STaM Alert: Retzuos & Giddin from Ukraine and E. Europe

27 Iyar 5771
May 31, 2011

tefillin-straps4A warning has been issued pertaining retzuos (straps) and giddin (sinew) originating in Ukraine or Eastern Europe.

Large quantities of these items, both with and without a hechsher, are being imported from the Ukraine. Even the items with a hechsher are extremely problematic. They are manufactured in very large facilities where other leather work is done, such as the production of shoe leather. This takes place simultaneously. The hechsherim rely on closed circuit television cameras.

It is most difficult to ascertain if all workers involved in the process are Jewish and even more difficult to determine if the retzuos and giddin were made ‘lishmo’.

The manufacturing process has numerous stages and there are issues as to how the leather is being properly marked and separated from the shoe leather. Therefore, one should inquire as to the name of the manufacturer and the country of origin prior to making a purchase.

One may contact Rabbi Moshe Flumenbaum directly at moshe@hasofer.com

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