The ordinary robes of priests are called Bigdei Kehunah (those with Ephod, Gold etc.) but the sacred ones of linen only, (Lev. 16:4, Ez. 44:18-19) to wear in the Kodesh Kodashim, what are they called?

1 Answer 1


They are referred to as בגדי לבן bigdei lavan, the “white garments.”

See Yoma 34b in reference to the preparations for the service in the Kodesh Hakodashim:

הֵבִיאוּ לוֹ בִּגְדֵי לָבָן לָבַשׁ וְקִדֵּשׁ יָדָיו וְרַגְלָיו בַּשַּׁחַר הָיָה לוֹבֵשׁ פִּלּוּסִין שֶׁל שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר מָנֶה בֵּין הָעַרְבַּיִם הִנְדְּוִיִין שֶׁל שְׁמוֹנֶה מֵאוֹת זוּז דִּבְרֵי רַבִּי מֵאִיר וַחֲכָמִים אוֹמְרִים בַּשַּׁחַר הָיָה לוֹבֵשׁ שֶׁל שְׁמוֹנָה עָשָׂר מָנֶה וּבֵין הָעַרְבַּיִם שֶׁל שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר מָנֶה הַכֹּל שְׁלֹשִׁים מָנֶה

And they immediately brought him the white garments, in which he dressed, and he sanctified his hands and his feet. In the morning he would wear linen garments from the Egyptian city of Pelusium worth twelve maneh, 1,200 dinars or zuz. These garments were very expensive due to their high quality. And in the afternoon he wore linen garments from India, which were slightly less expensive, worth eight hundred zuz. This is the statement of Rabbi Meir. And the Rabbis say: In the morning he would wear garments worth eighteen maneh, and in the afternoon he would wear garments worth twelve maneh. In total, the clothes were worth thirty maneh.

  • 2
    To be clear, this is what they are called in the context of the bigdei kehuna or the temple service generally. In any other arbitrary context this would just mean white clothes
    – Double AA
    Mar 30, 2021 at 23:12
  • Yes, and to clarify what @DoubleAA wrote further, they were referred to as bigdei lavan as opposed to the בגדי זהב bigdei zahav “gold garments” to which OP referred. See Yoma 32a for more discussion.
    – Yehuda
    Mar 30, 2021 at 23:16
  • @DoubleAA Are you suggesting it’s only about color and not the material they are made from? Linen (pishtin) from flax is essential for many reasons. That specific material is also what comprises Sha’atnez when woven with wool. And that mixture is also present in the garments of the Kohen Gadol. Mar 31, 2021 at 11:55
  • @YaacovDeane He just means that the phrase בגדי לבן refers to those garments in the context of the Kohen Gadol. I’m other contexts it just refers to generalized white clothing.
    – Yehuda
    Apr 1, 2021 at 20:23

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .