The Machon Ptil Tekhelet has (to my mind) some pretty compelling arguments as to why the Murex Trunculus is very likely the genuine chilazon from which techeles (blue dye) for the mitzva of tzitzis is produced.
OTOH, we don't see that the Orthodox Jewish world is collectively rushing out to fulfill the mitzva as prescribed in the Torah. And not for lack of money, either - there is no end of people who are spending extra money on tefillin that are blackened on the back, extra-mehudar esrogim, the most expensive matzos available etc. So why are people not spending extra money to put techeles in their tzitzis?
I speculate a few reasons:
- They have not heard of the research and reasoning of Machon Ptil Tekhelet.
- They do not accept said research and reasoning and believe it is not the real techeles.
- They are unconvinced that it is the real techeles, and therefore don't feel compelled to act - but then why not buy it even out of doubt, when a Torah mitzva is at stake? Or is there some potential loss in the event that Murex Trunculus is not genuine techeles?
- The Rabbis accept that it would be good to wear techeles, but they themselves don't want to start wearing techeles publicly, because this will put pressure on the general populace to follow suit, and the expense will be too great for some people; therefore they decided effectively to be mevatel mitzvas aseh (annul a positive commandment) for the sake of shalom/peace, and not place people under additional financial stress.
- It's a political thing (I hope not!) - since Machon Ptil Tekhelet is identified with the Dati Leumi (Religious Zionist) sector, the Charedi (black-and-white) world doesn't want anything to do with it.
What are your thoughts?