SANDRA JEFFERY answers ...

Defined, tzitzit is the fringes of knotted threads at the 4 corners of the Jewish prayer shawl (tallith) or at the corners of a kind of scapular worn as an undergarment by Orthodox Jews.

Isn’t it the eating of the snail that is the abomination (no longer relevant now in the new covenant – though a good idea to stay away from… ), just as it was the eating of any animal or creature that is a scavenger or garbage collector on the earth, i.e. shrimp, pork, vultures, etc? I don’t believe it is an abomination to wear this blue dye, but I am curious as to what the other rabbis think on this!

RABBI NEAL SURASKY answers ...

The techellet dye came from a mollusk found in the Middle East that had disappeared for some time. They say that the creature reappeared again about 100 years ago, and resumed making the tzitzit with the blue thread again. The context of the abomination was in the context of food, in Leviticus 11. So according to the rabbis, as long as you don't eat your tzitzit, you should be just fine.

RABBI GUTMANN answers ...

My answer to this must be the shortest! If the blue threads in the tzitzit receive their colour from a blue dye which is said comes from snails, and if this is according to specifications given by God in His Word, then who is to say that it should not be worn? If (and I use "if" deliberately) that is the case, it certainly is not something used as food-unclean or otherwise! God told Eve not to EAT of the Tree of the Knowledge of good and evil. Eve made the error of thinking God said don't TOUCH it- 2 entirely different senses involved!

RABBI CRAWFORD answers ...

Snails are only an abomination if eaten. Camels would be an abomination as well as donkeys though Yeshua rode a donkey. This is a problem in even the Messianic groups- a huge misunderstanding of Kosher. Kosher was taught for more than one reason- we are to apply the same principles of our lives such as keeping ourselves clean, keeping the unclean from our homes and lives. Instead of doing this- we attack the concept and misapply the whole thing to have an excuse to disobey G-ds’ command to do His will- like wearing blue in our tzit-tzit.

MOSHE COHEN answers ...

There are 2 trains of thought in Judaism. One is that any blue dye will do, and the second is that the dye comes from a certain shellfish, or fish from the Mediterranean Sea. There is no specific record in the Torah of what kind of dye was used. Certainly, while wondering in the desert, it is hard to imagine how the children of Israel could go to the Med Sea and fine a certain shellfish, or other fish. That may have happened of course, but we don't know for certain. The Talmud section is attached below. There are other theories of what was used as well. Rules were applied applied later, I am sure by Rabbis in good faith seeking to codify and unify the practices of the Children of Yaweh. Some people say they have found the "real" blue dye from the Med Sea and you can buy this dye by searching the internet. The Talmud says......

The Chilazon is the animal from which the Techelet Dye was obtained by the Ancient Israelites. This animal is supposedly lost, but today some claim to have re-discovered this lost animal. The primary criteria for the chilazon come from the Talmud tract Menachot 44a. There are 4 primary criteria in determining what animal is the Chilazon:

1. The color of its body is like the sea
2. It's form is like a fish
3. It comes up once in 70 years, its "blood" is used for techeilet, therefore
4. It is expensive.

This is an area where we can get caught up with what is "correct" rather than the thrust of the commandment, i.e to wear a four cornered garment with fringes and a blue thread. The best way to do this is to purchase a Tallit Katan from a Jewish store or the internet. The purpose is to remind us that we are under G-d's commandments and we follow and obey Him.

All things that G-d made are good, it is just that some things are counted unclean for food. Genesis 1 tells us all G-d made was good or very good. It was later He told His people not to eat certain foods. The animals are only unclean either for food, or not to be touched. This is a larger subject than can be explained here.

There are others who believe they have found the "real" dye and use that. As there are no definite commandments regarding this matter, we should just do what we can to keep the basic mitzvot, i.e., wear a four cornered garment, and a blue fringe on the corner.

RABBI JOSEPH KRESEFSKY answers ...

Ah Chevra, my response may not be what you want to hear, but it is scriptural and here it is...Forget what the Rabbis think - what does the bible say?

Numbers 15:37-41 – “Adonai said to Moshe, "Speak to the people of Isra'el, instructing them to make, through all their generations, tzitziyot on the corners of their garments, and to put with the tzitzit on each corner a blue thread. It is to be a tzitzit for you to look at and thereby remember all of Adonai's mitzvot and obey them, so that you won't go around wherever your own heart and eyes lead you to prostitute yourselves; but it will help you remember and obey all my mitzvot and be holy for your G_d. I am Adonai your G_d, who brought you out of the land of Egypt in order to be your G_d. I am Adonai your G_d.”

Nowhere does Abba say how we are to make the blue thread blue – all He tells us is that the thread has to be blue. Let’s fulfill that requirement in a correct biblical manner...

Leviticus 11:9-11 – “Of all the things that live in the water, you may eat these: anything in the water that has fins and scales, whether in seas or in rivers -these you may eat. But everything in the seas and rivers without both fins and scales, of all the small water-creatures and of all the living creatures in the water, is a detestable thing for you. Yes, these will be detestable for you -you are not to eat their meat, and you are to detest their carcasses.”

Snails and crustaceans are detestable – so I wouldn’t even consider wearing tzitzit that were dyed with the blue ink from a dead crustacean if I wear you. The purchase of a simple blue thread from your local mill end store would suffice if you tie your own Tzitzit. If you buy them, just make sure that the blue ink from any crustacean hasn’t been used. And, why wear only those with all white threads when, theoretically, that too would be breaking G_d’s mitzvoth (command). Make your own – and buy a nice sky blue or blue thread from the store to use in your set.