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What items are considered Sacred?

Generally, items fall into 3 groups:

  • Holy Objects
  • Disposable Mitzvah Objects
  • Other items of Jewish Material

Holy Objects

JCAM takes the responsibility for the burial of Shemot, which include:

  • Torah books Bibles, Scrolls, Passover Service (haggadot), Grace After Meals (benchers), tefillin, talitot, mezuzot, Torah mantles/sashes (and any items that have been in direct contact with a Torah scroll)
  • Pages or papers with Torah portions and/or the Hebrew name of G-d are also considered holy and we ensure that these items are treated with the respect our tradition accords them
  • Schoolwork, homework and test papers may be considered holy objects if they contain God’s Name, Torah laws or 3 consecutive words of Torah. These are considered sacred and should be brought to the Genizah in a cardboard box that can be easily carried.

Please remove the following since it is not biodegradable: Can we effectively highlight this section?

  • Laminate
  • Metal – Clips, Staples, Wire Notebook Binders
  • Ceramic
  • Plastic Notebook Binders

    Do Not Bring these items to the Genizah:

    Disposable Mitzvah Objects – The following items do not need to be buried must be disposed of in a respectful manner by double wrapping in paper and disposing in the trash:

    • tallit after the fringes have been removed for burial
    • tallit bags
    • Lulav & Etrog
    • Pictures of Holy Individuals

    Other Objects – The following items can be discarded directly in the trash

    • Kippot, Menorahs, Stars of Davids, Israeli Flags, audio/visual materials with liturgy or teachings, computer disks, diagrams or pictures without text and stories and newspapers that do not contain sections of Torah
    • Books or items in Hebrew that do not have God’s name or Torah Text
    • Jewish Religious books or items not printed in Hebrew
    • Any personal items or mail, such as calendars, newspapers, solicitations, magazines, or school papers, unless the Hebrew name of G-d or Torah portions are found within them

    What is a Genizah?

    From Britainnica.com –

    Genizah, also spelled geniza (Hebrew: “hiding place”), plural genizot, genizoth, or genizahs, in Judaism, a repository for timeworn sacred manuscripts and ritual objects, generally located in the attic or cellar of a synagogue or cemetery.