how would you translate Shmoth 33.6 אֶת-עֶדְיָם ayd is witness so I'm guessing the literal is "witnesses" in the plural - some translate it as "ornaments" others as "finery" and others as "crowns" but I'm connecting it to "totafoth" - "in order that the Teaching of the L-RD may be in your mouth" Shmoth 13.9
the Kuzari, as reported in the Malbim connects it to tefillin– rosendsJul 17, 2018 at 17:54
toddah rabbah - I posed the same question to a couple of rabbis I know– Yochanan Mauritz HummastiJul 17, 2018 at 18:11
in Shabbat 57b: "Rather, Rav Yehuda said in the name of Abaye: A totefet is an appuzainu, an ornament worn on the forehead."– Yochanan Mauritz HummastiJul 17, 2018 at 19:28
1this isn't such a rare word. consider ותבאי בעדי עדיים or ותעד נזמה וחליתה– Double AA ♦Jul 17, 2018 at 20:11
1@Double AA you use several words please clarify– Yochanan Mauritz HummastiJul 17, 2018 at 20:24
Firstly, JPS translates that phrase as "their ornaments". Also, here is a link to a concordance for this word. You can click on the links and see how they are explained or translated in each location.
The verse you quoted, Shemos 33:6, is actually going back on what had been said two verses prior, in 33:4 (and really in 33:5 as well):
וַיִּשְׁמַ֣ע הָעָ֗ם אֶת־הַדָּבָ֥ר הָרָ֛ע הַזֶּ֖ה וַיִּתְאַבָּ֑לוּ וְלֹא־שָׁ֛תוּ אִ֥ישׁ עֶדְי֖וֹ עָלָֽיו׃
And when the people heard these evil tidings, they mourned; and no man did put on him his ornaments. (JPS translation)
The commentaries there give a variety of explanations, some of which are listed below:
- Rashi there says that this refers to crowns that the nation received when they said Naaseh Venishma (as per Talmud Bavli Maseches Shabbos 88a)
- Rashbam there suggests that it refers to types of jewelry
- Rabbi Avraham ben Harambam suggests it refers to weaponry/arms
- Chizkuni explains that this refers to the gold and silver vessels and clothing that they took out of Egypt with them
- Rabbeinu Bachya/Bechaye suggests that this refers to clothing (although that is more of a Kabbalistic explanation)
- Ralbag seems to understand this as relating to their Torah observance (although this does not seem to be a literal translation)
- Also likely not literally, Netziv understands it to be the "Jewish spirit"
- Malbim, as noted in the comments (and found here in his commentary to 33:6), understands it to refer to Tefillin. He also quotes the Kuzari, who seems to understand it differently. He additionally quotes various others who provide other suggestions.
I do not see how the Talmud's statement in Shabboth 88a can be reconciled with Shmoth 33.4-6 (that the Angels came and removed their crowns) since Shmoth 33.6 states that Bnai Yisrael "stripped themselves of their ornaments" Jul 23, 2018 at 17:55
@YochananMauritzHummasti added Malbim, and a source. To answer according to Rashi, Bnai Yisrael stripped themselves of these crowns by committing this terrible sin. Jul 24, 2018 at 3:20
According to Rav Hirsch to 33:4, these "ornaments" are not specified, but in context with 13:16 they are tefillin, which in that occasion (33:6) they removed in sign of mourning.