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Shaimos Guidelines

Welcome to the Ohev Sholom shaimos collection! Below are guidelines for how Jewish texts should be disposed of. Please only drop off items in the first category.

If you have any questions please contact Maharat Friedman or Rabbi Herzfeld. 

Shaimos (requiring burial):

Law: A text containing one of the 7 names of God in Hebrew may only be disposed of by burying it in a Jewish cemetery. These names are Tetragrammaton, El, Elohim, Eloah, Elohai, El Shaddai, and Tzevaot. If one of these names is abbreviated with a shorthand substitution such as ‘ה the text is NOT considered shaimos and falls under the 2nd category.

How: You may bring these items to Ohev and ask a staff member to show you where to place them.

Examples: siddurim (prayer books), tanachs (printed bibles) and benchers (printed Grace After Meals)


Religiously significant texts that do not contain one of the 7 names of God (requiring recycling):

Law: While these texts do not contain one of the 7 names of God and therefore do not require burying, they still contain the words of God and our Sages, and should therefore be disposed of respectfully. This can be accomplished by recycling them.

How: If you are recycling them at home you should place them in a separate bag in your recycling so that they do not come in contact with garbage. You may also bring these items to Ohev and designate them for recycling, where they will not come in contact with garbage.

What: printed source sheets with Hebrew biblical verses that do not contain one of the 7 holy names of God, volumes of the Talmud, other religious Hebrew texts that do not contain God’s name. Please note that most halachic Hebrew books do not contain God’s name. 


Secular texts written in Hebrew, Jewish material written in English (may be placed in the garbage):

Law: If a text is written in Hebrew but does not have religious content it can be thrown out. Also, an English printed text about Judaism that does not contain direct Hebrew quotes from any religious text also may be thrown out.

How: Please dispose of them according to your local municipal guidelines.

What: Hebrew newspapers, books about Jewish history

Thu, March 23 2023 1 Nisan 5783