Tekhelet Meaning

Numerous Jewish authorizes have discussed importance of Tekhelet from a legal perspective as well as from a theological perspective.

Jewish Legal

There are specific legal situations that arise with the wearing of Tekhelet, the most significant of which is the wearing of Shaatnez.  Shaatnez, according to Jewish law, is the cloth that is produced when wool and linen is woven together.  Under Jewish Law, the wearing of such a garment is prohibited.  However, according to authorities in the Talmud, the prohibition of Shaatnez is null if one wears Tekhelet.  What this means is that if one attaches wool strings to a four cornered garment made of wool or vice-versa, he has not transgressed any biblical prohibition.  This would not be the case if there are no Tekhelet strings on the Tzitzit.

The situation of wearing Shaatnez is in fact reason why many Orthodox Jews still do not wear Tekhelet.  They do not want to risk violating Jewish Law, especially when they do not accept the validity of the current Tekhelet.  However, the issue of Shaatnez is rarely an issue since the vast majority of Jews do not wear linen garments and Tzitzit manufacturers do not produce garments made from linen.  They instead use wool for the strings and either cotton or wool for the garment.


The various spiritual and theological reasons provided for wearing Tekhelet are all related and is to cause a specific type of thought.  A few of the reasons provided include the following:

- Maimonides: The wearing of Tekhelet is to remind the Jew of the commandments and make sure to perform them as stipulated by Jewish Law.

- Mishnat Eliezer:  Tekhelet is the same color of a sapphire stones which is supposed to remind man of the Luchot, the Tablets given at Mount Sinai.

- Midrash: The blue color of Tekhelet is meant to remind man of the sea and sky.  Thinking about the vastness of the sky and oceans will remind man of his small size and G-d’s infinite greatness and instill the fear of G-d in him.

-  Zohar: The color of Tekhelet is linked to royalty and is to remind the Jew of G-d’s eternal state of ruler of the universe as well as his task to rule over his inclination.