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Talmud: Menahot 44a
Maimonides: Zizit 2:2
This snail [hilazon]:
This snail [hilazon]
1.      its body resembles the sea
1.      is a fish
2.      and its formation resembles a fish
2.      whose coloration resembles
the coloration of the sea
3.      and it ascends* once in 70 years**
3.      and its blood is as black as ink
4.      and with its blood tekhelet is dyed.
4.      and it is to be found in the Salt Sea.
Therefore its value is expensive.
 
 
 
* “Ascends” - from the sea, since they are fished with nets:
Talmud Shabbat 74b – Hunters of shellfish knot and unknot.
Rashi’s Commentary - Hunters of shellfish, in order to dye the tekhelet with its blood.
Knot and unknot; since all nets are made of multiple knottings … and sometimes cords need to be taken from one net and added to another, unknotting from one and knotting to the other.
 
** “Once in seventy years” - once in a blue moon
Mishna Makkot 1:10 – A Supreme Court [Sanhedrin] that metes out capital punishment once in seven years is called destructive. Rabbi Elazar son of Azarya says: once in seventy years.