I recently learned that linen has a quality that enflames sparks - and is historically used as tinder. On the contrary, wool is an extinguisher of flames. I found that to be intriguing since Kohanim were the only ones who had specific exceptions and actual requirements to don garments that are classified as sha'atnez. Therefore, I am curious as to what happens when shaatnez is burned. Does it extinguish or last longer? Are any of these qualities perhaps related to the chok of why sha'atnez is prohibited?

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    I am not sure it’s possible to answer the main question here. Presumably a material which is 90% wool 10% linen will have very different properties to a material which is 10% wool 90% linen. Both of these, however, are shaatnez.
    – Joel K
    Commented Jun 24 at 10:44
  • @JoelK do we know what proportion was used in the avnet?
    – Double AA
    Commented Jun 24 at 11:29
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    @DoubleAA acc. to Rashi (Yoma 71b elah me-avnet) it would seem to be 25% linen 75% wool. See also Tosafot to Shabbat 21a (simchat beit hashoeva) who says the same. Rambam (Hilchot K'lei Hamikdash 8:1) may have a different approach.
    – Joel K
    Commented Jun 24 at 12:21
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    They used both the michnasayim (pure linen) and the avneitim (wool+linen) to light the lamps for the simchas beis hashoeivah
    – Heshy
    Commented Jun 24 at 16:10
  • HESHY, When wool is mixed in it lights? I thought the two fabrics opposite re flame. I'm researching symbolic properties and wondered RE implications linen="humble" wool=prestigious, linen flamable, wool extinguishes (hok/ polar opposites?), kohen maintains purity of service, inspirs/leads tefilloh/tshuva, officiates to enable tshuva for the klal; sins of body and/or mind. Since fire is such a part of the service it would be interesting to see if the kohanim's garments are symbolically related to that component of their duties. Pls respond w/comments & or corrections to my question if any
    – A Lehodia
    Commented Jun 26 at 3:43


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