Is Snail Mentioned in the Gemara as Shablul and NOT Chilazon?

Among the attacks by Rabbi Yechiel Perr writes, "All the other Rishonim and Acharonim refer to the chilazon as a fish, ignoring the word nartik. No doubt this is because there is a perfectly good word for snail in the Mishnah Shabbat 77b, “shavlul”. This is also used in an Aramaic form in the Gemara Menachot 42b, “shavlulita”. (fenugreek by Rashi, snail by Rambam). -R’ Yechiel Yitzchok Perr - Rosh Yeshiva, Yeshiva of Far Rockaway" Source: Menachos 42b רב יצחק בריה דרב יהודה בדיק ליה (סי' בגשם) מייתי מגביא גילא ומיא דשבלילתא ומימי רגלים בן ארבעים יום… [Rav Yitzḥak, son of Rav Yehuda] would bring alum clay [megavya gila], and water of fenugreek [shavlilta], and urine [meimei raglayim] that was forty days old…. Rashi: Fengria (Fenugreek) Rashi translating as Fenugreek Rambam Hilchos Tzitzis 2:5 כֵּיצַד בּוֹדְקִין אוֹתָהּ עַד שֶׁיּוֹדֵעַ אִם נִצְבְּעָה כְּהִלְכָתָהּ אִם לָאו. לוֹקְחִין תֶּבֶן וְרִיר שֶׁל שַׁבְּלוּל וּמֵי רַגְלַיִם שֶׁנִּתְחַמְּצוּ אַרְבָּעִים יוֹם וְשׁוֹרִין הַתְּכֵלֶת בְּכֻלָּן מֵעֵת לְעֵת. אִם עָמְדָה בְּעֵינָהּ וְלֹא כָּהֲתָה כְּשֵׁרָה. How can techelet be checked to see whether it has been dyed properly or not? One takes straw, the secretion of a snail, and urine that had been left standing for forty days and leaves the techelet in this mixture for an entire day. If the color of the techelet remained unchanged, without becoming weaker, it is acceptable.

A1: Based on certain commentaries, Shivlita is a general term for a Gastropod, Chilazon is a term for snail with a shell , only.

See Jastrow

👉🏻 שַׁבְּלוּל m. (שבל to drag along, cmp. b. h. שֹׁבֶל; cmp. שִׁלְשׁוּל III) snail without the shell. 👈🏻Sabb. 77ᵇ, v. כָּתִית; Y. Ber. IX, 13ᶜ bot. (ed. Krot. שכלון, ed. Ven. שבלון, corr. acc.), v. חָזִית.

👉🏻שַׁבְּלוּלְיָה m. (preced. art.) a species of mollusks, slug👈🏻. Y. Nidd. III, 50ᵈ אילין נשייא דאמרן ש׳ דכר שבלולה נוקבא וכ׳ (ed. Krot. שכ׳, corr. acc.) we do not rely on those women who say that if the placenta resembles (in substance and color) a shabb’luliah, it indicates a male fœtus, if a shabb’lul, a female.

שַׁבְלוּלִיתָא f. (Shaf. of בלל; cmp. תֶּבֶל, תַּבְלִין) fenugreek. Sabb. 110ᵇ Ms. M. (ed. שַׁבְלִילְתָּא). Men. 42ᵇ מיא דש׳ Ms. M. (ed. דשבלילתא) juice of fenugreek. Gitt. 69ᵃ ש׳ Rashi (ed. שׁוּבְלִילְתָּא). Ab. Zar. 38ᵇ שבלילתא.

See Klein

שַׁבְּלוּל m.n. snail (a hapax legomenon in the Bible, occurring Ps. 58:9). [Of uncertain origin; possibly a Shaph‘el form from בלל (= to mix), and lit. meaning ‘causing moisture’, and so called in allusion to its slimy trail. 👉🏻cp. the related JAram. תִּבְלָלָא (= snail).] 👈🏻Derivative: שַׁבְּלוּלִי.

So in Hebrew shablul is a general term for Gastropod and chomet is for a Gastropod with shell, only. Based on this translation by the Rambam, any other gastropod could be used with the other ingredients to test against Techeiles.

(H/T Gershom Baraza for this insight).

A2: The שבלול is a land snail, whereas חילזון is a sea snail.

– Rabbi Yisroel Barkin – Private notes

A3: Shablul seems to always be used in the context of having ריר. Could possibly be connected to שבלול and שביל, a trail of mucus. (Tanchum Yerushalmi) (H/T Avrohom Gross)

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