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Shaimos l’gniza

Question:

  1. May I bury Shaimos in my own roomy backyard?
  2. Is there a required depth for it to be b’kavod?
  3. Is there a recommended perek in Tehilim when doing so perhaps?

 

Answer:

Thank you for your question.

  1. Regarding regular “shaimos” such as old seforim and other printed matter, that you can bury in your backyard without a problem. As long as it is a place that you are not planning on plowing or building over there. Regarding burying an old sefer torah, parshoit of tefillin or an old mezuza, they have to be placed in an earthen jug or in a hard-plastic container, that will not disintegrate quickly. Regarding where to burying them, there are opinions that it is preferable to bury it in a cemetery, but if it is difficult, you can also bury them in your back yard.
  2. As far as the depth which the shaimos should be buried, the main idea is that it should be deep enough that it won’t get uncovered. In the poskim there are different opinions, some say it should be more than a tefach (3-4) inches, and others say 3 tefachim.
  3. I am not aware of any perek in Tehilliim or any other prayer that is to be said when burying the shaimos.

Best wishes

Sources:

Kneses Yechezkel 37, brought in Minchas Yitzchok 1-17, Hagaot Chasam Sofer O:CH 154-5, Zera Emes 133, Aruch Hashuchan O:CH 154-8, Ginzei Hakodesh 15-10.

 

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