- The Kohanim’s Garments

The Kohanim’s Garments

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The Kohanim’s Garments

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Segment 2                                 The Kohanim’s Garments

The first avodah performed in the Beis Hamikdash each day was the terumas hadeshen- separating a small portion of ash from the top of the mizbeach ha’olah/alter.  But before this could be done, the Kohanim had to be properly dressed.

1.     How often did Kohanim who were fit for the day’s avodah immerse in a mikveh during their week in the Beis Hamikdash?
2.    For the first avodah of the day, the terumas hadeshen, did a Kohen wear his regular garments?
3.    How many garments did an ordinary Kohen -Kohen hedyot- wear?
4.    What were these garments and what are they called in the Torah?
5.    In what order were these items put on?
6.    What did the ketones/tunic look like?
7.    From where do we learn that the ketones must be exactly tailored to the kohen’s height – neither too long nor too short?
8.    Could there be anything separating the Kohen’s garments from his body?
9.    Of what material was the avnet/sash made? 
10.    Were there limitations on wearing it?
11.    What happened if there was a tear or stain on any of the Kohen’s garments?
12.    What was then done with these trousers, sashes and tunics?
13.    Did the Kohanim and the Kohen Gadol wear the same type of turban?
14.    Did the 24 mishmarot wear each other’s garments; and where were the garments stored?


1.    They immersed in the mikveh daily, in the morning. 
2.    No, he wore garments of a lesser quality, but they were still made of linen. (Rambam Hil. Temidin U’mussafin 2:10). 
3.    He wore four garments. (Vayikra 16:4)
4.    Michnasayim-breeches/trousers until the knee (Shemos 28:42); ketones- tunic (Vayikra 16:4); avnet/sash (Shemos 29:9); migba’at-turban (Shemos 29:9).
5.    First the michnasayim, then the ketones, then the avnet and lastly the migba’at.
6.    It looked like a long shirt that went down to the Kohen’s heels.
7.    From the unusual usage of the word mido -which can mean his robe or his measurements- in place of ketones in Vayikra 6:3 (Rashi)
8.    No, as this would invalidate his avodah.  (Rambam- Hil. Klei HaMikdash 10:6)
9.    It was made of a mixture of wool and linen -something normally prohibited under the mitzvat lo ta’aseh of sha’atnez! (Shmos 39:29)
10.     Yes.  It was only allowed to be worn when the Kohen did the avodah. (Rambam -Hil Bigdei Kehuna  1 & 11)
11.    It was then unfit to be used, and avodah done while wearing it would be invalid. (Shemos 28:2 “ le’chavod u’letiferes”)  (Rambam-Hil Bigdei Kehuna 4)
12.    They were used to make petilot/wicks which were lit during the nights of the Simchas Beis Hashoeva  and used for the daily lighting of the menorah! (Rambam- Hil. Bigdei Kehuna 6)
13.    The Rambam says they both wore turbans formed from linen strips that were 16 amos long, but they were wrapped around the head differently.  Others say otherwise.  (Rambam Hil Klei Hamikdash, Bigdei Kehuna 19)
14.    No, they didn’t.  Each mishmar had four separate built-in wall cupboards-one for each type of garment.  Each one was labelled, there were 96 in total, and they were kept locked when the mishmar was not there. (Beis Hamikdash B’Yerushalayim).

Avodas Hakorbanos-  Rav Aharon HaKohen (Kagan ) Translation-Rabbi Moshe Weiss- Artscroll 2020
Rambam- Sefer Ha’Avoda-With comments. Editor-Yockai Makbili- Mishne Torah Project & Machon  
Beis Hamikdash B’Yerushalayim- By Rav Yisrael Ariel- Machon Hamikdash/Carta -2005  

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