Do things that, when written in print, require placement in sheimos (such as shem Hashem and divrei Torah), need to be placed in sheimos when written in Braille? Would we say that since most people can't read it, it doesn't need to be put into sheimos; or, would we say that since a large portion of the population can read it, that it would require placement in sheimos?

  • @Double I disagree -- I don't think that braille is a translation.
    – MTL
    Commented Oct 1, 2014 at 23:17
  • What else is it? A transliteration?
    – Double AA
    Commented Oct 1, 2014 at 23:19
  • @DoubleAA Actual text!! See my answer to this question, as well as the answers to this question. Wikipedia calls it a "tactile writing system" ....כתב עברי and כתב אשורי are not translations / transliterations of each other, are they?
    – MTL
    Commented Oct 1, 2014 at 23:20
  • @DoubleAA See also judaism.stackexchange.com/a/9518/5323
    – MTL
    Commented Oct 1, 2014 at 23:46
  • I assume braille would be considered the same as any other written language like English, German, or Hindi. Commented Oct 2, 2014 at 4:44

2 Answers 2


Rav Zilberstein writes in Veha'arev Na (page 441), that sheimos written in Braille require placement in sheimos, as they are read by a wide audience of blind people.

Challenge: May divrei Torah written in braille be thrown in the garbage, or do they require genizah like divrei Torah written in normal script?

Solution: Since braille is a written language read by a wide audience of blind people, it has the same status as any other written script. Therefore, divrei Torah written in braille must be placed in genizah.

  • I have a question. If the normal and regular use of something transforms it into whatever It was originally meant to represent, but not be, then why doesn't the word Hashem turn into a Sheim Kadosh? Along these same lines when someone says 'nu' when they may not talk, at what point does 'nu' become an understood word and part of the language?
    – user6591
    Commented Oct 8, 2014 at 1:35
  • קונם is now a form of נדר. How'd that happen?
    – MTL
    Commented Oct 8, 2014 at 1:43
  • But....all the same -- we can't make something like that up unless a big rabbi tells us that it's true. The Gemara (or was it Mishna?) told us about the word קונם; Rav Zilberstein told us about braille. Ask the rabbis about "nu," come back and post an answer on MY, and ping me about it here. ( I have a hunch that "Hashem" is different, because names of God, AFAICT, have intrinsic meaning )
    – MTL
    Commented Oct 8, 2014 at 1:45
  • Didnt the gemara have drashos to include kinuyei nidarim? I don't think we can compare. This is a question not a disagreement.
    – user6591
    Commented Oct 8, 2014 at 1:53
  • @user6591 Not sure about the drashos thing. I wasn't taking this as a disagreement ("I have a question").
    – MTL
    Commented Oct 8, 2014 at 2:02

Torah works written in braille do not require burial. Rav Shlomo Aviner was posed this question and responded

Q: Do Sifrei Kodesh written in Braille require being placed in a Geniza?

A: No. This is not the type of script the Torah was discussing. There are Poskim, however, who do require them to be placed in a Geniza, since this is a type of lettering which many people consider to be a script (Ginzei Kodesh 10:3 #19 in the name of Ha-Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv). But the basis[sic] Halachah is that one can be lenient.

  • 1
    Great. We now have a machlokes in the poskim. I’m surprised it took this long to find an arguing opinion.
    – DonielF
    Commented Nov 24, 2017 at 3:47

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