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In Halacha, is there a requirement for the straps made for tefillin to be made out of animal skin such as leather, or no? If there is a requirement, is it Derabbanan, or a Halacha LeMoshe Misinai? Or is it derived from Drash in the tanakh?

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    Another great resource for basic halachot is halachipedia, which has a very user-friendly interface: halachipedia.com/… Commented Feb 4 at 23:07
  • I've heard R. Toviah Singer talk about this being a real challenge for vegan Jews who are becoming observant. From what he said, there wasn't a "workaround."
    – user34203
    Commented Feb 5 at 15:20
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    @Paul there is no requirement that the animal be killed. Accordingly, people who care about that sort of thing can special order straps made from the hide of an animal who lived a nice life and died of old age.
    – Double AA
    Commented Feb 5 at 15:31
  • @DoubleAA I didn't know that. That's pretty cool that they try to work with folks like that. The vegan R. Singer spoke of was very dedicated, wouldn't wear leather at all, no matter how the animal died. But he did reconcile that part after awhile and was finally able to wear tefillin.
    – user34203
    Commented Feb 5 at 15:37

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The straps must be made of skins of a kosher animal (OC 33:3, cf. Shabbat 28b).

Pri Megadim is unsure if this requirement is biblical (like by the other components of tefillin) or only rabbinic.

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