ולבש הכהן מדו בד היא הכתונת ומה תלמוד לומר מדו שתהא כמדתו "על בשרו" שלא יהא דבר חוצץ בינתיים לשון רש"י (רש"י על ויקרא ו׳:ג׳) והנה תרומת הדשן צריכה בגדי כהונה ואין עבודה בשני הבגדים מהם אבל הזכיר אלה השנים לדבר שנתחדש בהם כאן לומר שתהא הכתונת כמדתו והענין לומר שאם היו מסולקין קצרים ואינן מגיעין עד רגליו ועבד בהן עבודתו פסולה ולמד שלא יהא בינו ולא בין המכנסים לבשרו כלום והוא הדין שצריכה כל בגדי כהונה כי כיון שהזכיר הכתוב שהיא צריכה בגדים למדנו שהיא צריכה ארבעה להדיוט ושמנה לכהן גדול וכן מפורש במסכת יומא בפרק שני (כג) ובתורת כהנים (צו ב א) מה תלמוד לומר ילבש להביא את המצנפת ואת האבנט ואונקלוס (תרגום אונקלוס על ויקרא ו׳:ג׳) תרגם מדו לבושין ונראה כי אצלו מדו שם יכלול כל בגדיו כאלו אמר ולבש הכהן בגדי בד וכן מדיו קרועים (שמואל א ד יב) שיורד על פי מדותיו (תהלים קלג ב) על פי מלבושיו חגור מדו לבושו (שמואל ב כ ח) ויהיה זה כדעת האומר אבנטו של כהן הדיוט לא זהו אבנטו של כהן גדול (יומא יב): AND THE PRIEST SHALL PUT ON ‘MIDO’ (HIS GARMENT OF) LINEN. “This is a reference to the k’toneth (tunic). Why then does Scripture here call it mido [which means ‘his measure’]? It is to indicate that the tunic is to be made to his measure. AND HIS LINEN BREECHES SHALL HE PUT UPON HIS FLESH — that there should be nothing interposing between them.” This is Rashi’s language.
Now the [daily] removal of the ashes [from the altar, which is the subject-matter of this verse], must be done with the priest wearing the [four] garments of priesthood,26The ordinary priest ministered in four garments: the tunic, breeches, turban, and the belt. To these the High Priest added four more pieces of raiment: the breastplate, the ephod, the robe and the frontlet. — The question then appears: since removing the ashes from the altar had to be done by a priest, why does Scripture here single out only two of the garments, the tunic and the breeches? — The taking up of the ashes was the very first act in the day’s Service in the Sanctuary. See “The Commandments,” Vol. I, pp. 38-39. as no Service can be performed with only two of the [four] garments! However, He mentioned only these two garments because of new points that are added here to them, namely, that the tunic must be made to the priest’s measure. This means to say that if it was raised [above his feet], being so short that it did not reach his feet, and he performed therein one of the acts of offering, his Service is invalid. It further teaches that there must be nothing intervening between the breeches and his flesh. But the law requires equally that the priest who removes the ashes from the altar should wear all [four] priestly garments, for since Scripture mentioned that the removing of the ashes must be done with priestly garments, we know [automatically] that it requires four for the common priest and eight for the High Priest.26The ordinary priest ministered in four garments: the tunic, breeches, turban, and the belt. To these the High Priest added four more pieces of raiment: the breastplate, the ephod, the robe and the frontlet. — The question then appears: since removing the ashes from the altar had to be done by a priest, why does Scripture here single out only two of the garments, the tunic and the breeches? — The taking up of the ashes was the very first act in the day’s Service in the Sanctuary. See “The Commandments,” Vol. I, pp. 38-39. So also is it explained in the second chapter of Tractate Yoma27Yoma 22 b. and in Torath Kohanim:28Torath Kohanim, Tzav 2:1. “Why does Scripture repeat the term yilbash [‘he shall put on’ — ‘V’lavash hakohein’ (and the priest shall put on) his linen garment, and his linen breeches ‘yilbash’ (he shall put) upon his flesh]? It is to include the turban and the belt” [which the priest is also to put on for the removing of the ashes].
Now Onkelos translated the word mido as levushin [“garments” — as opposed to Rashi’s interpretation, according to which it refers only to one garment, the tunic]. It would appear then that according to Onkelos, the word mido is a term which includes all of the priest’s garments, as if the verse were stating, “and the priest shall put on linen garments.” Similarly we are to understand the expressions: ‘madav’ (his clothes) rent;29I Samuel 4:12. that cometh down upon the collar ‘midothav’,30Psalms 133:2. which means upon the edge of his garments; girded with ‘mido’ (his apparel) of war,31II Samuel 20:8. which means his garments. This then will be in accordance with the opinion of the Sage who says32Rabbi Dosa (Yoma 12 b). See Ramban in Seder Pekudei (Exodus 39:28, Vol. II, p. 614). that the belt of the common priest was unlike the belt of the High Priest.33The belt of the High Priest was made of blue, purple, scarlet [all wool] and twined linen. This is expressly stated in the Torah. The question appears as to how the belt for the common priests was made. Rabbi Dosa is of the opinion that it was made only of linen; Rabbi Yehudah Hanasi differs, holding that it was like that of the High Priest. Now since Onkelos, as explained by Ramban, explains the word mido as an inclusive term for “all” the priest’s garments, and the verse states, and the priest shall put on ‘mido’ (his ‘garments’ of) linen, Onkelos accordingly must agree with Rabbi Dosa that the belt of the common priest was unlike that of the High Priest, as the belt of the common priest was only of linen. Hence it states that the common priest shall put on all his garments of linen which includes the belt.