The Clothes of the Kohen Gadol

How splendid the Kohen Gadol must have looked in his priestly attire! In addition to the special clothes of the lay priest, four other regal garments were reserved for the high priest, each fashioned from the most lavish materials – fine gold, precious gems, and luxurious fabrics: the Me’il (robe), the Ephod (apron) the Choshen (breastplate), and the Tzitz (diadem). 

These magnificent garments were on par with those worn by the greatest monarchs and elevated the semblance of the Kohen Gadol to the most noble. Indeed, the Talmud portrays Achashverosh, king of the great Persian Empire, flaunting his kingdom’s affluence while wearing the very clothes of the Kohen Gadol!

The Me’il of the high priest, the Torah tells us, was “Klil Tekhelet”, woven entirely of pure sky-blue Tekhelet wool. 72 woolen pomegranates made of blue Tekhelet, purple Argamman and red Tolaat Shani along with 72 golden bells hung from the bottom hem of the Me’il.

The Tzitz, a golden headband on the Kohen Gadol’s forehead hung from a Ptil Tekhelet, a string of Tekhelet. These words Tzitz, Ptil Tekhelet, remind us of Tzitzit and invite us to explore the deep connection between the Tekhelet on our Tallit and the clothes of the Kohen Gadol.


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