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Tola’at HaShani

Last week a group of people went to the community of Neveh Tzuf to relearn to identify the Tola’at HaShani. The Tola’at was the source of the red dye used in biblical times and more specifically the dye used to  color the wool for the priests clothing and the Parochet in the Mishkan and Temple.

A Professor at Bar Ilan university -Zohar Amar-has been doing extensive research on the Tola’at for years and has successfully re indentified the ancient Kermes dyes. It’s a scale insect that grows on the common oak tree in Israel. They reach their full maturity, meaning dye capacity, just for a few weeks out of the year and have to be gathered only then. If not gathered on time, one needs to wait an entire year for a “new crop”.

This is wisdom of the past that we have “forgotten” from our long years away from our homeland.

There is a group of women that I’ve been teaching this past year that are relearning the skills required to make the artifacts for the Temple. They’re learning to spin, dye and weave.Right now they’re learning with a very skilled weaver to make the patterns and and calculating the very specific dimensions for the Parochet of the Temple. It was and still is a huge project requiring many skilled weavers and a certain “wisdom of the heart”.

It’s fascinating watching and being part of the reawakening and reconnecting of a people coming back home.

For more information and joining any of these projects, please contact me.





  • Ja'el Batyah says:

    Hi Suri-

    I live in Yavniel. I have been doing similar workshops in Toronto before making aliyah 5 years ago. I am extremely limited in my hebrew speaking skills so I was never able to continue my work here. I am friends with Yonit Krystal and I am pleased to say I have learned a lot from her esp basket weaving. I would like to be in touch with you regarding special projects and workshops. I am now focusing on SAORI weaving and spinning for SAORI weaving. I would like to sell most of my workshop tools and supplies to someone that could use it. Hatzlacha vv bracha

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