Ludwig Lewysohn – Chilazon

  1. Chilazon being a Purpurschnecke/Murex
  2. Chilazon being a Mussel
  3. Chilazon being a Cuttlefish

Additional points from R’ Yitzchak Herzog’s Doctorate:

  1. 4A: R’ Herzog writes that Kohut suggests that Hilazon comes from the Arabic word Halaz, meaning a species of louse. He also writes “Sanhedrin 91a (Caption עלה להר) applies, according to Lewysohn (Lewysohn, Ludwig, Zoologie des Talmuds, Frankfurt (1858), p. 364 to Helix pomatia.)”
  2. 4B: “Lewysohn (משקרי) equates the word with nisuka (double shelled).  (Idem, p. 368, p. 283.)”
  3. 5F: Herzog writes on וברייתו1 דומה לדג: “Lewysohn wrongly renders “seine Entstehung (it’s creation)” (op. cit., 1 c). In רש״י and רבנו גרשום and cf.נדה כ״ד ע״ב
  4. 5J: Herzog has issues with Lewysohn writing against the Janthina. He writes that “Lewysohn (ibid., p. 281, Par. 365.) raises two objections against the identification of the hillazon-shel-Tekhelet with the Helix Janthina: ‘About the extraction of the juice, Sabbath 75a reported that the snails were squeezed out of the juice, noting that the juice of a vividly crushed snail is clearer and more valuable. – From this goes here that the talm. snail not the Helix Janthina… because on the one hand you only get the purple of this snail when you put it on glowing coals and on the other hand the juice of this animal, as long as it lives, is green or white; only when it dies does it get a beautiful purple-like color.'”
  5. 5L: Here R’ Herzog analyzes Lewysohn’s take on the Chilazon blood according to Rambam, that it couldn’t have been black and Rambam was mistaken, yet at the same time Lewysohn “must have forgotten that he was dealing with one of the deepest and most careful thinkers that ever lived.”
  6. 5M: “Lewysohn states that the Sepia officinalis does not satisfy the condition of similarity of the colour to the sea. Leiner maintains that it does, or in other words, that the colour of the body of Sepia officinalis is essentially blue. (לינר, שם, מבוא) “
  7. 5N: “Lewysohn identifying the Tekhelet-species with Pliny’s Purpura, which, by the way, he wrongly equates with the Purpura of modern zoology emends גוונו i.e. the colouring matter, for גופו, “the body” in characterisation (a). The correction, besides lacking the support of any authority, is really inadmissible; for גוונו does not mean colouring matter but colour, appearance. (e.g.,.ערובין נ״ה, ע״ב)”
  8. 6A: Here R’ Herzog cites Lewysohn and other scholars as pointing out that Tekhelet is Iakinthos and Argaman as porphyra with one exception of porphyra being Techeiles. The word Oloporphyron translates as a Beged of Techeiles, since nowhere in the Torah does it write a Beged of Argaman!
  9. 6H: Forel writes, “The blue of the sea water as observed by the Forel scale has, of course, nothing to do with the blue appearance of any distant surface due to the reflection of a cloudless sky.” He contrasts “this with Lewysohn, ibid., Par. 366, p. 282.”
  10. Appendix: Herzog notes that Shmuel bar Hofni Gaon didn’t identify the Chilazon as the sepia in his opinion. Rather, when Rambam writes “blood is black as ink (דמו שחור כדיו),” it means: “There are many kinds of purpuræ … Most of them contain a black pigment; in others it is red, and the quantity of it small. (Project Gutenberg, Aristotle, History of Animals, Book V Ch. XIII: 3).” Further, “Maimonides, conceiving the Tekhelet colour as a deep dark blue (“הלכות ציצית ,פרקב,passim), was probably led to identify the חלזון של תכלת with that class of marine snails which, according to Aristotle, furnish a black dye, and so added this further mark of identification to the description given in the Talmud (Menahot 44 a).



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