Blue in Judaism
Blue in Judaism is used to symbolise divinity, because blue is the color of the sky and sea. It can also represent equilibrium, since its hue suggests a shade midway between white and black, day and night.
In the Torah, the Israelites were commanded to put fringes, tzitzit, on the corners of their garments, and to weave within these fringes a “twisted thread of blue (tekhelet).” The oral law requires that this blue thread be made from a dye extracted from a sea creature known as the hilazon. Maimonides claimed that this blue was the color of “the clear noonday sky”; Rashi, the color of the evening sky.
According to several rabbinic sages, blue is the color of God’s Glory. Staring at this color aids in meditation, bringing us a glimpse of the “pavement of sapphire, like the very sky for purity,” which is a likeness of the Throne of God. Many items in the Mishkan, the portable sanctuary in the wilderness, such as the menorah, many of the vessels, and the Ark of the Covenant, were covered with blue cloth when transported from place to place.
- Zvi Ruder (1999): The National Colors of the People of Israel: Tradition, Religion, Philosophy, and Politics Intertwined ISBN 965-293-059-8
- The Ptil Tekhelet Organization dedicated to the manufacture and distribution of tekhelet fringes.