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Tractate Berachot, Chapter 6, Tosefta 24

September 18th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments
Tractate Berachot, Chapter 6

Tosefta 241

A person should not enter the Temple Mount2 with money bundled in his cloak,3 and with dust on his feet,4 and with his money-belt tied on him on the outside5 as it is said, “Watch your feet when you go to the House of God …” (Kohelet 4:17)6

מסכת ברכות פרק ו

תוספתא כד

לא יכנס אדם להר הבית במעות צרורין לו בסדינו, ובאבק שעל רגליו, ובפונדתו חגורה עליו מבחוץ שנאמר (קהלת ד:יז) שמר רגליך כאשר תלך אל בית האלהים.


  1. Mishna 5 of chapter 9 says that a person should not enter the Temple Mount with a variety of objects including the dust on his feet and the belt. This Tosefta adds another item to the list, money, and provides a reference from a verse for this law.
  2. The Temple Mount is the mountain on which the Bet Hamikdash (The Temple) was located. The Tosefta is referring to the mountain itself regardless whether the Bet Hamikdash was standing or not. The Temple Mount is considered to be holy by itself.
  3. The word סדין (Sadin) literally means sheet. The Tosefta is referring to the most common Greek outer garment called the Pallium which was worn by Jews as well. It was basically a large sheet wrapped around the body and was usually held by a brooch. The reason it was called the sheet was not only because it looked like a sheet, but because it was often used as a sheet to sleep on. The Pallium should not be confused with the Roman Toga which was a completely different garment and was mostly worn by Roman aristocracy and not by common people who preferred the Pallium due to its simplicity. The Pallium was usually worn on top of an undergarment called the Chiton or the Tunica which covered the private parts although some people, usually the poor, did not wear any undergarments and wore the Pallium directly on their naked body. For details about the Pallium see William Smith, “Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities”, London 1890, p.851-853, entry Pallium. I am not exactly sure what is meant by the money being bundled inside the cloak. Usually the money was carried inside the pocket of the money-belt, but the Tosefta lists the belt separately, so it must mean that the money was carried somehow in the cloak itself and not in the belt. It is possible it simply means that the coins were held inside a small bag which was brooched to the cloak by the same brooch that held the cloak together. The reason that a person should not enter the Temple Mount with money is because it appeared that he is coming to do business there which is a mundane matter. The Tosefta cannot mean that a person was not allowed to bring any money at all, since the person had to bring some money with him in order to be able to purchase the sacrifices in the temple. It probably refers to a relatively large bag of coins which was inconvenient to carry in his hands, which is why it had to be attached to the brooch of his cloak.
  4. Pallium


    The Pallium was usually short and ended above the knee so it would be easier to run in it.

    The Toga was a lot more complex than the Pallium.

  5. Most people wore sandals or some other type of open shoes so their feet got really dusty as they walked on dirt roads. No one was allowed to wear shoes at all on the Temple Mount. See Mishna Berachot 9:5. People were supposed to remove their shoes rightr before they entered the Temple Mount and wash off the dust off their feet as a sign of respect for the holy place.
  6. The word פונדא (Punda) comes from the Greek word φούνδα (Founda) and from the same Latin word “funda” which means a pocket for money or a purse. See Aruch Hashalem  by Alexander Kohut ( Vol 6, p. 366, entry פנדה). Usually it refers to a belt with a hollow space inside it which was commonly used to put money in it. See Mishna Shabbat 10:3 and Keilim 27:6. This translation is followed by Rashi (Berachot 54a, Bepundato). It also makes sense etymologically to explain it as a money-belt, because the Latin word “funda” originally refered to a leather sling that was used by slingers in the Roman army. Since the sling was essentially a leather belt the word got an additional meaning to refer to a money-belt. It seems that the reason for taking off the belt and putting it back on the inside of his cloak was the same as for removing the money from the cloak, which was so that it would not appear that the person is coming to do business on the Temple Mount. However, the Rambam in his commentary on the Mishna (Berachot 9:5, Keilim 27:6 and Keilim 29:1) explains that Punda is an undergarment which was worn under the main clothing to protect it from getting ruined by sweat, which also had pockets to carry money in it.  This Tosefta is referring to the case where the person was wearing this soiled undergarment on the outside of his clothes which is very disrespectful and therefore he either had to remove it or put it back underneath his outside clothing. The Rambam seems to explain that the problem was wearing it on the outside was that it was dirty and disrespectful and not because it had money in it. See his commentary on Mishna Berachot 9:5. It is unclear where the Rambam got his translation and explanation from. I have chosen to translate the word Punda as a money-belt since it is a more accepted meaning of this word with a known etymology.
  7. The verse in Kohelet issues a general caution to people who go to the Bet Hamikdash to bring sacrifices that they should be careful about why they are going there and what they are going to do there. The verse is not being literal to refer to a person’s feet specifically. Therefore the Tosefta uses this verse as a source for all of the laws that it lists, that a person needs to be generally careful about how he shows up in God’s house and what his appearance is like.
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