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silk linen, cotton and wool and hemp textiles

Rabbi Yoel LiebermanIyyar 26, 5780
21
Question
please explain the deeper concept of the prohibition of wearing silk, linen, cotton, wool, and hemp textiles together? Why aren’t we allowed to wear, for example, pants from linen and shirt or a coat from wool, is this correct? what about if it’s made from hemp? Is the forbidden wool, sheep wool?
Answer
ב"ה Shalom The Torah (Vayikra 19:19, Devarim 22:11) prohibits wearing a garment which has in it together wool and linen. The wool prohibited is sheep's wool. (Shulchan Aruch Yored De'ah 298:1). We are allowed to wear one garment from wool and another garment from linen. (Shulchan Aruch Yored De'ah 300: 4) However there are those who refrain from doing so when one garment is worn under another and the lower garment cannot be taken off without first removing the upper garment. (Rema , Shach, Aruch Hashulcah ibid) This prohibition comes under the category of a "chok" , which is a mitzvah that has no apparent reasoning to it, but we perform them as a Heavenly decree to show our love to our Master in heaven. (Sifra Kedoshim 4:9: 12) Nonetheless, there are still Rabbis who have over the generations offered some insights into the reasoning behind this prohibition. The Chizkuni on the Torah writes not to wear these materials since they are used for the Cohen's garments. The Rambam in (Moreh Nevuchim 3:37 , Sefer HaChinuch 551) , goes in a totally different direction and writes that the mixture is forbidden because they were worn by priests of idol worship. Other sources indicate that the offering of Hevel= Able was from wool while the offering of Cain was from linen. (Pirkei drabi Eliezer 21, Chizkuni) All the best
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