Before we complete the Tabernacle and leave Exodus/Shemot, I must pause to consider the oft-mentioned color trio: “tekhelet, v’argaman v’tolaat shani.” These colors are central in the tent instructions/construction and appear throughout the priestly garments. The same colors are, of course, prominent in contemporary Jewish textiles and other arts.
Tekhelet — Blue, Sky Blue or Indigo.
Argaman — Purple.
Tolaat shani — Scarlet or Crimson.
“Blue Wheat,” “Ode to Overturning Bowers vs. Hardwick” and “Pink Pomegranate” (looks scarlet to me) — above — are all works by DC-area artist Judybeth Greene.
The quilt below was made by Amy Leila Smith, of Blue Feet Studio in Maine, for the National Havurah Committee.
…seems fitting closure for a portion which focuses on weaving, long a woman’s art. See, e.g., Women’s Work, the First 20,000 Years: Women, Cloth and Society in Early Times by Elizabeth Wayland Barber (Norton, 1994).
For more on the special history of tekhelet blue, see Ehud Spanier’s history (details in Source Materials).
[CAUTION on print and internet sources focusing on these three colors, especially tekhelet: Many involved in reconstructing exact colors of the Tabernacle and related work are deeply concerned with preparing for the Third Temple.]
The “Opening the Book” series was originally presented in cooperation with the independent, cross-community Jewish Study Center and with Kol Isha, an open group that for many years pursued spirituality from a woman’s perspective at Temple Micah (Reform). “A Song Every Day” is an independent blog, however, and all views, mistakes, etc. are the author’s.