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How did Mordechai wear garments of wool and linen?

by Rabbi Simcha Bart

  

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Question:

I know we are prohibited from wearing wool and linen together1 , how is it then that in the Megillah2 we find that Mordeichi wears fine linen and purple wool together?

Answer:

The Talmud3  indicates that these were separate garments: the linen being a wrap (some say like a Tallit) and the purple wool was another garment. The Biblical prohibition is only against wearing a single garment that is made out of both wool and linen.

Footnotes

  • 1. Deuteronomy 22:11
  • 2. Megilat Esther 8:15
  • 3. Tractate Megillah 16b

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Talmud
Usually referring to the Babylonian edition, it is a compilation of Rabbinic law, commentary and analysis compiled over a 600 year period (200 BCE - 427 CE). Talmudic verse serves as the bedrock of all classic and modern-day Torah-Jewish literature.
Megillah
A scroll. Usually a reference to the Book of Esther, one of the books of the "Written Torah", which is read--from a scroll--on the holiday of Purim.
Tallit
A prayer shawl. A large four-cornered woolen garment with fringes attached to its corners in a specific manner. This garment is worn by males during the morning prayers, fulfilling the Biblical obligation of attaching fringes to four-cornered garments.