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Names of Hashem and Geniza

Question:

  1. Does a piece of paper with Shalom in English on it in the context of goodbye or peace, does it have to go in geniza? What about if it were in Hebrew?
  2. Does a Christian bible with an “Old Testament” have to go in geniza? Or any papers that have quotes from the “Old Testament” that are written by Christians in a Christian context?
  3. Do any papers with the English Christian name of G-D like J-A-H-O-V-A or J-A-H or Y- H- W- Y have to go in geniza?

Thanks.

 

Answer:

  1. If it is written in the context of peace, i.e. between to people, it does not have to go into geneiza. However, if it is written in the context of a blessing and it was written plain, such as שלום plain, which can be understood that you mean to bless him that Hashem should be with him, Then, it controversial, and it is a preferred to put in into geneiza. This is why some people are careful when written the word Shalom to write it שלו’, in order to avoid this issue. If it was written in the form of a blessing such as “Shalom to you all”, or “Shalom u’bracha” then it doesn’t have to go into geneiza as it is clear that it isn’t referring to Hashem. In any case it is a good habit not to write out the whole word when giving a blessing to avoid this issue.
  2. A Christian bible that has an Old Testament attached to it, controversial what should be done with it. Some are of the opinion that it should be burned, others say that it should be buried. If you will choose to bury it, it should be first defaced, such as by cutting the pages in half and then burying it. If it will be placed in geneiza, it should be put into a bag to separate it from the kadosh books.
  3. If it is written by hand then it should be burned, because it is considered like a sefer that was written by a “min” and is burned. If it is printed, then the halacha would be as written above regarding the Old Testament.

Best wishes

Sources:

  1. Rema Y:D 276-13, Shach ibid 16, M:B 85-12, Igros Moshe O:CH 4-40. Regarding erasing the word Shalom in English see Kadosh L’hashem 3-8 that there is no need to be careful about this since even in Hebrew it is only a preference, coupled with the fact that according to many poskim that if it is written in other languages that it may be erased, Poskim.
  2. Maharam Shick O:CH 66, Igros Moshe Y:D 2-137, Avnei Yoshpe 1-204, Poskim.
  3. Poskim.
  1. Igros Moshe O:CH 4-40

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