Shaimos Guidelines brought to you by Israel Bookshop


        Shaimos Guidelines
Shaimos has holiness and should be put in proper geniza or buried.  The following categories are listed in order of importance:
1. Holy Writings: Handwritten parchments such as Tefillin, Mezuzot, and
  Megillah scrolls.  These items need to be double wrapped in plastic before being placed in shaimos.
2. Words of Torah: Printed or photocopied material:  Chumashim, Gemarot, commentaries of the Sages; Torah articles
   that aredistributed weekly; Parsha sheets, homework which has Torah content.  Anything with a pasuk (Biblical verse) including wedding and bar or bat mitzvah invitations or greeting cards which have entire pesukim.  Book cover that is removed from a holy book, or other parts of a holy book.
3. Holy Objects: Tefillin straps, covers, and bags; Mezuzah wrappings and casings; Torah mantels and sashes.
4. Mitzvah Objects: Anything that was used for a mitzvah, such as:  Tallit, tzitzit, etrog, shofar, lulav, gartel etc.  There
  are those who are careful to treat items in this category as shaimos.
Not Shaimos:
Yarmulkas, audio or video materials, computer disks, diagrams or pictures without text. 
For any further questions, contact your Rabbi.



If you are reading a Jewish newspaper and 80% is advertising and “rubbish” and only 20% is Torah, do you put it all in the garbage or all in Shaimos?
A There are some people who say that if the majority is not Torah you could throw it away but if you want to have a little more respect for God, so cut that section out and place it in a Shaimos box.

Why does a gartel belong in a shamos box? Tashmishei Mitzvoh is NIZROKIN=Garbage can.


True, tashmishei mitzvah are nizrokin, but the prevailing custom is to treat tashmishe mitzvah with great respect and bury them wherever possible, as shaimos.  Suggest that, that person discuss it with their Rov.


"Maybe I shouldn’t go in to a Jewish web site and learn Torah from my computer screen because I am continuously erasing Torah words on my screen?

A This is different because those are not words to begin with, they are dots - millions of dots that form words, and are not called words that were ever put down in to some sort of way at all.
Q Is there a "ceremony" before or after the burial of the Shaimos?
A There is no prescribed ceremony for the burying of old or dilapidated holy texts. The reason we bury them is so that they should not be treated disrespectfully.  Originally, this practice was for hand written holy writings that had G-d's name written on parchment.Also included were adjuncts to those writings such as special cover for Torah scrolls, mezuzah covers etc. Later this spread to printed books and other printed materials with Torah content.  Actually the items do not have to be buried but could even be archived-- the main point is to treat them respectfully.
Q I am a publisher and have a huge load of shaimos – a misprint of an entire edition of a book.  We’re talking about 5-6 skids (!) of merchandise, approx. 300 plus boxes, These books CANNOT be sold under any circumstances. What do I do?

According to some Rabaim newly printed sefarim that have not been read from, that are also right off the press and have problems with them where they can’t be distributed do not need to be put in to Shaimos.

This, together with another psak by a very known Rabbi, says you could double wrap them in black non-see threw garbage bags as an alterative for burying.

But if you still want to dispose of it the traditional way and your conscience doesn’t allow you to do the above, I could come up with a price to take it from you. Please contact us.



Desposing of Shaimos by the KOF-K.pdf

by the

The Halachos of Shaimos

Many people are not familiar with the halachos of shaimos. The problem with the volume

of shaimos, only developed fairly recently with the advent of cheap, commonly utilized

printing methods. After reviewing these halachos one will have a clear understanding of

what is indeed shaimos and how to properly dispose of them.

The posuk1 tells us that there is a requirement upon all of klal yisroel to destroy and break

any idol, and to remove their names from our midst, and one is forbidden to do this to

Hashem’s name. The issur to destroy or break a name of Hashem is called Lo Sason Kein

L’Shem Elokaycheim.” The Gemorah2 says that included in this issur is the prohibition to

erase the name of Hashem. The Rambam3 says that whoever destroys any of Hashem’s

names receives malkos. The Chinuch4 says the reason for this mitzvah is in order to come

to fear Hashem. Whoever is not careful with the kedusha of seforim will have to give a din

and chesbon over it after 120 years.5

If one gives the right respect to something which deserves to be buried then Hashem will

have compassion on us and He will make sure that klal yisroel does not get destroyed.6

The Mishnah7 says if one honors the Torah then he will be honored and liked by the


There is a big discussion in the poskim if something is not hand written but rather

printed if it has kedusha.8 The consensus of the poskim is that it is equal to being hand


1 Devarim 12:4, see Torah Temimah ibid:12:4.

2 Mesechtas Makos 22a, see Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 276:9.

3 Hilchos Yesodei Hatorah 6:1, see Sefer Hamitzvahs (Rambam) lo sasei 65.

4 Mitzvah 433.

5 Taz Y.D. 271:8.

6 Sefer Matamim page 140:11 (new).

7 Pirkei Avos 4:6.

8 Refer to Rama M’Pano 93, Taz O.C. 284:2, Y.D. end of 271, Magen Avraham O.C. 32:57, 154:14, 334:17,

Rav Poalim 2:24, Mishnah Berurah 40:4, Maharsham 3:357, Minchas Yitzchok 1:17:8, Eyunei Halachos

2:page 564, Be’er Moshe 3:174:4, 8:47, Shevet Ha’Levi Y.D. 5:163, Tzitz Eliezer 3:1, Ginzei Ha’kodesh

1:footnote 4. Refer to Chazzon Ish Y.D. 164:3 who is lenient.


The Names of Hashem

As previously mentioned one is forbidden to erase the name of Hashem. Those names

are:􀊺􀊥􀊠-􀊡􀊶 ,􀊩􀊣-􀊹 ,􀊭􀊩􀊤-􀊬􀊠 ,􀊤􀊥􀊬-􀊠 ,􀊬-􀊠 ,􀊺􀊥􀊰􀊣􀊠 ,􀊤􀊩􀊥􀊤􀀃􀊭􀊹.9 These names are required to be put into

shaimos.10 Rachum, Chanun, Hagodel Hagibbur are not required to be placed in shaimos.11

There is a dispute if the name of Hashem in English (G-d) may be erased.12 The following

does not need geniza and one may throw items containing these names in the garbage.13

Writing a Daled,14 Hashem (in English or Hebrew),15 Hakodesh Boruch Hu,16 B’ezras

Hashem17 and writting BS’D (bais samach daled).18 Some are careful and did not write a

BS’D on top of a letter.19 Some question if writing a kuf instead of a heh does not require

shaimos, but the minhag is to be lenient.20 There is a dispute in the poskim if one writes

the letters Bais and Heh if they require to be put into shaimos. Some were careful about

writing these letters on top of a letter if they will be thrown away.21 The overwhelming

custom is to permit the writing of bais and hey on top of a letter even if the letter will be

thrown away22 (but not in a disgraceful place).23 This is how the Brisker Rav was noheg

9 Refer to Mesechtas Shavuos 35a-35b, Tur Y.D. 276, Shulchan Aruch 276:9, Bais Yosef. Some say 􀀃􀊸􀊹􀊠􀀃􀊤􀊩􀊤􀊠

􀊤􀊩􀊤􀊠 (Shulchan Aruch ibid).

10 Ginzei Ha’kodesh 7:1 page 266:75 quoting the opinion of Horav Chaim Kanievesky Shlita.

11 Mesechtas Shavous and Tur ibid, Aruch Ha’shulchan Y.D. 276:23, Ginzei Hakodesh 7:7, see Shulchan

Aruch O.C. 85:2.

12 Refer to Shach Y.D. 276:11, Pischei Teshuva 11, 19, Mishnah Berurah O.C. 85:10, Aruch Ha’shulchan

Y.D. 276:24, C.M. 27:3, Ginzei Hakodesh 7:footnote 24.

13 Opinion of Horav Elyashiv Shlita quoted in Ginzei Hakodesh 7:footnote 11.

14 Aruch Ha’shulchan Y.D. 276:28, see Shevet Ha’kehusi 4:256:2.

15 Igros Moshe Y.D. 2:138, Ginzei Hakodesh 7:footnote 8.

16 Ginzei Hakodesh 7:5.

17 Igros Moshe ibid, Ginzei Hakodesh 7:5, Orchos Rabbeinu 1:page 257:43, see Doleh U’mashka page 341.

The Chazzon Ish did not even write a BS’D when he started writing on top of a paper (Orchos Rabbeinu


18 Igros Moshe ibid, Betzel Hachuchma 4:105, Rivevos Ephraim 4:203, Ginzei Hakodesh ibid:footnote 9,

Nezer Ha’chaim page 217:166.

19 Orchos Rabbeinu 1:page 257:43.

20 Shevet Ha’kehusi 2:288, 4:256:1, Ginzei Hakodesh 7:footnote 12 quoting the opinion of Horav Korelitz


21 Tz’fnas Pa’ne’ach 196:page 155, Toras Chaim page 138, Piskei Teshuvos 3:292:page 50, Rivevos Ephraim

ibid, Ginzei Hakodesh 7:footnote 13, Nezer Ha’chaim page 217:166, Ginzei Hakodesh 7:footnote 13

quoting the opinions of Horav Ben-zion Abba Shaul zt”l and Horav Shlomo Zalman Aurbach zt”l, see

Yugel Yaakov footnotes 350-353, Doleh U’mashka page 341, Nekius V’kovod B’tefilla page 101:37-38.The

Betzel Hachuchma 4:105 says midakdikim do not throw out a paper with the letters bais and hey.

22 Melamid L’huel O.C. 113:20, Yaskil Avdi Y.D. 7:20:3, 8:13, Yechaveh Da’as 3:78, Avnei Yushfei 1:13:2

quoting the opinion of Horav Wosner Shlita, Yugel Yaakov footnotes 350-353, Ginzei Hakodesh

7:footnote 13 quoting the opinion of Horav Elyashiv Shlita.

23 Igros Moshe Y.D. 2:138.


as well.24 Writing the name Eibishtar is permitted and does not need to be put into

shaimos.25 Many say even if one breaks up the letters of a name of Hashem by placing a

hyphen between the letters, it still requires geniza,26 while others are lenient.27

According to the lenient opinion, if one is concerned that the writing may end up in a

disgusting location he should hyphenate the name of Hashem (for example G-d).28 Horav

Moshe Feinstein ztl was stringent with hyphenated Hashem’s name.29 When writing the

numbers in Hebrew of 16 and 17 the minhag is to write tes vov and tes zayin instead of yud

heh, and yud vov.30 (One should not say Hashem’s name even in English for no reason.31

When one says “thank G-d” it is not considered saying Hashem’s name for no reason

since it is the derech for people to say it and he does not have intention of Hashem’s name

to be mentioned per ‘se).32

Sending out Papers with Hashem􀂷s Name

One should not send out advertisements with the name of Hashem written on it because

most people just throw it in the garbage without knowing they are not allowed to and it

comes to a disgrace. Many organizations do this and it is not correct.33 One may do so if

one is not writing the complete name.34

Chocolate “Gelt

During Chanukah chocolate gelt is available on the market which says “in G-d we Trust”

on it. The question arises how one is allowed to eat it since he is erasing the name of

Hashem (albeit in a different language) This does not make a difference according to

some poskim.35 Some say l’chatchilah one should not purchase such chocolates, however,

if they were purchased already they can be eaten since when one eats it that is not

considered erasing since it is the normal manner to eat it.36 Others say one can purchase

24 Teshuvos V’hanhugos 1:640. He quotes that the Gr’a was stringent.

25 Igros Moshe 1:172 (end), Teshuvos V’hanhugos 1:639.

26 Avnei Nezer Y.D. 365:1, Ginzei Hakodesh 9:9:6:footnote 35.

27 Minchas Yitzchok 9:62:3, Halichos Shlomo Tefilla 22:footnote 34, Ginzei Hakodesh 7:footnote 29

quoting the opinion of Horav Elyashiv Shlita.

28 Ginzei Hakodesh 7:footnote 26.

29 Sharei Simcha (Shavuos) page 16.

30 Yosef Ometz page 279, Piskei Teshuvos 154:footnote 126.

31 Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 6:3, see Rivevos Ephraim 5:560 who says one should not say ado’shem instead of

saying Hashem’s name. Refer to ibid:5:474.

32 Pischei Halacha (Berochos) Miluyim 3:page 242..

33 Igros Moshe Y.D. 2:134-135.

34 Ginzei Hakodesh 7:17:footnote 35 quoting the opinion of Horav Elyashiv Shlita.

35 Refer to footnote 12.

36 Ve’alu Lo Yeibol 2:page 120:119.


it even l’chatchilah and rely on those poskim who maintain the name of Hashem written in

a different language is permitted to be erased. This seems to be the custom of most

people.37 There is a custom to give a child who is getting his hair cut by his upsherin a

piece of cake with honey and a posuk written on it.38 The reason for it is to open the

child’s heart to Torah by licking the honey and eating the cake.39 Some say that one may

eat the piece of cake that contains a posuk because it is made for that purpose and has no

kedusha.40 Others took issue with this and did not permit it.41

Lights with Hashems Name

Some poskim maintain that lights which spell out the name of Hashem are permitted to

be turned off and it is not considered that one is erasing the name of Hashem.42

The Name Shalom

Shalom is a name of Hashem,43 therefore it should be treated with more kedusha than

other names that people are called. One may not greet someone in an inner bathhouse

by calling out Shalom.44 Many are lenient with this and simply drop off the last letter of

Shalom.45 Some maintain if a person is writing Shalom on a letter it should be

abbreviated and written either without the mem or without the vov,46 while others

maintain this is not necessary.47 If one is writing Shalom as a greeting, then he may write

it in the regular way (Shalom).48

37 Horav Yisroel Belsky Shlita.

38 Rokeach 296. Refer to Natei Gavriel Pesach 3:pages 358-359.

39 Dugel Mervuva O.C. 340:3, see Osios Machkimos pages 183-187.

40 Opinion of Horav Elyashiv Shlita quoted in Giznei Hakodesh 11:19:footnote 30, page 265:62 quoting

the opinion of Horav Chaim Kanievesky Shlita, see Bais Yitzchok Y.D. 2:107.

41 Refer to Chavos Yuer 16, Sheilas Yaavetz 2:140, Pri Ha’aretz 2:4, Ginzei Hakodesh 11:19. Refer to

Nishmas Shabbos 4:96.

42 Sharei Kodesh 166.

43 Refer to Gemorah Shabbos 10b, Ran Shabbos 4b, Tosfas Sotah 10a “eleh,” Magen Avraham 84:2, Sharei

Teshuva 151:1. See Aruch Ha’shulchan Y.D. 276:28, Avnei Yushfei 1:12.

44 Gemorah Shabbos 10b. Refer to Chai Adom 3:36, Mishnah Berurah 84:6. One is permitted to walk into

the bathroom with the name Shalom on a yarmulka.

45 Refer to Taz 84:3, Machtzis Ha’shekel O.C. 84:2, Pri Megadim M.Z. 3, Chai Adom 3:36, Nishmas Adom

9, Birchei Yosef 85:9, Mishnah Berurah 84:6.

46 Rama Y.D. 276:13, Mishnah Berurah 86:4, Yabea Omer Y.D. 4:22, Halichos Shlomo Tefilla 22:footnote


47 Shach 16, Be’er Moshe 4 :8, Yabea Omer ibid. See Igros Moshe O.C. 4:40:1, Rivevos Ephraim 3:609.

48 Radvaz 1:220, Pischei Teshuva Y.D. 276:28.



Many times one has tapes with Hashems name recorded on it and after a while he wants

to copy over the tape (or a C.D) in order to copy something else on to it. If one wants to

copy over it he should let a goy do it for him or a young child.49 Some say he can do it

himself and it is not considered erasing Hashems name since there is no real substance to

the words on the tape.50 Horav Yaakov Kamenetsky zt”l said other Torah should be copied

over a Torah tape.51 If there is no posuk or name of Hashem many poskim are lenient to

erase it.52 These tapes when finished with them may be thrown in the garbage.53 Others

say one should wrap the tape in a bag prior to throwing it out.54 One should initially try

not to record any of Hashem’s names on a tape.55 One is permitted to erase the name of

Hashem or a posuk that is written on a computer screen since it is not considered

erasing.56 Divrei Torah written in microscopic letters or on microfilm should be treated

with the same kedusha as a regular sefer. If one cannot put it in shaimos he should wrap it

in a bag before discarding it.57

Writing Torah on a Blackboard

Many times a teacher writes Torah on a blackboard. Some poskim say that they can write

Torah and erase it, since the intention is to write more Torah on the blackboard.58 Some

say the reason why it is permitted is because there is an unspoken condition made that

no kedusha should be placed on this Torah.59 The eraser is not required to be put into

shaimos.60 One is not allowed to erase something on a blackboard that contains the name

49 Igros Moshe Y.D. 1:173, 2:142, O.C. 3:31, Kinyan Torah 1:34:5, Rivevos Ephraim 7:379:6, Tzitz Eliezer

13:1, Shevet Ha’Levi Y.D. 2:145, 6:154, Minchas Yitzchok 3:102, Oz Nedberu 5:12:2, Har Tzvi 1:page 280,

Halichos Shlomo Tefilla 20:footnote 34, Divrei Chachumim Y.D. 100:1, Emes L’Yaakov Y.D. 276:footnote

195, Chai Ha’Levi 4:83, Sharei Ha’beracha 10:16, see Chelkes Yaakov 3:98:2 and Yaskil Avdi 8:page 179a

who say it is forbidden in any case.

50 Yabea Omer Y.D. 4:40, 8:26, Yechaveh Da’as 4:50, Yeishiv Moshe page 145, Teshuvos V’hanhugos 3:325,

Shearim Metzuyanim B’halacha 28 (kuntres achron) 15, Ginzei Hakodesh 7:40, Tzedaka U’mishpat

16:footnote 83, Nezer Ha’chaim page 219:170, see Be’er Moshe 5:66:5, 7:kuntres electric 62.

51 Emes L’Yaakov Y.D. 276:footnote 195.

52 Yugel Yaakov page 106 quoting the opinion of Horav Henkin zt”l, Piskei Teshuvos 154:footnote 132.

53 Ginzei Hakodesh page 272:2.

54 The Laws of Pesach A Digest (Rabbi Blumenkrantz zt”l 2006) page 726.

55 Horav Yisroel Belsky Shlita, Be’er Moshe 4:91.

56 Avnei Yushfei 4:105, Teshuvos V’hanhugos 3:326, Ginzei Hakodesh page 298:19 quoting the opinion of

Horav Elyashiv Shlita. Refer to Laws of Pesach A Digest 5766:page 727.

57 Laws of Pesach A Digest 5766:page 726.

58 Refer to Tashbatz 1:2, Pischei Teshuva Y.D. 283:2, Rivevos Ephraim 4:209, see Divrei Chachumim Y.D.

100, Shevet Ha’kehusi, 5:191.

59 Ein Yitzchok O.C. 5:10-11.

60 Ginzei Hakodesh 11:12:footnote 17.


of Hashem.61 The custom seems to be, to permit the erasing of BS’D (in Hebrew) on top

of a blackboard.62


The Magen Avraham63 says just as a sefer Torah which is unusable needs to be put into a

earthenware utensil and buried, so too regarding seforim. The minhag is not like this

Magen Avraham.64 A T’nach, Gemorah, Mishnayos, Siddur, Halacha, or Mussar sefer65 that is

unusable has to be put into shaimos.66

Horav Moshe Feinstien zt”l67 said an old sefer of Torah Sh’bal Peh may be thrown out if it

becomes unusable (if it does not contain the name of Hashem).68 The reason is because

Torah Sh’bal Peh only has kedusha if one is learning from it. Once the initial use is gone

one may throw it out. This is a big chiddush and he says it is only true if the gedolim in

Eretz Yisroel would agree with him. The gedolim in Eretz Yisroel hold one may not rely on

this, and chas v’sholom to throw an old Gemorah etc in the garbage.69 Horav Moshe zt”l

himself never paskined to throw out an unusable Gemorah etc. as a matter of halacha


Some say if a new, corrected version of a sefer is published, the old one may be put into

shaimos.71 One should not place a sefer which one does not want to bind into shaimos,

rather he should see to it that it is bound.72 A bookmark that was used for a sefer may be

thrown in the garbage.73 A sefer that was never used may be placed in shaimos because it

does not have kedusha.74 If a page of a Gemorah ripped out and one would not use the

61 Tashbatz 1:2, Pischei Teshuva Y.D. 283:2, Rivevos Ephraim 8:388:11, Ginzei Hakodesh 11:11, Divrei

Chachumim Y.D. 100:2.

62 Ginzei Hakodesh page 266:74.

63 O.C. 154:9, see Rambam Hilchos Yesodei Hatorah 6:8.

64 Pri Megadim Eishel Avraham O.C. 154:9. Mishnah Berurah 154:24, Aruch Ha’shulchan 8, Kaf Ha’chaim


65 Refer to Rashi Mesechtas Shabbos 115 “ha’berochos.”

66 Ginzei Hakodesh 8:1.

67 Igros Moshe O.C. 4:39.

68 Sdei Chemed gimmel 23:page 49.

69 Ginzei Hakodesh 8:footnote 8 quoting the opinions of Horav Korelitz Shlita, Horav Wosner Shlita, and

Horav Elyashiv Shlita. Refer to ibid:page 264:59 quoting the opinion of Horav Chaim Kanievesky Shlita.

70 Horav Yisroel Belsky Shlita.

71 Piskei Teshuvos 154:footnote 95. Refer to Moer V’ketzia page 160.

72 Ginzei Hakodesh page 277:6.

73 Opinion of Horav Elyashiv Shlita in Ginzei Hakdoesh 8:footnote 30.

74 Letters of the Chofetz Chaim 83, see Chelkes Yaakov O.C. 40 who discusses this question as it applied

after the Holocaust. Others say no shaimos is required (Orchos Rabbeinu 1:page 201:21).


rest of the Gemorah one may put the sefer into shaimos.75 When the binding of a sefer falls

off it should be put into shaimos.76 Many times the string that a sefer was bound with

comes off. These strings require to be put into shaimos since they were in the sefer for a

long period of time it is considered as part of the sefer.77

One who writes mareh mekomos on a paper which only he can read does not have to be

placed into shaimos.78 Some say this refers to a sheet which has mareh mekomos for a shiur

without any halacha or gemorah on them.79

Children who come home with Torah sheets from Yeshiva should place them in

shaimos.80 Others say one can be lenient and place them in a plastic bag in the garbage.81

Rough Drafts

Many poskim dealt with the problem they had at hand which was the printer’s rough

drafts. The printers would make rough drafts that were full of errors. They would

correct them trying to produce a final draft. The question many poskim dealt with is

what to do with the rough drafts. After a while they had hundreds of these drafts.

Eventually the place to store them became very scarce and a solution was needed.

Some poskim suggested that the rough drafts be burned since it costs a lot of money to

keep all these rough drafts around, and if they were not burnt then they would come to

a greater disgrace by just lying around.82 Nonetheless, many poskim disagreed with this

premise and said it is forbidden to burn any sefer83 including rough drafts.84 Throughout

75 Opinion of Horav Elyashiv Shlita in Ginzei Hakodesh 8:footnote 9. Some say one may rip out the pages

that are going to shaimos from a sefer and use the rest of the sefer (Shevet Ha’Levi 3:15:4).

76 Ginzei Hakodesh 8:10.

77 Ibid:footnote 28 qouting the opinion of Horav Elyashiv Shlita and Horav Korelitz Shlita.

78 Igros Moshe Y.D. 2:75, Tzedaka U’mishpat 16:footnote 93. The Halichos Shlomo Tefilla 20:22 says to put

them in shaimos.

79 Poskim.

80 Horav Yisroel Belsky Shlita, Chai Ha’Levi 4:84:3.

81 Shraga Hamei 5:61:1.

82 Shevus Yaakov 3:12, Sdei Chemed mareches gimmel 23:pages 48-49, Tzitz Eliezer 3:1. Refer to Minchas

Yitzchok 1:18.

83 Magen Avraham 154:9, Mishnah Berurah 154:24, Aruch Ha’shulchan Y.D. 282:8, Kaf Ha’chaim 154: 37,

see Pri Megadim Eishel Avraham 154:9.

84 Refer to Knesses Yecheskel 37, Salmas Chaim 521 (old), Zekan Aaron 1:9, Ginzei Hakodesh 15:footnote

37, Avnei Yushfei 1:204:page 349, see Pri Megadim Eishel Avraham 154:9.


the years people have burnt seforim, but that was because the goyim would have done

disrespectful acts to it and it would have come to a greater disgrace.85

Other poskim suggested that divrei Torah is only forbidden to be thrown out etc. if one

has intention for the Torah to acquire kedusha. However, if one does not have that

intention, then divrei Torah without the name of Hashem may be thrown away (not in a

disgraceful manner, but put in the garbage wrapped in a plastic bag).86 Therefore,

according to this reasoning the printers should have in mind beforehand that these

pages should not have kedusha, since these pages are not being learnt from and are just

printed to correct.87 Some say no condition is needed because one does not have

intention for these pages to last, only for one to look at the mistakes and to correct


Others suggest one should get rid of it by a grama. A goy or child89 should take them

away even if they will be destroyed.90 Accordingly, one would be able to take them and

place them in front of one’s house for the garbage men to take. However, this is only

true for shaimos which do not contain any of Hashems names in them. Many poskim did

not like this idea, since doing so is considered destroying it with his own hands.

Many of the contemporary poskim say that today the above heterim do not apply and one

should treat the rough drafts with kedusha. These heterim were used when the Torah

would otherwise come to disgrace, this is not true today when we can place them into



There are some poskim who wish to suggest that just as many hold that the printer’s

drafts do not need to be placed in shaimos, so would be true regarding our journals and

newspapers. They reason that since they are normally thrown out after a short period of

85 Yaskil Avdi Y.D. 7:20, Piskei Teshuvos 2:page 287. Refer to Divrei Chachumim Y.D. 99:4 about

waterlogged seforim.

86 Chazzon Ish Y.D. 164:3.

87 Ein Yitzchok O.C. 1:5-7.

88 Refer to Meishiv Dover 2:80, Tzedaka U’mishpat 16:footnote 93.

89 Sdei Chemed ibid:35:page 53.

90 Achi Ezer 2:48.

91 Refer to Kaf Ha’chaim 154:37, Yeishiv Moshe 2:31, Salmas Chaim 521, 370, (old), Toras Chaim page

137:footnote 4, Ginzei Hakodesh (miluyim) 7: pages 206-209. This is the opinion of the Steipler zt”l, Horav

Ben-zion Abba Shaul zt”l, Horav Shlomo Zalman Aurbach zt”l, Horav Elyashiv Shlita and Horav

Korelitz Shlita quoted in Ginzei Hakodesh ibid:page 209, see ibid:8:footnote 25.


time one would be able to discard them.92 Others say to wrap it in a bag first.93

Nonetheless, most poskim maintain that one may not discard a newspaper containing

Torah.94 The publishers have intent for one to learn from the Torah in the newspaper.

Therefore, they are sanctified and a condition prior to the printing would not help to rid

the newspaper of kedusha.95

Therefore, one should rip out the divrei Torah in the newspaper and place it in shaimos.96

Although this may seem difficult with some papers whose Torah is spread throughout

the newspaper one will get the hang of it eventually.97

Many poskim took strong issue with the fact that newspapers contain divrei Torah and

they say a newspaper is not a place for Torah since many treat the Torah in a newspaper

with disrespect by throwing it out etc.98

In conclusion, on this issue of newspapers, you see many people are not careful with

this and throw out the newspapers with the divrei Torah in them. If one is going to

throw out a newspaper containing divrei Torah (without the name of Hashem or a

posuk)99 he should wrap it in a bag and then put it outside together with the rest of the

garbage and let the goyim take it away.100

Nonetheless, we are dealing with the honor of the Torah, and many poskim maintain that

one should not throw out the divrei Torah, but rather one should place it in shaimos. This

being the case one should try to do whatever he can in order to place the divrei Torah in

shaimos. When putting the divrei Torah in shaimos you should cut it out of the paper. It is

92 Minchas Yitzchok 1:17.

93 Teshuvos V’hanhugos 1:553, 554.

94 Be’er Moshe 3:183, Shevet Ha’Levi Y.D. 5:162:2.

95 Be’er Moshe ibid, Ginzei Hakodesh 14:2, page 235:1, Kovetz Teshuvos 2:6.

96 Horav Yisroel Belsky Shlita, see Salmas Chaim 368 (old), Toras Chaim page 139:9, Orchos Rabbeinu

1:page 201:22, Shevet Ha’kehusi 4:258, Sharei Simcha (Shavuos) page 16 quoting this as the opinion of

Horav Moshe Feinstein zt”l. Refer to Vayeishiv Moshe 2:33.

97 Horav Yisroel Belsky Shlita.

98 Be’er Moshe ibid, Igeres Chazzon Ish 1:83:page 166, Zekan Aaron 2:70.

99 Toras Chaim page 137:4.

100 Refer to Yeishiv Moshe 2:33, Minhag Yisroel Torah O.C. 154:2, Nekius V’kovod B’tefilla pages 102:39

quoting the opinion of Horav Wosner Shlita ibid pages 153-157, Ginzei Hakodesh 14:footnote 9, Yugel

Yaakov quoting the opinion of Horav Henkin zt”l in regard to the Jewish Press.


disrespectful to the shaimos if the whole paper is placed in shaimos.101 One should be

careful that the divrei Torah part of the newspaper is not on the floor.102

Book of the Missionaries

Many poskim maintain that a “book” of the missionaries which may contain a t’nach

may be burnt and one should not keep this in his possessions.103 Others maintain that

one should place this sefer in shaimos.104


Some poskim say one is permitted to recycle shaimos (without Hashems name) if one is

doing so to write new seforim.105 However, one would not be able to do this if the divrei

Torah being recycled is going to be used for secular material or for toilet paper (common

in Eretz Yisroel).106 Nonetheless, most poskim disagree and hold one is forbidden to

recycle divrei Torah for any reason whatsoever. The reason is because it is a great

disgrace to the seforim or divrei Torah.107


One is forbidden to write a posuk if the object it is written on will come to a disgrace.108

Therefore, one should refrain from writing a posuk in a newspaper since it will come to a

disgrace.109 Some say one should not write a posuk (i.e. la’yehudim etc) on the mishloach

manos for this reason.110 Writing pesukim like kol sasson on invitations will be discussed


101 Horav Yisroel Belsky Shlita, see Ginzei Hakodesh 14:4. Opinion of Horav Heinenman Shlita in a Star-

K article.

102 Ginzei Hakodesh 14:footnote 13 quoting the opinion of Horav Elyashiv Shlita.

103 Igros Moshe Y.D. 1:172, Yaskil Avdi Y.D. 7:20, see Maharam Shik O.C. 66.

104 Avnei Yushfei 1:204, Emes L’Yaakov Y.D. 281:footnote 199, Ve’alu Lo Yeibol 2:page 121:121, Yugel

Yaakov page 251, Divrei Chachumim Y.D. 100:5. Refer to Betzel Hachuchma 3:133 if one is allowed to

read such material.

105 Refer to Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society Fall 1991:pages 40-41.

106 Refer to the Letters on this issue in Ginzei Hakodesh pages 308-316.

107 Horav Yisroel Belsky Shlita, see Ginzei Hakodesh 8:footnote 7 quoting the opinion of Horav Elyashiv

Shlita, see Ibid:15:footnote 38.

108 Shulchan Aruch Y.D. 283:4, Rambam (Pe’er Hador) 7:pages 14-18, Shach 6, Taz 3, Gilyon Maharsha 6,

Pischei Teshuva 3, Be’er Heitiv 3, Mishnah Berurah 24:9. One should not write pesukim on a yarmulka

(V’ein Lumo Michshal 1:page 98:footnote 9).

109 Ginzei Hakodesh 9:footnote 2.

110 Opinion of Horav Elyashiv Shlita quoted in Ginzei Hakodesh 9:footnote 2.


The custom is to write a posuk on a challah cover,111 a tzedaka box112 or a becher113 since

these objects do not come to a disgrace.

One is forbidden to write a posuk or a beracha on a tallis godel since one might take the

tallis into the bathroom.114 If one bought such a tallis then a beracha may still be recited

on it.115 Today, we see talleisim printed with a posuk on them and one begins to wonder

how can they do this when it is seemingly against halacha. However, today the custom

is that one does not take a tallis into the bathroom for any reason. Therefore, one can say

that this is why the minhag of some circles is to have a posuk written on a tallis. One must

be careful not to sit on the words on the tallis.116

On Succos many decorations contain pesukim. Some poskim say that since these

decorations come to a disgrace by being stepped on, one is not allowed to buy such

decorations.117 However, the minhag in klal yisroel is that buying these posters is

permitted and one should make sure to treat them with the proper respect.118

What is considered a Posuk?

Two or three words of a posuk are considered like a whole posuk if one is able to

understand that it was taken from a posuk.119 If one is not able to tell that it is from a

posuk then one may not write four words.120 One word from a posuk does not require

being put into shaimos. 121

111 Minchas Yitzchok 4:45:4, 8:87, Ginzei Hakodesh 12:5:footnote 9, see Maharsham 1:96.

112 Tzedaka U’mishpat 16:32.

113 Emes L’Yaakov Y.D. 283:footnote 201.

114 Rambam ibid, Bais Yosef Y.D. 283, Shulchan Aruch ibid, Be’er Heitiv 24:4, Chesed L’alafim 24:4, Rav

Poalim Y.D. 4:32, Mishnah Berurah O.C. 24:9, Kaf Ha’chaim 24:24, Aruch Ha’shulchan 24:4, Minchas

Yitzchok 4:45, Vayeishiv Moshe 2:32.

115 Sharei Teshuva O.C. 24:2, Kaf Ha’chaim 24:24, sefer Tzitzis page 452. One may do business with such a

tallis as well (ibid:page 453:footnote 34).

116 Bais Boruch 11:3:page 197.

117 Mishnah Berurah 638:24, Taamei Haminhagim page 73 (kuntres achron).

118 Horav Yisroel Belsky Shlita, see Succos K’hilchoso 7:footnote 6 quoting this as being the opinion of

many contemporary poskim.

119 Ginzei Hakodesh 9:3.

120 Shulchan Aruch 284:2, Pischei Teshuva 284:1, Ginzei Hakodesh 9:3.

121 Ginzei Hakodesh 9:4:footnote 8 quoting the opinion of Horav Korelitz Shlita.



One is not allowed to write a posuk or a message from chazal on an invitation because an

invitation is generally discarded.122 One who receives an invitation with a posuk on it

should cut out the posuk and place it in shaimos.123 Some change the format of the posuk

and write it on two different lines in order to avoid the pesukim from coming to be

disgraced by throwing it out. The reason why this is not considered writing a posuk is

because it is on two different lines and is not read as one posuk. Based on this some

poskim say that one should write kol sosson; v’kol simcha; kol chosson; v’kol kallah on

different lines.124 Many poskim did not write any pesukim on an invitation even in the

aforementioned manner.125 Horav Moshe Feinstein zt”l maintains this is how one should

act.126 Some say the custom is not to write a posuk etc. on an invitation.127

The words of od yishoma etc. are taken from two different parts of one posuk.128 Some say

one should be stringent with this as well.129 Others say a group of words which have no

intention of being written for a posuk, but rather as a “melitzah” is permitted to be

written.130 Therefore, the custom of many has become to write od yishoma etc on an


A posuk in which the language is changed from singular to plural may be written on the


Some have the custom to write “naaleheis Yerushalayim instead of the real word to

avoid having the posuk come to being disgraced when the invitation is thrown out.133

122 Ginzei Hakodesh 9:5, Halichos Shlomo Tefilla 20:footnote 72.

123 Ibid:9:6:footnote 12 quoting the opinion of Horav Korelitz Shlita and Horav Elayshiv Shlita. Refer to

Kovetz Teshuvos 1:115, Laws of Pesach A Digest 5766:page 726.

124 Horav Yisroel Belsky Shlita, see Igros Moshe Y.D. 4:38, Avnei Yushfei 2:79.

125 Refer to Igros Moshe Y.D. 2:135, Halichos Shlomo Tefilla 20:footnote 72, Opinion of Horav Korelitz

Shlita quoted in Bishvili Haminhag 2:page 132.

126 Igros Moshe Y.D. 2:135.

127 Refer to Vayivorech Dovid 1:114.

128 Yermia 33:10. Refer to Nekius V’kovod B’tefilla page 152, V’ein Lumo Michshal 1:page 98-99.

129 Oz Nedberu 7:65:2.

130 Nekius V’kovod B’tefilla ibid, Shevet Ha’levi 7:167, Ginzei Hakodesh 9:14, Opinion of Horav Moshe

Heineman (Star-K). Refer to Ginzei Hakodesh page 265:68 quoting the opinion of Horav Chaim

Kanievesky Shlita who disagrees.

131 Opinion of Horav Tuvia Goldstein zt”l quoted in Lev Ita 1:2:3.

132 Ginzei Hakodesh 9:footnote 18.

133 Halichos Shlomo ibid, see Vayivorech Dovid ibid. Refer to Doleh U’mashka page 344.


According to some poskim writing a posuk in a way that is not allowed, would not be

permitted even if it is written in a different shape.134 Some say that since they write od

yeshoma in a different form than in the posuk (rainbow shaped) it is permitted to be

done.135 Some say if one gets an invitation with a posuk on it that is not written in a

permitted fashion he may throw out the invitation, but he should wrap it in a bag


Invitations- Kesav Ashuris

Many poskim maintain that one should refrain from writing secular material in kesav

ashuris (the script used to write a sefer Torah),137 especially if one is going to discard the

invitation. This form of writing has a special kedusha to it. Therefore, one should refrain

from writing wedding invitations in this manner since one is going to throw out the

invitation.138 Others say an invitation is considered a devar mitzvah and one would be

permitted to write a wedding invitation using kesav ashuris.139 Some poskim say that

kesav m’ruva (the standard way of written Hebrew) is considered like kesav ashuris.140

Based on this one would not be able to write an invitation with this lettering and one

would have to use Rashi lettering instead.141 However, many poskim say that kesav

m’ruva does not have the same kedusha as kesav ashuris.142

134 Halichos Shlomo ibid, Ginzei Hakodesh page 262:30 quoting the opinion of Horav Chaim Kanievesky


135 Tzedaka U’mishpat 16:footnote 94, see 97. Refer to Ginzei Hakodesh 9:footnote 9 who says if kol sasson

is in between od yishoma then it is permitted if od yishoma is in a rainbow shape with kol sasson etc at the

end of the rainbow (Ginzei Hakodesh 9:footnote 9).

136 Oz Nedberu 7:65:2.

137 Rama Y.D. 284:1, Magen Avraham O.C. 334:17, Pischei Teshuva 271:20, 283:3. Refer to Aruch

Ha’shulchan Y.D. 284:8. Some say one should not write the secular date on the invitation (Bishvili

Haminhag 2:pages 134-135, Lev Ita 1:2:4). Some say one should not write the name of a lady on the

invitation (Birchos Hashem E.H. 33).

138 Refer to Eyunei Halachos 2:pages 548-593 in great depth, Vein Lumo Michshal 1:page 97:8, Halachos

V’halichos Bar Mitzvah 3:8, Yabea Omer 9:page 459.

139 Opinion of the Chasam Sofer quoted in the Kesav Sofer E.H. 22, Yabea Omer Y.D. 9:24.

140 Reishis Chuchma Shar Hayira 15:page 179 (new), Gilyon Maharsha Y.D. 284:2, Yosef Ometz page 276,

Ginzei Hakodesh 11:footnote 7 quoting the opinion of Horav Shlomo Zalman Aurbach zt”l, Orchos

Rabbeinu 3:page 161:41, Avnei Yushfei 2:79.

141 Refer to Kaf Ha’chaim 154:37.

142 Tzur Yaakov 82, Rav Poalim Y.D. 4:32, Machaneh Chaim 1:25, Igros Moshe Y.D. 2:76, Be’er Moshe

3:183:5, Tzedaka U’mishpat 16:38:footnote 98, Shevet Ha’Levi 8:228, 365, Soveh Smochos 1:page 38:24,

Chazzon Yeshaya page 219, Teshuvos ibid:27, Natei Gavriel (Nesuin) 10:6-7, Orchos Rabbeinu 1:page

230:25, Eyunei Halachos ibid, Yabea Omer ibid. Refer to Minhag Yisroel Torah Nesuin pages 97-98.


Halacha on a Food Item

A food label that says which beracha to recite on the food does not require to be placed

in shaimos.143 For example, a bottle of wine that says one recites a hagofen.144 Some say

only if the words are not written on one line can one be lenient.145 In any case the

minhag is that the above does not require shaimos.146


A story book that is meant for children and teaches something to them has kedusha and

is required to be put into shaimos.147 Some say tzadikim biographies that contain no

pesukim or a mamer of chazal may be thrown into the garbage.148

Tests which have divrei Torah on them need to be placed in shaimos.149

A nusach that chazal established, even if it does not contain Hashems name requires to be

placed into shaimos. Therefore, a tefillas haderech card requires to be placed into


Pictures drawn in order to understand the parsha do not require shaimos if a posuk is not

written on them.151 The same would apply to Noachs tent made from paper etc.152

A sefiras ha’omer chart which just say the day without a beracha may be thrown out.153

A chart which says the time of krias shema or tefilla should be put into shaimos. A chart

which just says when Shabbos comes in and when Shabbos is over, may be thrown out.154

A paper on which Divrei Torah was written which ripped needs to be put into shaimos

even if the divrei Torah is not on the entire paper.155

143 Horav Yisroel Belsky Shlita, see Halichos Shlomo Tefilla 20:footnote 72, Ginzei Hakodesh 10:footnote

19, 12:4:footnote 7.

144 Ginzei Hakodesh page 277.

145 Ginzei Hakodesh 12:footnote 8.

146 Horav Yisroel Belsky Shlita.

147 Opinion of Horav Elyashiv Shlita quoted in Ginzei Hakodesh 10:3:footnote 15.

148 Opinion of Horav Elyashiv Shlita quoted in Ginzei Hakodesh ibid:footnote 17.

149 Opinion of Horav Elyashiv Shlita quoted in Ginzei Hakodesh ibid:footnote 19.

150 Refer to Igros Moshe Y.D. 2:135, Giznei Hakodesh 10:13:footnote 29.

151 Ginzei Hakodesh 10:footnote 26.

152 Ibid:page 264:55.

153 Ibid:2:6. If it ripped out of a siddur then it requires shaimos (Ibid:footnote 11).

154 Ibid:12:7. See ibid:page 263:51 quoting the opinion of Horav Chaim Kanievesky Shlita.


Many times one is walking in the street and a poster of some sort of Yiddish relevance is

on the street. One does not have to throw this poster in shaimos if it does not contain a

posuk or a halacha. However, one should be careful not to step on it.156

Zemiros Shabbos that does not contain halacha, name of Hashem or a posuk should still be

placed in shaimos since it contains praises of Hashem.157

The Shaimos Bag

Every house should have a designated bag for shaimos. One does not have to place

shaimos in a bag in an orderly fashion.158 One is permitted to place a chumash on top of a

gemorah.159 One should be careful not to step on the bag of shaimos.160 One should not

place a shaimos bag in a place where it may rain.161 The minhag seems to be that there is

no concern with placing the shaimos in a bag on the floor.162

The “Shaimos Box”

Many times one refrains from placing items in shaimos because the accumulated amount

of shaimos takes up a lot of room in one’s house.

However, this problem was solved with the innovation of the Shaimos Box. One can pick

up this box in any seforim store. It is a box which measure 12” x 7” x 15” which is

enough for twenty pounds of shaimos. One can put it in a corner of his house let it fill up

and when it is full one can mail it to the address on the box. Once it is there the OU

certifies that the shaimos will be buried according to halacha. It is usually buried during

Tisha B’av. With this box one does not have to wait until Pesach to bring many heavy

bags of shaimos to a drop off location.

155 Ibid:10:9.

156 Ibid:2:footnote 6 .

157 Opinion of Horav Chaim Kanievesky Shlita quoted in Ginzei Hakodesh page 265:65.

158 Ginzei Hakodesh 15:13.

159 Ibid:15:14.

160 Ibid:15:16.

161 Ibid: 8:footnote 7.

162 Ibid:15:15:footnote 31.