Biblical sandals

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Biblical sandals.

Biblical sandals (Hebrew: סנדלים תנ"כיים‎, sandalim tanakhim), also called Tanakhi sandals and Khugistic sandals (Hebrew: סנדלים חוגיסטיים‎, sandalim ḥugistim),[1] are sandals consisting of a sole with two leather ligaments that pass across the foot, and one around the heel.[2] The leather is usually brown or black. The Biblical sandals are the classic model of leading sandals manufacturers in Israel.


The source of Biblical sandals is ancient. They appear in wall paintings found in archaeological digs dating the Old Testament in the Levant and were not very different from those used in Rome and Egypt. Reminders of such sandals were found at Massada and the Cave of Letters. In ancient times those sandals were made of non-processed leather and dry grass, and had strings or ropes made of simple, cheap materials. Though, sometimes golden or silver beads and even gems were added.

In modern times, Biblical sandals are a symbol of Zionism. Israeli pioneer settlers and Israeli born Jews used them to show the return to the clothing worn by the ancestors and fit the climate. The harsh economic situation of the Zionists before the establishment of Israel, and of the Israelis in the 1940s to the 1960s, including the Austerity in Israel period, made those low-cost sandals a part of the proud-poor country-side or kibbutz fashion.[3] The style contrasted with the more ostentatious attire of the city inhabitants who were European-influenced. Later, the city inhabitants started wearing these sandals too, especially after their popularization by Nimrod in Tel Aviv.[4]

Modern manufacturers known for making Biblical sandals include Nimrod, Shoresh, and Teva Naot.[5] The sandals are also sometimes worn by members of the Knesset, Israel's parliament, while the Knesset is in session.[6]

An exhibit on Biblical sandals and Israeli culture was opened at the Eretz Israel Museum in July 2018.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Silverman, Eric (2013). A Cultural History of Jewish Dress. London: Bloomsbury. p. 21. ISBN 978-1-84520-513-3.
  2. ^ Rosenblit, Zvi (April 26, 2006). "Biblical Sandals". Haaretz (in Hebrew). Retrieved September 14, 2012.
  3. ^ Ben-Meir, Orna (2008). "Biblical Sandals and Native Israeli Identity". In Nahshon, Edna. Jews and Shoes. Oxford: Berg. p. 80. ISBN 978-1-84788-050-5.
  4. ^ El Or, Tamar (September 2012). "The Soul of the Biblical Sandal: On Anthropology and Style" (PDF). American Anthropologist. 114 (3): 438. doi:10.1111/j.1548-1433.2012.01444.x.
  5. ^ Mendel, Yonatan; Ranta, Ronald (2016). From the Arab Other to the Israeli Self: Palestinian Culture in the Making of Israeli National Identity. London: Routledge. p. 67. ISBN 978-1-4724-4935-1.
  6. ^ Shahar, Ilan (June 28, 2007). "Miniskirts, but no shorts? Knesset ethics committee debates MKs' attire". Haaretz. Retrieved September 14, 2012.
  7. ^ "The Sandal: Anthropology of a Local Style". Eretz Israel Museum. 2018. Retrieved 30 June 2018.