FAQ



I was wondering about the three archaeological finds you cite as proof that trunculus was used in ancient times to make blue dye. How can a chemical test prove that they are really dyed from trunculus as opposed to from another – as of now unknown (nignaz, perhaps?) – chilazon?

I was wondering about the three archaeological finds you cite as proof that trunculus was used in ancient times to make blue dye. How can a chemical test prove that they are really dyed from trunculus as opposed to from another – as of now unknown (nignaz, perhaps?) – chilazon? 150 150 rhecht

The dye that comes from murex sea-snails contains three major components, indigo – which is blue – along with monobromoindigo and dibromoindigo – compounds based on the fundamental indigo molecule with one or two bromine atoms respectively. Those brominated indigo molecules have colors which are shades of purple. The mix of the three taken together…

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I have read extensively the writings of ancient historians regarding dying with Murex. They describe in fantastic detail the Royal Tyrian Purple that it produced. The fact that it also produced an indigo dye is mentioned virtually nowhere. (An ambiguous and subtle indication of this in Vitruvius is about all you’ll find.) Why is this so?”

I have read extensively the writings of ancient historians regarding dying with Murex. They describe in fantastic detail the Royal Tyrian Purple that it produced. The fact that it also produced an indigo dye is mentioned virtually nowhere. (An ambiguous and subtle indication of this in Vitruvius is about all you’ll find.) Why is this so?” 150 150 rhecht

R. Tavger explains that in ancient times “purple” referred to all the colors (blues and purples) that come from the snail, and it is only in more modern times when people made a point of differentiating in their speech when talking about the product in general.

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How do I know this Tekhelet is really it?

How do I know this Tekhelet is really it? 150 150 rhecht

Archaeological discovery of mounds of Murex snails at coastal dyeing sites, as well as literary evidence from the ancient world of dyeing and chemical analysis of the Murex dye, are all strong evidence in support of this conclusion. More importantly, the growing number of Rabbinic personalities and halachic communities wearing Tekhelet today, lends further credence…

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Why should I wear Tekhelet?

Why should I wear Tekhelet? 150 150 rhecht

Wearing Tekhelet on tzitzit is a mitzvah prescribed by the Torah. It is a commandment which is intended for all generations, independent of location and unrelated to the existence of the Temple. It is only during the last century that we have had the means and privilege of embarking upon the restoration of Tekhelet, which…

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How should I tie Tekhelet on my tzitzit?

How should I tie Tekhelet on my tzitzit? 150 150 rhecht

There are different opinions regarding how Tekhelet should be tied. Bear in mind that the technique chosen does not qualify/disqualify the mitzvah, except for certain minimal requirements. Today, Tekhelet is being tied following the opinions of various legal authorities including the Vilna Gaon, the Rambam, the Sefer HaChinuch, and Chabad.

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Who does the dyeing?

Who does the dyeing? 150 150 rhecht

The dye extraction process is performed by workers under P’til Tekhelet’s supervision. The actual dyeing of wool with the Tekhelet is undertaken by P’til Tekhelet, (in Jerusalem and its environs) under the direction of its founder Rav Eliyahu Tavger, and in consultation with various Poskim. The wool is dyed expressly with the intent of the…

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Where do the snails live?

Where do the snails live? 150 150 rhecht

Murex trunculus snails live along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. In ancient Israel, the tribe of Zebulun, located on the North-East coast, was attributed with having the chilazon. Archaeological digs have since uncovered mounds of broken Murex shells and remains of the dyeing industry on the North-Eastern coast of Israel. Today, since Murex trunculus snails are a…

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How is Tekhelet produced?

How is Tekhelet produced? 150 150 rhecht

Murex snails possess a gland which contains the source of Tekhelet. Dibromoindigo, which originates from glandular secretions of a fresh snail, bonds chemically to wool when put into solution in a reduced state (vat dyeing). In the presence of sunlight, the dibromoindigo debrominates to indigo, leaving color-fast blue wool.

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What does Tekhelet come from?

What does Tekhelet come from? 150 150 rhecht

The Talmud describes Tekhelet as coming from a sea-creature called a chilazon. In a homiletic passage, the chilazon is characterized as “similar to the sea, being similar to [but not] a fish, and coming up from the sea once in seventy years [rarely].” Chilazon in modern Hebrew means “snail”. Rabbinic, historical, archaeological and chemical evidence…

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What is Tekhelet?

What is Tekhelet? 150 150 rhecht

Tekhelet is one of the colors mentioned in the Torah, traditionally associated with a shade of blue. It is mentioned frequently alongside gold, silver and silk as a precious commodity. There is a Biblical commandment to tie a thread of Tekhelet around the tzitzit (fringes) of cornered garments. In addition, Tekhelet is required in the…

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