Why Are Blue and White (or Silver) the Hanukkah Colors?

December 18, 2014 @ MentalFloss


The most obvious explanation for blue and white Hanukkah colors is the Israeli flag, designed by the Zionist movement in 1891 and officially adopted in 1948. The flag’s blue stripes symbolize those found on tallitot, traditional Jewish prayer shawls that are worn at synagogue, bar or bat mitzvahs, and Jewish weddings. So why are there blue stripes on tallitot? According to the Bible, the Israelites were told to dye a thread on their tassels with tekhelet, a blue ink from a sea snail, “so that they may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them.”

In 1864, the Jewish poet Ludwig August Frankl named blue and white “the colours of Judah” in a poem not so surprisingly called “Judah’s Colours.”

Read all the article at Mental Floss


January 3, 2014 @ Discovery

Israeli researchers have identified three rare 2000-year-old fabrics that were dyed using one of the most expensive materials in antiquity — a snail known as Murex trunculus. In accordance with the biblical commandment, tekhelet was used to dye the tassels, or tzitzit, attached to the four-cornered garment worn by Jews. It was also used as the color of ceremonial robes donned by high priests in the Jerusalem Temple. Tekhelet was produced from the yellow glandular secretion of the Murex trunculus snail. Dipped into the solution for the dye, the fabrics turned blue after a brief exposure to air and sunlight. Hundreds of snails were necessary to dye cloths, making tekhelet prohibitively expensive.

bible-blue-fabricFabric dyed with a mysterious blue dye known as tekhelet.

bible-blue-purpleRecovered parts of textile tunics were purple colored.


Read all the article @ Discovery