Shaimos - Articles with the name of Hashem on them

  • Objects that have an innate Kedusha (holiness), the object itself has Kedusha for example
    • Sefer Torah (also the Mantel [cover]).
    • T’filin (the boxes and straps and the T’filin bag) and Mezuzos.
    • Sidurim, Bentchers
    • Seforim (Chumashim, Gemaros, Shulchan Oruch etc…)
  • Anything that has the name of HKBH on it (does not include B”H, Bez”H, Iy”h)
  • All the above need to be placed in a plastic bag and put into Shaimos.
  • You may bury them (after being put in a plastic bag). When building a house you can bury them next to the foundations. You should bury them in a place where people do not walk. 

Something used for a Mitzva

  • Objects that were used for a Mitzva although they do not have their own innate Kedusha should not be thrown away directly into the garbage. Since they were used for a Mitzva it is incumbent on us to treat them respectfully and to dispose of them in a fit way.
  • You may burn them or double wrap them and put them in the recycling bin. If they cannot be put in the recycling bin you may put them double wrapped in the garbage.
  • The following objects are included in this category,
    • Tallis
    • Plastic T’fillin bag (The plastic bag that protects the actual T’fillin bag)
    • Tzitzis
    • S’chach
    • Lulav, Hadassim, Arovos and Esrog

Included in the Second Category are the following

  • Printed material that was printed to be read and discarded, do not have an innate Kedusha and therefore are not considered Shaimos in that they need to be put in Shaimos and buried (it is preferable if you are able to, to put them in Shaimos). 
  • However, you should not put them directly into the garbage. They should be double wrapped and put in the recycling bin.

The following are included in this category

  • Weekly Divrei Torah
  • Torah articles in newspapers or magazines
  • School Limudei Kodesh homework, test papers, and Parsha sheets
  • Invitations with Pesukim on them

You should remove the Torah articles from the magazine and dispose of them separately (not with the rest of the newspaper). 

The following objects do not K’dusha and do not need to be wrapped before being discarded and may be discarded in the usual way. 

It is preferable to put them in recycling if that is an option.

  • Yarmulkas
  • Old Bechers
  • Menorahs
  • CDs and Tapes of Shiurim etc…
  • Bookmarks used in a Sefer
  • The garment of a Talis Koton
  • Torah Projects without any Pesukim on them.
  • Photos or Pictures of Gedolim, Kever Rochel, Kosel.
  • You may not erase the name of Hashem.
  • There are seven names of Hashem that may not be erased.
  • The seven names are, 1) The name of Hashem as written Yud….. 2) how we say it Elelph….. 3)Kae-l  4) Elokim  5) Elo-ka 6)ShaKai 7) Tzoivokos  
  • If you wrote one of the seven names in Hebrew even with intention to erase them for example you wrote them on a blackboard with chalk or with an erasable marker you may not erase them.If you took a picture of one of the seven names (for example you took a picture of the Omud that has the name of Hashem) you must treat the photo as Shaimos.
  • It is a questionable if the name of Hashem in English (G-D) needs to put in the Shaimos.
  •  The accepted practice is that you may erase it and it does not need to put in Shaimos (see Shach YD 179:11 , MB 85:10). However, it should be disposed off in a respectable manner.
  • If you wrote ב”ה on top of a page, or הקב”ה, or בעז”ה,  on a paper you may erase or dispose it (they are not considered to be the name of Hashem).
  • Even if you write Hashem or the Eibishter you are not required to put in Shaimos.
  • You should be careful when taking a picture of a Chumash, Siddur etc.. or any Kisvei Kodesh (Sefer Torah, Mezuza) to be put in a paper, magazine, flyer which may be thrown out, not to take a picture of one of the seven names of Hashem.
  • Chocolate coins (Chanuka gelt) that have the name of Hashem in English on them (In G-d we trust) may be eaten.
  • However, you should not make chocolate coins with the name Hashem on them.
  • You should not write a Posuk on a cake.
  • Sholom is the name of Hashem and the word Sholom when used to greet someone should be treated with respect.  
  • The Mishna Brurah 84:6 says that you should not say Sholom (as a greeting) in a place where you cannot make a Brocho for example in the bathroom. You can say Sholon (N instead of a M) or just say Sholo. 
  • You may call someone whose name is Sholom by his name in a bathroom (some are careful not to). 
  • You may go into the bathroom with a Yarmulka that has the name Sholom on it. 
  • You should not use a welcoming pat that has the word Sholom on it.  
  • Some hold when writing a letter, you should not write the word Sholom in full you should not write the last Mem or leave out the Vov.