Midrash (Minor Pesikta, Ki Savo 41a) says the Bnei Yisroel didn't change their clothing in Mitzrayim. I presume (but correct me if I'm wrong), that this means they dressed like the Ovos did. My next presumption is that Avrohom Ovinu, Ish Ivri, dressed differently to the Kasdim.

Do any of the Rishonim or earlier commentators attempt to suggest what that clothing might have been?

(I have seen Acharonim suggest shtreimels, bekeshes, etc).

We must say that it was tznius clothing, and presumption no.3: tzitzis and head covering. I heard once that we wore proper shoes too, and not sandals that revealed the naked foot. Sadly no source, but it fits with the concept of tznius.

  • Interesting background etzion.org.il/en/parashat-shemot-jewish-language-and-clothing academia.edu/28574595/…
    – rosends
    Commented Jan 30, 2020 at 11:46
  • Tzizit came at Matan-tora, Kipa even later. Commented Jan 30, 2020 at 12:47
  • 1
    @DanF maybe they baked matzah simply because it was Pesach (like they did no melacha on Shabbat because it was shabbat) -- not because it was a zecher, but because it was an aspect of the holiday, when no chameitz was allowed. Dunno.
    – rosends
    Commented Jan 30, 2020 at 19:43
  • 1
    I was going to say Shtreimel as a joke.....
    – user6591
    Commented Jan 31, 2020 at 2:22
  • 1
    While this is a fair question, do note that there’s significant evidence that not changing their clothing was a copyist’s error from relatively recently (c. 16th century at the earliest). Note that virtually no variations of this Midrash discuss clothing, as well as the Midrash Rashi cites that the Jews treasured the Egyptian clothing more than they did their gold.
    – DonielF
    Commented Jan 31, 2020 at 4:39

1 Answer 1


The Midrash Rabbah brings one piece of clothing they had: Adam's Ketonet:

אָדָם הָרִאשׁוֹן הָיָה בְּכוֹרוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם וְכֵיוָן שֶׁקֵּרַב קָרְבָּנוֹ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (תהלים סט, לב): וְתִיטַב לַה' מִשּׁוֹר פָּר מַקְרִן מַפְרִיס, לָבַשׁ בִּגְדֵי כְּהֻנָּה גְדוֹלָה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (בראשית ג, כא): וַיַּעַשׂ ה' אֱלֹהִים לְאָדָם וּלְאִשְׁתּוֹ כָּתְנוֹת עוֹר וַיַּלְבִּשֵׁם, בִּגְדֵי שֶׁבַח הָיוּ, וְהָיוּ הַבְּכוֹרוֹת מִשְׁתַּמְּשִׁין בָּהֶם, כֵּיוָן שֶׁמֵּת אָדָם מְסָרָן לְשֵׁת, שֵׁת מְסָרָן לִמְתוּשֶׁלַח, כֵּיוָן שֶׁמֵּת מְתוּשֶׁלַח מְסָרָן לְנֹחַ...מֵת נֹחַ וּמְסָרָן לְשֵׁם, וְכִי שֵׁם הָיָה בְּכוֹר וַהֲלוֹא יֶפֶת הָיָה בְּכוֹר, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (בראשית י, כא): אֲחִי יֶפֶת הַגָּדוֹל, וּמִפְּנֵי מָה מְסָרָן לְשֵׁם מִפְּנֵי שֶׁצָּפָה נֹחַ שַׁלְשֶׁלֶת הָאָבוֹת עוֹמֶדֶת מִמֶּנּוּ. וְתֵדַע לְךָ שֶׁשֵּׁם הָיָה מַקְרִיב שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (בראשית יד, יח): וּמַלְכִּי צֶדֶק מֶלֶךְ שָׁלֵם וגו', וְכִי כְּהֻנָּה לוֹ נִתְּנָה וַהֲלוֹא לֹא נִתְּנָה כְּהֻנָּה אֶלָּא מִשֶּׁעָמַד אַהֲרֹן, מַהוּ שֶׁהוּא אוֹמֵר כָּאן: וְהוּא כֹהֵן, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהָיָה מַקְרִיב כַּכֹּהֲנִים. מֵת שֵׁם וּמְסָרָהּ לְאַבְרָהָם, וְכִי אַבְרָהָם הָיָה בְּכוֹר, אֶלָּא מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהָיָה צַדִּיק נִמְסְרָה לוֹ הַבְּכוֹרָה וְהִקְרִיב, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (בראשית כב, יג): וַיַּעֲלֵהוּ לְעֹלָה תַּחַת בְּנוֹ. מֵת אַבְרָהָם וּמְסָרָהּ לְיִצְחָק, עָמַד יִצְחָק וּמְסָרָהּ לְיַעֲקֹב...

Translation: Adam Ha'rishon was the first-born of the world and when he sacrificed his sacrifice, as it is said "And it shall please the LORD better than a bullock that hath horns and hoofs.", he wore the clothes of the High-Priesthood, as it is said: "And the LORD God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins, and clothed them.", clothes of commendation they were, and the first-borns would use them, and when Adam died he passed them on to Shet, Shet passed them to Metushelach, when Metushelach died he passed them to Noach...When Noach died and passed them to Shem, but was Shem the first-born? After all, Yefet was the first-born, as it is said "The brother of Yefet the elder.", so why did he pass them on to Shem? For Noach foresaw the lineage of the Patriarchs was to come from him. And know that Shem sacrificed, for it is said "And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine; and he was priest of God the Most High.", but was the High-Priesthood given to him, after all, the High-Priesthood was only given at the time of Aharon, what it is that is said here: "and he was priest". for he would sacrifice like the priests. Shem died and he passed it to Avraham, but was Avraham the first-born? Nay, but for that he was righteous the right of the first-born was passed to him and he sacrificed, as it is said: "and offered him up for a burnt-offering in the stead of his son". Abraham died and he passed it to Yitzchak, stood Yitzchak and passed it to Yaakov. etc.

  • Is this referring to the begadim Odom haRishon wore to attract the animals to him for naming, which ended up with Eisov (as the original bechor Yitzchok) which he used for hunting?
    – Etzbah
    Commented Feb 10, 2020 at 11:53
  • @Etzbah, good question, I don't know. What you're referring to is in a different midrash. If it's the same piece of clothing, than clearly there's some sort of contradiction. If I remember correctly, that midrash states that eventually Sichon, Og or Nimrod got hold of the clothing and from one of those Esav stole.
    – Harel13
    Commented Feb 10, 2020 at 12:26

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