The Kohein Gadol - high Priest - wore special clothes which distinguished him from all the other regular kohanim that served in the Holy Temple. (They wore pants and a long tunic made of plain white linen, with a belt made from red and blue threads.) Two of the Kohein Gadol's unique items were the choshen mishpat - the breastplate containing twelve stones, and the me'il techelet - the blue tunic that he wore over his white shirt and pants. Both the choshen mishpat and the me'il techelet have been recreated by The Temple Institute. The blue techelet dye needed for the me'il comes from a Mediterranean sea snail, called in Hebrew, a chilazon. The chilazon can be seen below:
An organization called "Ptil Tekhelet", which has rediscovered the ancient method of extracting the dye from the snails, provided the techelet dye for the Institute. The same dye is used in making blue tzitzit. The master weaver who wove the me'il used a special weaving technique she learned from Navajo Indians in America! On the lower hem of the me'il are golden bells and "pomegranates" woven from blue and red threads, as is described in the book of Exodus 28:34, (Shmot) "A golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, on the hem of the robe all around." Imagine a jacket made from snails! Or walking around with bells on your clothes!
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