Why the Murex Trunculus Snail Alone Can Be Used for Tekhelet

Why the Murex Trunculus Snail Alone Can Be Used for Tekhelet

Why the Murex Trunculus Snail Alone Can Be Used for Tekhelet 150 150 Israel Ziderman

Date: April 20, 2020

Israel Ziderman (IZ): Our source in the Tosefta is quite unambiguous: הביא מן החלזון כשרה שלא מן החלזון פסולה. The definite article ה requires a particular species of snail, and would not include any other snail species. The apparently superfluous law שלא מן החלזון פסולה is unequivocal in rejecting any other species. In fact we know that the species banded dye-murex (H. trunculus) uniquely yield blues, while all other muricid species (including brandaris) yield purple ארגמן. This clear distinction is not only in the dyes’ visual colours, but even in the chemical structures of the dyestuffs themselves and of their natural precursors, and in the chemistry of the dye-forming reactions. Therefore brandaris is the wrong hilazon and not kosher: it is the source of argaman. The Bible is quite clear in distinguishing between tekhelet and argaman as two different dyed wools.

RH: Irving Ziderman to be clear and not confuse the audience, Tekhelet is blue-purple, whereas argaman is red/purple, closer in color to kermes.

IZ: That confuses.

Tekhelet, argaman and tolaat shani are not the names of abstract colours, but they are 3 dyed wool textile commodities.
In colour, tekhelet is shades of blue and argaman is purple.
To clarify, the word purple, in antiquity, was the generic term for marine muricid dyeings, of which there were two world-famous commodities, namely hyacinthine purple or tekheket, which was shades of blue, and Tyrian purple or argaman, which was our purple colour.

RH: Aha, so Tekhelet more accurately is hyacinthine “purple” and Argaman is Tyrian “purple,” both sets being inside wool. If it wasn’t in wool it wouldn’t be “Tekhelet” and “Argaman.”

MD: IZ That level of diyuk is not justified both for linguistic and textual reasons.

RH: MD take a look at the Assyrian dictionary definitions I shared earlier on “Takiltu” and “Argamannu.” That’s what it translates as.

IZ: MD But that very level of diyuk is actually achieved davka for linguistic, textual, biochemical,historical and other reasons, that together warrant that conclusion, as I have published.

MD: IZ I grant that you’re entitled to be deferred to as having an expert’s opinion but that diyuk in isolation is incredibly far from convincing.

MD: RH I don’t have issue with the translation- only that the diyuk is support for requiring an exact modern species of snail.

IZ: MD Absolutely. But the scientific literature is incredibly convincing, as my publications document.

RH: MD most, if not all, of Dr. Ziderman’s publications are now available on tekhelet.info.

IZ: RH My later scientific studies, discovering that trunculus dye is uniquely monobromoindigotin, with its amazing property of spontaneously changing colour to blue, are not – I believe – in the site. I thought them to be too technical, but we should at least list the literature references for those interested.

RH: IZ technical or not, they should be listed. Truth be told lots of people don’t bother reading anyway, but are simply happy that the material is there so they know they have the option to in the future if they so choose. Literature is geared to those that care to read the material.

RH: IZ Maybe with the literature there should be a “score” of “level of difficulty” or “level of technicality” so someone knows what he’s getting into.

IZ: RH We should give the reference with the short opening summary.

Israel Ziderman

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

All stories by : Israel Ziderman