Says the Mishnah, Kilayim 9:3:

מִטְפְּחוֹת הַיָּדַיִם, מִטְפְּחוֹת הַסְּפָרִים, מִטְפְּחוֹת הַסַּפָּג, אֵין בָּהֶם מִשּׁוּם כִּלְאָיִם. רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר אוֹסֵר.

Hand towels, covers for Sifrei Torah, and bath towels are not subject to the laws of Shaatnez. R’ Elazar forbids [using these made of Shaatnez].

Translation follows Bartenura.

According to the Tanna Kamma, why would I think that a Sefer Torah can’t “wear” Shaatnez? Is a Sefer Torah a person that it should be obligated in mitzvos? By the same token, why does R’ Elazar forbid them?

  • 1
    Probably Tanna Kamma is just coming to rule against R Elazar. I don't know why you focus the question on the TK.
    – Double AA
    Aug 22, 2017 at 18:05
  • @DoubleAA I’m not. I’m focusing my question on both. I didn’t feel a need to speak the question out twice - it’s the same in both opinions.
    – DonielF
    Aug 22, 2017 at 18:05
  • 1
    Well I just answered the question about TK.
    – Double AA
    Aug 22, 2017 at 18:07
  • I feel like it's a reason of respect. You wouldn't put a non-kosher dish atop a Sefer Torah.
    – ezra
    Aug 25, 2017 at 1:33

1 Answer 1


Bartenura explains as follows.

Hand towels because at times they are used to warm the hands. Covers for Sifrei Torah are at times put on the lap to warm a person. Bath towels as at times he may see his rabbi and cover himself with it. Thus the Sefer Torah itself is not obligated in Shaatnez, however Rabbi Eliezer holds the cover should not be made from Shaatnez as one may use it to warm his lap. The Tana Kama disagrees and is not concerned that one will use it to warm his lap.

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