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Threads of Reason: A Collection of Essays on Tekhelet Paperback – December 30, 2013
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About the Author
Rabbi Mois Navon is a member of Ptil Tekhelet, for whom he lectures and writes extensively on the topic of tekhelet. Applying his background as both rabbi and engineer, Rabbi Navon combines Torah and science in his efforts to revive this long lost biblical commandment. To this end, he developed an online FAQ to make available, in a concise and accessible format, many of the questions posed to him at Ptil Tekhelet; a process which has yielded 100 questions and answers – and counting. He created an online Tekhelet Tying Guide with tying diagrams, instruction sheets and one-minute videos demonstrating the primary tekhelet tying methods. In addition, he made popular the Tekhelet Marine Tour – counted by the Jerusalem Post as one of the top 50 reasons to live in Israel – giving participants a hands-on experience of the hillazon and the tekhelet dyeing procedure.
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Rabbi Navon' essays are enjoyable reading, intended for an audience of general readers, but also include the detail needed to substantiate his arguments spanning Torah sources, science, archaeology,, and history.
As Rabbi Navon makes his living as a computer engineer, the scientific precision of his mind is evident in each essay. Logic prevails, but always enriched by his love for his subject and the Jewish people. Published over many years in various journals, the essays answer questions such as the authenticity of the Murex trunculus snail as the source of tekhelet dye, whether a ritual object must be made from a kosher source, and how a biblical commandment can be renewed in the absence of a continuous tradition.
His deep engagement with the mitzvah of tekhelet shines through each of the lively essays in Threads of Reason. In addition to the essays themselves, each chapter ends with extensive footnotes which not only document sources but often extend the discussion into fascinating tangents. The website tekhelet.com includes information about Rabbi Navon’s marine tours as well as a tekhelet tying guide with instructions and videos.
For any Jew seeking to elevate his religious observance with a beautiful mitzvah, Rabbi Navon provides an elegant guide who raises an esthetic experience to a spiritual level.
Despite the number and complexity of the sources he brings, Rabbi Navon parses and explores his topics in a manner accessible and interesting both to lay and rabbinic audiences. The rediscovery of the Murex trunculus is a remarkable one and one that should have a profound effect on the observance of the commandment to wear tzitzit in the modern day. Rabbi Navon's book is an essential guide to understanding this mitzvah in all its intricacy.
All of this is documented in "Threads of Reason" by Rabbi Mois Navon who literally unravels the mystery of Tekhelet. He cites the historical background of Tekhelet in the Ancient World, the loss of Tekhelet because of political and economic developments, and the revival of the Mitzvah and what the details of its observance entails. As we unravel historical mysteries, the re-introduction of a positive Torah Mitzvah takes on new significance, in the same manner as polishing a tarnished silver Kiddush Cup reveals its original and true beauty. Rabbi Navon also clarifies a number of important legal issues in Jewish Law which take on deeper meaning due to his detailed analysis.