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The Mishnah in Kilayim 9:2 states:

וְלֹא יִלְבַּשׁ כִּלְאַיִם אֲפִלּוּ עַל גַּבֵּי עֲשָׂרָה, אֲפִלּוּ לִגְנֹב אֶת הַמֶּכֶס:

One may not wear Shaatnez, even on top of ten layers [of clothes, wherein he’s not benefitting from it - Bartenura], even to rob the [deceitful] taxmen [who would specifically target Jews - Bartenura].

Without this Mishnah, why would I think it’s okay? Since when can we violate the Torah prohibition of Shaatnez to save a few bucks?

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In Kilayim 9:5, the Mishnah states that a merchant who sells clothing is allowed to pile on himself the shaatnez he is selling as long as he does not intend to benefit from it. The Gemara (Bava Kama 113b) explains that this Mishnah is in disagreement with the Mishnah cited in the question, about whether davar she'eino mitkaven--an unintended outcome--is prohibited or not. The Rambam, however, rules in accordance with both Mishnayot (Hil. Kilayim 10:16,18). Kesef Mishneh distinguishes between wearing--as in the case of the tax collector--which is forbidden, and merely putting on oneself, which is permitted. If so, without the Mishnah one may have thought this was permitted because it is davar she'eino mitkaven and we may not have distinguished between wearing and putting on oneself. It should be noted that while Shulchan Aruch follows the Rambam (YD 301:5), Rema (YD 301:6) rules against the Rambam and permits wearing the shaatnez to escape the illegal tax collector.

  • I’m curious as to the Kesef Mishnah’s explanation since the previous clause in this Mishnah says לבישת עראי is prohibited. Does the Rambam rule like the Seifa at the expense of the Reisha? – DonielF Aug 22 '17 at 18:04
  • @DonielF it would seem to me that לבישת עראי is still wearing, as opposed to the case of מוכרי כסות, who are not wearing at all. See Rambam's commentary: אין עראי לכלאים , אסור ללבשם אפילו דרך אקראי כמו שנתבאר באמרם לא ילבש כלאים אפילו על גבי עשרה בגדים ואפילו כדי להפטר ממסי המכס, לפי שאין גובין ממנו על מלבושין וכך היה מנהגם. – wfb Aug 23 '17 at 15:40
  • I’m not sure why מוכרי כסות shouldn’t be considered wearing. Even the Rambam seems to indicate that לבישת עראי means temporarily. – DonielF Aug 23 '17 at 22:12

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