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Product ID: 9780692890035
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The Rarest Blue [Hardcover]
The Remarkable Story of an Ancient Color Lost to History and Rediscovered
By: Baruch Sterman
With: Judy Taubes Sterman
The Rarest Blue Ptil Tekhelet
The remarkable story of Biblical tekhelet, the wildly popular and precious blue dye worn by the Kohen Gadol and affixed to the tzitztit of the common Jew in antiquity, and lost to the world nearly 1,300 years ago. The exciting tale of its rediscovery seamlessly weaves together Torah and science, scholarly research and adventure, and a host of larger than life personalities, culminating in the revival of the ancient mitzvah of tekhelet b’tzitzit.
For centuries, blue and purple dyed fabrics ranked among the ancient world s most desirable objects, commanding many times their weight in gold. Few people knew their secrets, carefully guarding the valuable knowledge, and strict laws regulated their production and use. The Rarest Blue tells the incredible story of tekhelet, the elusive sky-blue color mentioned throughout the Bible. Minoans discovered it; Phoenicians stole it; Roman emperors revered it; and Jews obeying a commandment to affix a thread of it to their garments risked their lives for it. But as the Roman Empire dissolved, the color vanished. Then, in the nineteenth century, a marine biologist marveled as yellow snail guts smeared on a fisherman s shirt turned blue. But what had caused this incredible transformation? Meanwhile, a Hasidic master obsessed with the ancient technique posited that the source of the dye was no snail but a squid. Bitter controversy divided European Jews until a brilliant rabbi proved one side wrong. But had an unscrupulous chemist deceived them? In this richly illustrated book, Baruch Sterman brilliantly recounts the amazing story of this sacred dye that changed the color of history.
About the Author
Baruch Sterman is a physicist who helped develop the modern techniques for dyeing tekhelet authentically. Cofounder of the Ptil Tekhelet Association, he has written numerous articles on the subject and is considered a world expert on snail dyeing. He works with high-tech communications companies in the United States and Israel, where he lives with his wife and coauthor, Judy Taubes Sterman.
Publisher: Ptil Tekhelet; Second edition (August 31, 2017)
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