Did the Kohen Gadol wear the same garments his predecessor wore, going back to Aharon HaKohen, or did he have new garments specially tailored to fit him? In other words, were the garments each Kohen Gadol wore the exact same garments Aharon HaKohen wore?

If they were the same garments Aharon HaKohen wore, then perhaps there was some sort of miracle that happened that allowed the garments to fit each Kohen Gadol, despite their varied sizes and shapes. (We know for instance that Eli HaKohen was very fat.)

  • 4
    Check Gemara Yoma 34b - 35b. It says that the Kohen Gadol needed the community to buy him special linen clothing worth certain minimums. The Kohen Gadol was allowed to increase the spending from his own pocket and buy better quality also. The Gemara then tells about how certain Kohanim wore what their mother made for them and another Kohen tried to spend an astronomical sum on his shirt. In any case, we see that there was no concept of having to wear hand me downs here. Commented May 6, 2019 at 7:17
  • @DavidKenner That smells like an answer.
    – ezra
    Commented May 6, 2019 at 7:21
  • Thanks, I knew about the best idea (that the white garments were put away) but I didn't remember the source so I just gave this comment. Joel K got the better answer. TY for liking my comment :) Commented May 7, 2019 at 4:08
  • [According to the Gemara in Yuma 47, all Kohanim Gedolim needed to be fat.]
    – chortkov2
    Commented May 16, 2019 at 10:41

1 Answer 1


Rambam, Hilchot Klei HaMikdash 8:5:

כָּל בֶּגֶד מִבִּגְדֵי כְּהֻנָּה שֶׁנַּעֲשׂוּ צוֹאִין אֵין מְלַבְּנִין אוֹתָן וְאֵין מְכַבְּסִין אוֹתָן אֶלָּא מַנִּיחָן לִפְתִילוֹת וְלוֹבֵשׁ חֲדָשִׁים. וּבִגְדֵי כֹּהֵן גָּדוֹל שֶׁבָּלוּ גּוֹנְזִין אוֹתָן. וּבִגְדֵי לָבָן שֶׁעוֹבֵד בָּהֶם בְּיוֹם הַצּוֹם אֵינוֹ עוֹבֵד בָּהֶם פַּעַם שְׁנִיָּה לְעוֹלָם אֶלָּא נִגְנָּזִין בַּמָּקוֹם שֶׁיִּפְשֹׁט אוֹתָם שָׁם

If any of the priestly clothing became dirty, they did not clean or launder them, rather they were left to be used as wicks, and new ones were worn.

The clothing of the Kohen Gadol which became worn out were put away. And the white clothing which he wore on Yom Kippur were never used for a second time. Rather, they were put away in the place where he took them off.

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    well sourced answer, but maybe mention that the choshen eifod and tzitz were never usually changed
    – user15464
    Commented May 6, 2019 at 8:38
  • @user15464 That sounds reasonable. Do you have a source for that point?
    – Joel K
    Commented May 6, 2019 at 9:04
  • Pinchas used the Tzitz of Aharon also Bava Basra around 135 says they once replace one of the stones in the Choshn/Eiphod which implies they never had replaced until that point.
    – user15464
    Commented May 6, 2019 at 9:11
  • @user15464 FYI - RE what Joel said about Yom Kippur is clearly stated in the verse describing th eYom Kippur service in parshat Acharei Mot - Vihincham sham - "he shall leave them there". Joel, considering that no one was allowed to enter Kodesh Hakadashim, how were these garments removed from the place?
    – DanF
    Commented May 6, 2019 at 13:53
  • @DanF The verse doesn't say to leave them in the kodesh hokodashim - rather in the ohel mo'ed (analogous to the kodesh in the beit hamikdash)
    – Joel K
    Commented May 6, 2019 at 14:00

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