Mixing Cuttlefish with Murex

Mixing Cuttlefish with Murex

Mixing Cuttlefish with Murex 150 150 Israel Ziderman

Date: May 19

MDR: Why not mix the Radzyner Rebbe’s cuttlefish and the murex to create a dye that satisfies both views? The Radzyner process already mixes it with other things, so why not mix the two together to avoid machloces?
These discussions here have dealt largely with hypothetical claims and opinions. However the reality expressed by the chemistry of tekhelet is not considered or even mentioned, even though the chemistry of tekhelet is the real material world that Hashem created!
I suppose it is because the writers here are not as trained in chemistry as they are in Rabbinics.
What a pity that we are thus not speaking the same technical language in this discussion.
The chemistry now identifies unequivocally the molecular structure of the dyestuffs themselves and the process by which they are formed and the source from which they are formed.
Accordingly, the Radzin dye is a cyanide salt of iron, formed by a manmade chemical reaction unconnected with any living sea creature.
On the other hand, banded dye murex (H. trunculus) yields directly and spontaneously a chemical compound named mono-bromo-indigotin, that is tekhelet’s dyestuff, as it is obtained today from living murex, and also found in Biblical and second temple-period archaeolgical textiles and dyeing vats. The permanent blue hue is obtained by gently heating the monobromoindigotin, without any chemical reaction.
Many nowadays have illadvisedly decomposed the monobromoindigotin to form indigotin, which is of course a different substance that is identified with kala ilan of the gemara: therefore it is problematic, if not inappropriate, to use it as tekhelet. But of course it is not necessary to do so any more, since I have discovered and documented that simply the heating is needed to develop the true blue colour of monobromoindigotin.
Let me refer the readers to our website (with thanks to Rafi for rebuilding it) for more details:-

ZH: Tosafos in Menachos 42b (ד”ה וסממנים) is very clear that mixing in other substances voids the validity Techeiles.

Israel Ziderman

Scientific Director, Tekhelet Foundation
Chairman, Union of Civilian Research Scientists in Israel
Scientific Editor, Yalkut Journal of the Israel Textile & Fashion Association

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