From the Parshah: A Note on Tekhelet
This week's parshah, Shelach, contains the mitzvah of tzitzit. The Torah asks us not only to wear fringes on our four cornered garments, but to include a strand of tekhelet among the white strands. Tekhelet is obtained from a dye that is extracted from a sea-creature called the chilazon. For many centuries, the identity of this creature was no longer known, and we, therefore, could not obtain that dye. In recent years, it was determined by many authorities that the chilazon is a specific type of snail. The tekhelet dye is obtained from that snail by a factory in Israel, so that it is now possible to do the mitzvah of tzitzit completely, with a strand of tekhelet. For information regarding the history of tekhelet and a description of the process of obtaining it, please visit http://tekhelet.com/. At this website, you can also find out where to obtain tekhelet for yourself. Many rabbis associated with the OU are convinced that this is the authentic tekhelet, including Rav Hershel Schachter (OU Halachic Consultant).