Roman taxes and customs
This passage, along with several other rabbinic texts from Palestine, regards Roman taxation as illegal and considers collectors of Roman taxes and customs (Jews or gentiles) as robbers and thieves. Therefore, the text states it is permissible to cheat tax collectors in order to avoid paying taxes or customs. This mishnah discusses the ban on wearing a garment of mixed wool and linen in Leviticus “… nor shall you put on a garment made of two different materials” (19:19, NRSV), and in Deuteronomy: “You shall not wear clothes made of wool and linen woven together” (22:11, NRSV). Following these instructions, the Mishnah rules that one may not wear such a garment to evade paying a customs duty. Such a deception is possible since a person is exempted from custom dues for the cloth on his body, so one could dress in extra garments (even ten layers) and pass the customs collector without paying tax. Although the mishnah generally permits a person to cheat Roman duty, in this specific case, wearing a certain garment from a fabric that violated the biblical law against mixing wool and linen is not allowed.