PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue

"Instilling calm, confidence, and connection, this enduring blue hue highlights our desire for a dependable and stable foundation on which to build as we cross the threshold into a new era."

If you enjoy stories where there are a lot of coincidences, then you should keep on reading! 

A couple of weeks ago, we were planning our marketing content and decided to post about the Pantone Color of the Year. This is a topic that has always been of interest to our readers. 

Just in case you don’t know, each year The Pantone Color Institute selects a “Color of the Year” that reflects what’s happening with color in our culture. The Pantone Color of the Year serves as an expression of a mood and an attitude that reflects “right now”.  Designers and artists in all industries, from fashion to interior design, have long understood how color can dramatically affect moods, emotions, and feelings. 

As soon as we found out that the Pantone Color of The Year was Classic Blue, we knew that we had an important story to tell that is related to Judaism.  Blue is the color most identified with Judaism and Apeloig offers many popular products in this important hue. 

We immediately wondered why the color blue is so ingrained in Judaism, and began to research the reasons why.  

First, blue in Judaism is used to symbolise divinity, because blue is the color of the sky and the sea. Jewish sources say that blue, reflecting the color of the sky, reminds us of God’s heavenly throne. Regarding it keeps one’s thoughts focused on holiness.


Blue is also the color chosen for the Flag of Israel, the one and only Jewish State. Why? Since Israel is a nation with a Jewish majority, symbols of Judaism are represented on the flag.The blue stripes are intended to symbolize the stripes on a tallit (usually blue or black).

That led me to research more about the Tallit and the Tzitzit and why those are related to the color blue. 

G-d told Moses: "Speak to the Israelite people and instruct them to make tzitzit for themselves on the corners of their garments through all the ages; let them attach a cord of blue to the tzitzit of each corner. That shall be your tzitzit; look at it and recall all of God’s commandments and observe them… Thus shall you be reminded to observe all My commandments and to be holy to your God.  I the Lord am your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God…" (Numbers 15: 38-41).

I read about the "tekhelet" which is a dye that is highly prized by ancient Mediterranean civilizations and is mentioned 49 times in the Hebrew Bible/Tanakh.  It was used in the clothing of the High Priest, the tapestries in the Tabernacle, and the tzitzit (fringes) affixed to the corners of one's four-cornered garments, including the tallit.

As soon as I read the word tekhelet I had a flashback to the shiva service for my grandfather. (Note: we named the company after him.)  I remembered that during the week of my grandfather’s shiva, many of the rabbi’s speeches would talk about that dye.  I remember how the rabbi spoke about the dye and how it was related to Radzyn, Poland, the town where my grandfather grew up.  I immediately went to my phone, and OUT OF THE BLUE (lol) asked my father in our family Whats App group:

 

 

Me: “What was the relationship of the Tekhelet with my grandpa's town?”  

He quickly answered, "It's a long story and I need time to answer. But this week's Parsha is Parsha Trumah and it is the first time in the Torah that the word tekhelet appears.” 

“Wow! What a coincidence”

I marveled to myself. 

My father then said, “It is also the Parsha of my Bar Mitzvah. I had an Aliyah during the morning prayers for that reason.  Why do you ask?" he then questioned, thinking that I already knew the answer. He continued, "Google search Radzyn and Tekhelet.  I am sure you'll find the story. We'll talk tomorrow over lunch." I then told about my interest in writing about the color blue and its relation with Judaism in honor of The Pantone Color Of The Year. 

 

  

 

 

It was a long story, indeed!  But we will make it short. The actual identity for the tekhelet dye was lost following the Roman destruction of the Second Temple. During a period of over 1,400 years most Jews have only worn plain white tassels (tzitzit) since the original source is still unknown.

For me, there was the coincidence that my father’s Bar Mitzvah and the speeches related to my grandfather’s shiva were so connected.  Then, amazingly, there is also the connection to where the movement to bring back the blue of the tzitzit began -- in our grandfather’s town of Radzyn, Poland, where he grew up until the Nazis forced him to flee!  

In the late 19th century, the Radzyner Rebbe felt that the Messiah couldn't come until the Jewish people reinstituted the tekhelet, and so he began a movement to restore this divine color.  Several decades later, Rabbi Isaac Herzog (later Chief Rabbi of Israel) wrote a doctoral dissertation on tekhelet, and contacted the Radzyner chassidim about their dye. Studies have since continued to find the true meaning and source of the blue dye, with Rabbi Eliyahu Tavger of Jerusalem continuing research on the tekhelet while writing a book on tzitzit in 1985.

Today, the closest anyone will come to finding the real color is in Israel at the Ptil Tekhelet Factory in Kfar Adumim.  Each set of tekhelet takes the dye of 30 snails!

We were taken by the whole turn of events! What a crazy coincidence!  We thought there must have been an explanation for us wanting to write a story about Classic Blue, and that I decided to ask my dad “Out of The Blue” that day, just minutes after he stepped down from the bimah in the prayers from his bar mitzvah and in memory of our grandfather for whom our company is named. 

I wanted to find a deep connection. My spiritual side thought that maybe our grandfather was orchestrating this from above and wanted us to understand and learn the story of the tekhelet. My business mind though it was a sign that meant we had to produce and design more blue products! My sister, always full of insights, thinks we must have blue blood :) 

PS: If you are interested in learning more about the History of the Tekhelet here are a few articles we suggest reading: 

 

Sources: 

https://baltimorejewishlife.com/news/print.php?ARTICLE_ID=103560

https://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/parsha/some-kind-of-blue-tekhelet-and-tradition/2018/02/20/

http://voices-magazine.blogspot.com/2011/01/blue-as-sky.html

https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/the-blue-of-the-ocean-the-sky-and-the-tzitzit/

https://www.greenprophet.com/2013/12/hidden-secrets-of-techelet-holy-blue-dye-discovered-in-israel/

https://www.yisharon.org/weeklydvar?post_id=172866