genizah (ge-NEE-zuh) listen


  • n. 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 (these books and other items will ultimately buried in a Jewish cemetery).

Example Sentences

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

Languages of Origin

  • Textual Hebrew


  • 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


      • North America
      • Great Britain
      • South Africa
      • Australia / New Zealand


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

      Alternative Spellings

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


  • 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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