After much hard work and research, the Techelet (azure blue) robe of the High Priest has been completed by the Temple Institute.

Ezra HaLevi, | updated: 14:53

After much hard work and research, the <i>Techelet</i> (azure blue) robe of the High Priest has been completed by the Temple Institute and it is hoped to be fit to be worn in the Third Temple.

The blue coat, or me'il techelet as it is called in the Torah, sports 72 golden bells alternating with 72 pomegranates attached around its hem, woven of blue, purple, and scarlet wool.

A close-up of the robe's hem, with its bells and woven pomegranates.


The project was researched and undertaken by skilled artisans over the past three years. It will join the already completed ephod and choshen (breastplate), featuring the 12 precious stones associated with the 12 tribes of Israel. They are located at the Temple Institute in Jerusalem's Old City, and it is hoped they will be found fit to be used by the High Priest in the third temple.

Master weaver Yehudit Avraham wove the robe using the Navajo "two-sided" weaving technique. The Techelet dye used is the most widely accepted of the blue dyes thought to be the Biblical Blue.


 

The dying process


The commandment to make such a robe appears in Exodus 28: 31-35:

The blue robe, displayed over the text of the Biblical commandment to prepare it.

"And you shall make the robe of the ephod entirely out of blue wool. Its head-opening shall be folded over within it, its opening shall have a border all around of weaver's work - it shall be for it like the opening of a coat of mail, that it should not be torn. And you shall make on its hem pomegranates of blue, purple, and scarlet wool, on its hem all around, and gold bells between them, all around; a gold bell and a pomegranate, a gold bell and a pomegranate, all around. It must be on Aaron in order to minister. Its sound shall be heard when he enters the Sanctuary before Hashem and when he leaves, so that he not die."

"This is the first robe woven entirely out of techelet in nearly 2,000 years," Rabbi Chaim Richman of the Temple Institute told Arutz-7. "Next week we shall begin to observe the holiday of Chanukah, which marks the rededication of the Second Temple in the days when the wicked King Antiochus rose up against the Jewish people with decrees meant to separate them from G-d and His Torah. Chanukah also marks the day when the original desert tabernacle was completed. Our sages emphasize that every year on Chanukah, when we kindle the festive lights, there's a sublime illumination of holy light that is released into the world - a continuation of the original hidden light of creation and a spark of the light of the holy Menorah in the Temple. Above all, Chanukah is the time of miracles and thanksgiving to G-d. The completion of this sacred garment marks a great step forward towards the renewal of the Divine service in the Holy Temple."

Click here to listen to Rabbi Richman speak about the robe on Temple Talk.

In the near future, the Institute plans to embark on another major project: the production and supplying of the Torah-specified white garments of the ordinary priests for every male Jewish descendant of Aaron. "Every Kohen from all over the world, will be given the opportunity to register and order his own uniform so that he can be ready to serve in the rebuilt Holy Temple," Richman said.


The Meil Techelet, Ephod and Choshen on display at the Temple Institute.

Click here for additional photographs of the meil and here for more information on the priestly garments.

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