As the readers of this blog were the first to hear about the peeling retzua "scandal" or "shaila"
Here are the updates. A Rabbi of the five towns found that a pair of retzuos he purchased were peeling,The Rabbi publicly announced that these retzuot are "posul" and denounced the sofer that unknowingly sold these retzuot.An article by Yair Hoffman followed which can be found  in the newspaper he writes for just enter "peeling" in the search box.
We did just receive a tshuva from Rabbi M S Klien who is it machshir you can find the tshuva on The Vaads Blog
One more point Yair hoffman claims " Dayan Roth of Karlsburg issued a ruling prohibiting as well.  This ruling supercedes the letter issued to a Rabbi Oberlander earlier, according to Dayan Roth’s Av Beis Din" As per my sources Rabbi Roth is printing the original tshuva in his sefer and has notchanged his ruling.


  1. 1) Let's not refer to it as a scandal. I have had a number of in person conversations with Rav Friedlander over the last 2 weeks on this matter. It appears that the maker didn't change anything to cause it nor knowingly sold them. The maker was by me tonight and he isn't sure of the cause but is working to ensure that it not happen again.

    2) Rav Friedlander said that the Karlburer rav holds that the retzuos are kosher bedieved, unless of course they actually peel. This was also published in the name of rabbi traube in Ami magazine, which was quoted on yeshivaworld.Which psak of the rav is the correct one?

    3) The Edah holds that if they are the type that will peel off like tape they are and were always passul. Hence, a test must be done to see if they peel. if they don't then they are fine.

    4) The maker in question is not suspect of using "leatherboard" and any such premature claims should be ignored. The Edah continues to clarify the entire matter and has asked Rabbi Hoffman to hold off from further public articles for the time being. (Rabbi Hoffman is in Israel and met with Rav Friedlander and the retzuos maker and from what I was told, he seemed pleased with what he heard and saw when meeting the maker.

    5) This matter was not handled as it should have been. A sofer was wrongly accused and information was made public prematurely and against the specific wishes of the poskim who had been looking into the matter. There were also inaccuracies. This just created havoc. The sofer who was wrongly attacked was apologized to and letters from leading poskim were sent out expressing their support for this sofer and their displeasure at how he was treated. The letters are linked to here in one of the postings. When I have more information and clarifications (and his permission to publicize) from Rav Friedlander, who is leading the investigation with the Edah, I'll gladly share it.

  2. The 2nd page of the psak of Rav Klein that is on the worldofstam site is not readable. Does anyone have a full copy they can post here?

  3. This should be easier to read.

  4. I see some contradictions in this story. Yerachmiel, you say:
    "It appears that the maker didn't change anything to cause it nor knowingly sold them. The maker was by me tonight and he isn't sure of the cause"

    On the other hand, in R' Klein's letter he says:
    מחמת תקלה בעבוד העור נסתמו נקבובי העור
    which means that cause is well known - the pores of the leather were clogged. What is the source of this knowledge which the manufacturer does not know?

    I remember reading some time ago of someone complaining that after peeling the paint, the leather is covered with a clear sticky layer. If this is true, then, it indicates something prohibited - could it be that the manufacturer glued a black plastic sheet to the leather using a pressure-sensitive adhesive between the black sheet and the leather? This would certainly not qualify as kosher paint.

    R' Klein's explanation of clogging the pores of the leather is consistent with (but does not prove) first coating the leather with a layer of clear glue, or a layer of some other material, which would be a חציצה between the leather and the paint.

    1. It would seem from a cursory reading of the A"R SH"A 33:5 and Kuntras Achron, that

      1) Any type of permanent black color applied on retzuos is fine, (dye, pigment, film, or whatever).

      2) Even if the binder or primer or first coat was not a valid coating, if the final coat is black and lishma, is it is still kosher.

      The loshon in Kuntres Acharon is:
      דבחזותא תליא מלתא והעליון הוא הנראה ובצבע הלך אחר הנראה וכו' וצ"ע לדינא

      Further in that seif he says "vtov lehachmir" which means that you MAY be machmir but there is no chiuv to do so.

  5. The maker mentioned that this may be the cause, hence I wrote he isn't sure. He isn't certain and hence, Rav Klein can;t be certain either since his information is from the maker.

    As was mentioned in one of the letters from Rabbi Hoffman that is online and will be mentioned in my upcoming article, BE'H, the makers use synthtic glue on the surface to stregthen the fibers that were weakened in the tanning process. Once it drys it is sanded to remove any mamashush, leaving only what has soaked into the leather. This is not a chatzizta and has been done for decades by all the makers and is not the source of the problem. I spoke to another retzuos maker tonight (makes under the Edah) and said that the glue doesn't preven the paint from soaking in/adhering to the leather.


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