The color blue is said to rule the mind, our reasoning ability and the intellect as well as represent knowledge, dignity and intuition. The color blue also plays an important role in the Bible. The blue dye, called “techelet” (תכלת), was used in the special garments of the high priest, in the cloth that covered the vessels in the Holy Place, in the curtains in the Tabernacle, and as a covering over the Ark of the Covenant (ארון) in preparation for transport. In addition, a twisted blue thread of “techelet” was woven within the fringes or “tzitzit” on the corners of the garments of the children of Israel. This blue was made from a dye extracted from a sea creature called the “chilazon”.
Blue generally symbolized divinity for the ancient Israelites because blue was the color of the sky and sea. According to Rabbi Hirsch, “the blue in many ways symbolizes the presence of heaven on earth, the essence of the entire Temple.” From the Talmud Chullin 89a, “Techelet, turquoise/blue, is the color of the sea, which resembles the color of the sky, which resembles the color of sapphire, which resembles the color of the Throne of Glory”. Chullin 89a also tells us, “God’s throne of glory is nothing other than the Temple itself. As such, techelet is not just an indispensable material of the Temple; it is, as it were, the very color of the Temple.”
The Ark(ארון) of the Covenant in the Temple represented the Throne of Glory. It was the only vessel covered on the outside with the blue when Israel had to prepare to transport the Tabernacle. First the partition curtain or parokhet was placed over the ark, followed by the skin or “takhash” and only then was everything covered with the techelet (תכלת). It is quite significant that the ark was completely covered with the blue.
The Temple was designed like a body and the Holy of Holies represented the brain. The Ark (Aron) inside the Holy of Holies was not only the center of the Temple but the Universe. From the Ark went out all knowledge and light to the whole world. Even the word Aron (ארון) containsthe word light (אור). The Ark can also be compared to the Pineal gland in the human brain.
The center of brain function in the human body is the Pineal, which is a tiny organ located in the actual center of the brain that is stimulated by the nerves from the eyes. It is activated by light and controls a variety of functions in the body. It is also the storehouse of the imagination and creation.
The Pineal gland is called the “blue pearl” even though it is more reddish than blue. It communicates information about light to various parts of the body. The light-transducing ability of the pineal has led some to call it the “third eye”. Even New Age mystics have identified the Pineal gland as the organ of spiritual vision and the connecting link between the physical and spiritual worlds. It is not hard to see the connection with the Ark of the Covenant.
According to Descartes, the Pineal was the principal seat of the soul and the place in which all our thoughts are formed. He identified it as the place of imagination, memory and the causation of bodily movements. Descartes emphasized that here was where the soul joined to the whole body. The sages also understood thatthe Ark was the element in the Temple that connected the outside to the inside, the infinite to the finite, the bridge between this world and the World to Come, and ultimately between the physical and the spiritual.
The commandments of God were placed inside the Ark of the Covenant. Ramban saw the color blue as representing all the commandments. He declared that, “the remembrance of the commandments is through the blue thread, which alludes to the all inclusive attribute, which is BA-KOL and which is the aim of all.” “Therefore”, he said, “that you may look upon it and remember KOL (all).
In conclusion, it is interesting that the word KOL (כל), which means all or everything are the letters inside the word techelet (תכלת). The two outside letters is the “tav” which means a sign. The blue on the outside of the ark is a sign to the whole worldof all the commandments of God. The commandments represent the only true knowledge in the Universe. The commandments will go forth to the whole world from the Ark, the center of the Universe, and therefore from the very mind of God. How truly remarkable is the color blue!!