There has been a lot of research, arguments, and searching for truth involving the Murex Trunculus, a snail which many people today claim to be the authentic Techelet. I do want to point out the Gedolim that do accept this Techelet before I point out the ones that don’t and then we’ll determine if it is “Elu WeElu Divre Elokim Hayim (Eruvin 13b)” or if only one opinion is correct. Here are a few big names:
- Rav Herschel Shachter Shelit”a, a huge Talmid Hacham, and a Posek Halacha
- Rav Yisroel Belsky Shelit”a (on Shabbat), another Torah giant, Posek Halacha, and Posek for OU
- Rav Avraham Twersky Shelit”a, a psychiatrist , Talmid Hacham, and very popular for his great books
- Rav Meir Mazuz Shelit”a (on Shabbat), known as one of the Sefaradi Gedolim, author of Sefarim, son of Rav Masliah Mazuz Hy”d, and Rosh Yeshivat Kisse Rahamim
and a few others. The main point is: there are Gedolim that wear the Techelet. The main reason, I believe that these Hachamim wear the Techelet is because of the idea of “Safek Deorayta LeHumra – doubt in (a case of) Torah (we are) to be strigent”, a concept found in the Talmud (see Besa 3b). We know that Techelet is MiDeorayta, so shouldn’t we be stringent?
Not according to everyone. Rav Shternbuch Shelit”a says (Teshuvot WeHanhagot vol. 1 siman 26):
And replied Rabbi Soloveitchik of Brisk ZSQW”L ‘when do we say Safek Deorayta LeHumra?’ Only when acting will certainly fulfill the obligation! However, here where even if you wear the Techelet you have not taken yourself out of the Safek, and he proves this from a Gemara in the end of Rosh Hashana.
Of course there are other arguments, but this is really the main one. Not to say that “that’s it” Rav Shternbuch Shelit”a totally disproved their entire operation, but this logic based on the Gemara is quite powerful.
Next, a few concise reasons not to wear to the new Techelet:
- The Zohar (vol. II 48b) as well as the Arizal (Shaar Maamre Rashbi pg. 12o) write that the Techelet comes from the Kineret; the Murex Trunculus (according to Wikipedia) it is found a few places and it is Mashma that it is not found in the Kineret.
- The Arizal (ibid.) says the Hilazon is a fish; the Murex Trunculus is clearly not a fish but a snail.
- The Gemar in Menahot (44a) writes about the Hilazon “Its form is similar to a fish.” Rashi (our accepted explanation of the Gemara) and Rabenu Gershom explain “Beriato” as its form. We know that the Murex does not resemble a fish.
- The Zohar (exact source yet to be found) and Arizal (Peri Es Haim Shaar Sisit ch. 5) says that the Techelet will not be revealed until the Mashiah comes (Rav Bension Muztafi Shelit”a and Rav Shimon Dov Bear of Lubavitch both take this literally. See Divre Shalom vol. 1 pg. 156 and Deah WeHaskel vol.7 ch.4 ).
- Rav BenTzion Muztafi Shelit”a says that it Asur to wear Techelet because it is “Yuhura – pride” and a lack of “Derech Eretz – Politeness.”
- Rav BenTzion Abba Shaul says (Or Lesion vol. 2 44:13) that wearing Techelet is disrespect to one’s parents that didn’t wear it.
- The Ben Yehoyada (Bava Mesia 61b) says that the fake Tzitzit (Kila Ilan) is controlled by the Sitra Ahra (some explain the Kila Ilan as beeing any fake Techelet.
Of course I didn’t get into any of the scientific or philosophical arguments which I highly recommend as well. While I could make this post really long, I won’t. Here is the bottom line: “Elu WeElu Divre Elokim Hayim- this and this are living words of G-d.” There are of course arguments both ways, and I recommend a Hacham be consulted for a final decision, but either way you have Gedolim on your side.
A few more arguments against the Techelet.