him to come closer explaining that nobody else was to hear the secret the Rebbe was about to share with him. The Rebbe then whispered into his ear the reason he clipped his nails following the bath, “Because after the bath, the nails are softer and easier to clip…”