Snorkeling for Techelet

I was going to write all about yesterday's tiyul snorkeling for chilazon but I saw that The Muqata did the same thing a few years ago so I'll quote him for some of it:
there's a biblical commandment for one of the threads of tzitzit to be blue, "techelet." A few years back, a group of Israeli (mostly olim from the US) became determined to discover the biblical blue. The gemara talks about the different ways to identify the techelet - it must come from a snail, must be like the sea, must be very steadfast, and identical to the fake plant-based techelet. The Murex Trunculus answers all these conditions, and was found in mass quantities along the Dor beach. The only problem was that the dye produced from the Murex was royal purple -- "Argaman", and the researchers couldn't figure out how it could turn blue. One day, a researcher in the 80's from Hebrew University put his beaker full of Murex dye in the sun while waiting for his coffee to heat up. When he came back 10 minutes later, he removed the fibers which were in the beaker, and when exposed to air, the fibers turned a brilliant blue, and the secret of techelet was re-discovered. For the murex dye to turn into techelet instead of purple, it needs to be exposed to sunlight, which breaks away the bromide from the indigo. You can read all this fascinating information on the Techelet website.

First we watched a movie about the history and the process which was very interesting and even Yeshaya was interested because it was about the ancient city of Dora. What could be better than a movie about Dora? We went snorkeling to try and find the snails. We didn't actually find any but people in our group found about 20. Then we made the dye and dyed a piece of wool techelet. It was pretty cool and we all had a great time.

Last night, my friend Dov Segal who is in Israel for Pesach took a bus out to Modiin to join us for dinner and then we hung out together for a while. Always good to catch up with old friends.

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