Sunday, April 27, 2014

I was asked to publicize this new website for the Mechon LeHafotzas Hatecheiles (מכון להפצת התכלת). We have in the past helped promote various Techeiles activists and this newly-formed organization does that as well. Here is what they are about:
The Torah commands us to place strings of ציצית with a strand of Techeiles - תכלת (alternate spellings include: Techailes, t'cheiles, t'chelet, techelet and tekhelet and more...) upon our four cornered garments. The תכלת wool is required to be dyed blue with a special dye derived from a creature known as חלזון. The מצוה of תכלת was observed throughout the times of Tanach and Chazal, until at least the end of the period of the אמוראים. In the years following that time until very recently, the מצוה of תכלת was not practiced, since the special dye from חלזון was no longer available.
In the following pages we will explore the identity of the חלזון and תכלת, and the reason for its disappearance. We will see that the חלזון is actually a sea-snail known as Murex Trunculus. The Murex Trunculus lives in the Mediterranean Sea and contains a sac from which a blue dye is derived. This blue dye was used widely by royalty in ancient times, and is indeed the dye referred to by the Torah for מצוות תכלת. We will see that today we can once again produce this ancient dye, and finally practice this long lost מצוה.
מכון להפצת התכלת is dedicated to spreading information and educational material for the furtherance of Mitzvas Techeiles. We hope that you will learn much about this Mitzva from the material available on our site.

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