How To Bury Shaimos


What are the rules for burying Shaimos?


Q. Are there different types of Shaimos with different rules?


Sifrei Torah, mezuzos, and tefillin, and Tanach written on parchment:
Must be buried in a sealed earthenware, metal or plastic container that will prevent them from decaying. They should be buried in or near a Jewish cemetery if possible.

Seforim and paper Shaimos:
Should be buried in a tightly closed plastic bag that will prevent it from decaying. They may be buried in any respectable place where they will not get uncovered.


שו”ע או”ח קנד סעיף ה, יו”ד רפב סעיף י. ראה מג”א שם קנד סק”ט. משנ״ב שם כב. וראה משנ״ב שם יג. כה״ח שם לז. הגהות חת״ס שם ה. שו״ת זקן אהרן וואלקין א,ט. זרע אמת יו״ד קלג. שד״ח כללים ג, עג. צי״א טו, ח. מנח״י א, יז. וראה גנזי הקודש פרק טו.


Q. Can it buried inside garbage bags? Cardboard boxes?


Garbage bags- only paper Shaimos. They must be tightly closed.

Cardboard boxes – no

מסברא, לפי שנרקב במהרה.


Q. How deep does it need to be buried?

A. Deep enough that it will not get uncovered – some poskim write that it should be 3 tefachim deep. It should certainly not be less than one tefach.

ראה שם בגנזי הקודש סעיף י.


Q. What can/cannot be done on the ground above (or next to) where the Shaimos is buried?

A. Poskim argue whether one may walk on top of the place where the Shaimos are buried. If the area is covered over by concrete, it is permitted to walk, build, etc. there.

ראה שם הערה כה. אלא שבצי”א שם החמיר לציין הקבר רק בס”ת וצ”ע בדעתו בשאר כתבי קודש.


Q. Can it be buried in the Same grave pit at a funeral?

Yes. On the contrary, it is advantageous if it is buried in grave of Talmid Chochom, or at least learned person, but should not be buried in the grave of an ‘Am Haaretz’.

שם בשו”ע.