What items are considered Sacred?
Generally, items fall into 3 groups:
- Holy Objects
- Disposable Mitzvah Objects
- Other items of Jewish Material
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?
- Metal – Clips, Staples, Wire Notebook Binders
- 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.