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The Rarest Blue: The Remarkable Story of an Ancient Color Lost to History and Rediscovered

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Winner of the Jewish Journal Book Prize!

The Rarest Blue tells the incredible story of Tekhelet, the elusive sky-blue color mentioned throughout the Bible.  In this richly illustrated book, Baruch Sterman brilliantly recounts the amazing story of this sacred dye that changed the color of history.

 

320 pages

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Description

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.

In the Bible

And now, write for yourselves this song, and teach it to the Children of Israel.
--DEUTERONOMY (31:19)

Just as Moses was commanded to write and teach the words of God to the Children of Israel, to this day, we are inspired by the written word to grow and come closer to the Almighty. A book of wisdom has the ability to raise us up and give fresh ideas and insight, to be enjoyed, reviewed and shared!

Reviews

  1. Sennen Antonio Dourado

    Though I haven’t read the book yet, I am sure it will be a great read, years ago I had read of this precious dye which was produced in the ancient times in the Mediterranean region and specially in ancient Israel, this blue color was very precious even in those times, from the many books I’ve read this unique color was always attributed to the snails found in Israel and neighbouring countries, one thing I know for sure that this snail was farmed thousands of years ago in Israel, the dye very much sought after in the region, royalty and the rich. Sennen Antonio Dourado Wisconsin Milwaukee.

    • Michele Eiseenberg

      How many pages is this book?

      • Mordecai Altose

        320 pages

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