Tabernacle and Shatnez: Exodus 26

Question

Exodus Chapter 26:1
“And the Mishkan you shall make out of ten curtains [consisting] of twisted fine LINEN, and blue, purple, and crimson WOOL.”

SHATNEZ is the biblical prohibition against mixing WOOL and LINEN together in the same garment..

If there is a prohibition, why would the Mishkan (G-d’s sanctuary) include both?

Happy Purim

2 months

Answers

  1. Interestingly enough the Tabernacle and the Temple were places that had several details that “contravened” Torah commandments. For example, aside from the curtains, the High Priest’s clothing also contained Sha’atnez, the sacrifices that were offered up on Shabbat all required various Shabbat transgressions, the music that was played also transgressed a Rabbinic prohibition. The simple reason is that Hashem is the One who decides what is a transgression and what is not.

    Having said that, I once heard a fascinating explanation as to why the Tabernacle curtains were make of Sha’atnez. One explanation of Sha’atnez is that wool and linen represent jealousy and, ultimately, death in the physical world. Cain brought a sacrifice of linen and Abel a sacrifice of wool. The jealousy that Abel’s offering generated was the cause of his being murdered by Cain. The Tabernacle and the Temple were a place of peace and harmony, a place that allows both wool and linen to coexist together.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team