genizah

Alternative Spellings

geniza, ganiza, g'niza, gniza, ganizah, g'nizah, gnizah

Definitions

  • A storage room in a synagogue where disused sacred books and often-sacred articles are kept, since bringing them or disposing of them otherwise is considered a sacrilege.

Example Sentences

  • "Go put the siddur pages in the genizah."

Languages of Origin

Textual Hebrew

Etymology

גניזה genizah 'stoage'

Who Uses This

Religious: Jews who are engaged in religious observance and have some Jewish education
Orthodox: Jews who identify as Orthodox and observe halacha (Jewish law)
Camp: Jews who attend or work at a Jewish overnight summer camp

Regions

North America

Dictionaries

Dictionary of Jewish Usage: A Guide to the Use of Jewish Terms, by Sol Steinmetz (Lanham, MD, 2005).
The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001)

Notes

The objects "are stored until they can be buried. Jewish law says that objects containing the word of God should be properly interred when they are no longer able to be used. This tradition has existed since ancient times. The most notable genizah is the Cairo Genizah" (JPS).

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