Based on this question: Do Tefilin need to be painted with "special" ink?

Based on the answers, we know that the paint used on the retzuah must be derived from kosher animals (or plants and synthetics). It may not be derived from un-kosher animals (e.g. pig, elephant, camel, et c.).

Taking this into account, are there any shoe polishes (which can be used to blacken tefillin) which are made only from acceptable ingredients which are available in the Eastern US?

  • 1
    I edited the question to explain what I think you intend the purpose of the shoe polish to be; if I'm wrong please revert or clarify the question. Commented Jan 22, 2015 at 19:06
  • @Maimonist advised Kiwi shoe polish: wired.com/2009/12/st_shoe_polish Commented Jan 25, 2015 at 1:21
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    things used to make tefillin need to be produced l'shem mitzvah
    – Dude
    Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 3:12
  • @Dude, there's a machlokes about both dio and tzeva (see the discussion here: stamforum.com/2012/02/dyo-for-sofrut.html). Furthermore, when I discussed this with my rav as a stop-gap solution (I sinced picked up some proper tzeva in Mea Shearim when I was in E"Y over the summer) he matired it. Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 3:18

1 Answer 1


According to a previous answer posted by Maimonist, Kiwi shoe polish fulfills the parameters above. I double checked this with a quick internet search, which turned up a Wired article which listed the ingredients and their origins. I subsequently checked with my rav, who validated the premise of my question and said that Kiwi shoe polish is kosher for such a purpose.

  • except that it is doubtful that kiwi shoe polish was made specifically for the mitzvah of tefillin as the ingredients for making the tefillin need to be
    – Dude
    Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 3:11
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    @Dude Since when does the paint to blacken Tefillin need to be made Lishmah? Please back up your assertions.
    – Double AA
    Commented Apr 11, 2016 at 3:20

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