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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Double black Retzuas

In the recent years, double black retzuas has become rather popular. Apparently it answers to the problem of retzuas becoming posul through peeling paint etc... The Rambam writes that the noi of the Tefillin is to be completely black on all sides, although the Mishna Berura 33:21 writes that we are not nohag like the Rambam in this. The Shavet Halevi 9:16 writes that this is not even a hidur since the Gedoli Yisroel never wrote (or had for themselves)for the need of double black retzuas. He also brings that this is the opinion of The Shulchan Aruch HaRav by only mentioning that it should be black mibachutz. Although the shavet Halevi does conclude that if yechidim do it for themselves and not as a horah - tavo aleihem bracha. My questions are the following, when did the double black retzuas start most recently? Have the Rabbanim seemed to change their opinion on double black retzuas or is this recent trend have more to do with the market which not necessarily know much better? Appreciate your input.

13 comments:

  1. I recommend people take the double black retails for two main reasons.
    1. I see all the time that paint has cracked on regular retzuos and most people at not careful with it. Often this can be a safek of being pasul.
    2. There is a machlokes what it means mibechutz. Do the sides of the retzuos have to be black as well? The Keset hasofer and others say you should paint the sides. Also from pictures of the rebbes tefillin it appears to me that the sides were painted. Also the retzuos with Rav landau's hechsher are painted on the side. With the double black this issue is dealt with.

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  3. True, for point 1 many unlearned people do not know and probably will not be careful with this in the future, for such people I see an advantage with double black straps.

    Concerning point 2, Rav Landau's Retzuas you mentioned are davka painted on the sides {(which also protects the paint from cracking off as do double black straps)} and not the second back part- even though by painting the sides it is much more time consuming and expensive than just having the entire retzuah completely black. I.e. they do not have double black retzuas probably for the reasons mentioned in the Mishna Berura and SHavet Halevi etc...

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  4. BLACK ON BOTH SIDES RETZUOS HAS DONE WONDERS FOR THE SIMPLE FACT THAT MOST PEOPLE DO NOT MAINTAIN THEIR RETZOUS AND 50% OR MORE OF TEFILLIN I GET FOR CHECKING HAVE POSSUL RETZUOS BECAUSE THE BLACK VENEER HAS CRACKED IN PLACES. THIS IS NOT A PROBLEM IN THE DOUBLE BLACK RETZUOS WHICH DTAY KOSHER UNTIL THEY EITHER STRETCH OUT OR TEAR.

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  5. Attention Lomdim:There are two ways to understand the m"b.
    1)our minhag is not like the rambam to make it black so leave it white
    2)although according to the rambam it should be black our minhag is not that it should be black however there is no reason not to have it any color)aside from red)

    By the way I've had Retzuos with red stamps on the back which must be removed since the color red is not allowed.

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    1. איני רואה שום חשש
      מקודם כל אנם אתיות אדומות אלא כצבע התפוז
      ועוד באויות אן שום חשש שיאמרו מדם צבע

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  6. I agree that the all black retzuos are a tremendous haztzala! I would say more like 90% of people with regular retzuos either have passul or bedieved retzuos and hence tefillin) due to cracks or worn spots, often not easily noticeable around the kesher, where they rub each other or rub against the batim. Alos, most people are in a rush before and after davening and even if they want or need to look over their retzuos they just don't get around to it. There was a small retzuos maker who first came out with them at least 10 years ago. Unfortunately, the black (other than the top surface was not so black and Rav Elyashiv paskened on the sample I first showed to Rav Friedlander, that they were not black, hence no gain. Rav Shertbuch said the black was bedieved and Rav Shlomo Zalman Ulman in Bnai brak/Kiryat Sefer said they were black. Fortunately a few years later the main makers started producing them and I haven't looked back! Just note, that the area below the surface much be halachically black, which you can tell by looking at the sides and back. I just showed Rav Friedlander a new all black retzuah from a top maker with a top hechsher and he said that while it was black he wasn't too happy and said I should tell the maker.

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    1. Thank you,

      I did wonder about that, the double black retzuos (I mean the sides and bottom not including the top shiny part)definitely do not seem to be "Shachor Kiorev" Mishna Berura 33:19 especially the ones that are a little older they seem to resemble a slight dark blueish color through a little ageing.

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    2. In the Biur Halacha of the Mishna Berura you quote it says that "lchatchila" it should be black like a raven (oirev) but other shades of semi-black, such as "kchol" (blue-black??) are also kosher.

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  8. but this color is not lechatcila. Do not misunderstand me that I am saying these straps are not kosher etc...
    Just that they are not necessarily more mehudar than a good quality single black retzuah (or black on the sides).
    However for the laymen that is not careful on painting the retzuot the double black have their advantanges.

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  9. Dovid,

    Even the more charcoal black color I showed to the rav was deemed lechatchila. My point is to not assume.

    Just the laymen? These retzuos are for the vast majority! I've checked and looked at countless tefillin of bachurei yeshiva, avreichim, talmidei chachamim... and have found problems with the single black retzuos. The problems are easily overlooked b/c most don't know where to look and b/c we are always in a rush b/f and after davening. My customers automatically receive the black through and through unless they demand otherwise after I try and talk them out of it. I'm confident this policy will chalk up much more schar miztvas tefillin for klal yisrael! (No one can say I'm just trying to make a sell since these retzuos are bad for business. We'll likely never sell them retzuos again! Plus I never suggest to anyone to switch just to have the through and through type - only to switch when they have to buy new retzuos anyways.

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  10. בש"ע פוסק שמבפנים יעשה מאיזה צבע שירצה [חוץ מצבע דם שלא יאמרו מדם צבע אותם] ולפי הרמב"ם יעשה דוקא מצבע הבתים לעולם לא יהיו אלא כעין צבע הקציצה וכן האריז"ל כ' בפרק ד' בשער הכוונות וצריך להשחירם שחורות כעורב מבית ומחוץ.
    http://prntscr.com/2qa8kl

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