Article: Shaimos Bag How-To: Where does it go before Genizah?


Judaica stores sell special boxes that are marked for Genizah (cached storage of holy material). One can fill the box with their Shaimos (literal translation: names, i.e., worn out holy material), seal it and ship it off to the incorporated address to be properly buried.

Many people still utilize the old-fashioned “Shaimos bag”, wherein they store their outgoing Shaimos in a ubiquitous shopping bag until it is full and then deliver it to a Shaimos collection enterprise. What are some guidelines for interim storage of this material in a respectful manner?

Fill the bag only with Shaimos. Many of the Shaimos disposal sites do not sort through the material they receive, and it is important for the original owner to ascertain that only true Shaimos goes to Genizah.

The bag may rest on the floor. Despite being generally careful not to place Sefarim and holy objects on the ground, this is not the common custom regarding bags of Shaimos to be discarded.

The bag may be filled in the most convenient manner. Likewise, we need not worry about the sequence of books and pamphlets when piling them in—even though there is a precise method to stacking Sefarim, with Chumashim uppermost in placement.

Store the bag in a clean, dry and low-traffic area. The Shaimos should not become wet or soiled, nor should it ever, Chas V’shalom, get trampled, so it receives the deference its holy contents deserve.

Send the bag, too: a so-called “Shaimos bag” that was designated to house holy material long term also acquires a special status, and should accompany the Shaimos to their final resting place.



בכל הנז׳ בפנים – ראה ס׳ גנזי הקודש פט״ו סי״ג ואילך, בשם אומרם. ואף שלא הביא מקור – מסתברים הדברים. ועייש״ע פ״ח סי״ז.



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