I have some texts that are not religious (like dictionary) but contain The Name. And because it's not obvious that one should not recycle them, but rather put to geniza, I want to mark them somehow. So, is there some traditional phrase equivalent to 'put this to geniza' or 'contains The Names' in Hebrew? How do israelis inform about that in, let's say, religious newspapers?

  • "Shaimos" but this seems to be off-topic.
    – rosends
    Commented Oct 19, 2015 at 19:20
  • 3
    Not sure if this is off-topic, actually. There appears to be some "practical" / halachic use to this question. Even the question about how to phrae it in a Hebrew paper has "use".
    – DanF
    Commented Oct 19, 2015 at 19:38
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    chschtsch, welcome to Mi Yodeya, and thanks for bringing your question here! This question is about implementation of Judaism and is therefore 100% on-topic. I hope you'll look around and find other content in our archives that you'll be happy we preserved for you, perhaps starting with some of our dozens of shemos-sacred-names questions.
    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Oct 19, 2015 at 19:46
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    .....טעון גניזה
    – mevaqesh
    Commented Oct 19, 2015 at 20:43
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    @DanF "needs" this is a common expression. e.g. link
    – mevaqesh
    Commented Oct 19, 2015 at 21:05

4 Answers 4


The Hebrew term you're looking for is "שֵׁמוֹת" - shaimos or shemot (or some other transliteration along these lines). The word literally means "names" and, in this context, refers specifically to items that contain Holy Names of God (as you've specified) or are otherwise not to be discarded due to their holiness.

Here's an example of this term being used to warn people of holy content. The April 25-26, 2014 edition of the Young Israel Shomrai Emunah "Shabbos Shorts" weekly newsletter contains the notice:

Shaimos Alert - YU Pesach To-Go 5774 contains Shaimos on page 13 (and possibly other pages)

(Link added by me)

  • I am concerned about universal use of the term. For non-Hebrew speaker it sure is obvious what 'Shemot' (especially styled as 'Shaimos') means. But in Hebrew there are many other uses of this word. That's why i mentioned israelites.
    – chschtsch
    Commented Oct 19, 2015 at 20:06
  • @chschtsch do you mean Israelis, meaning people who speak Modern Hebrew?
    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Oct 19, 2015 at 20:12
  • Yes, I mean people who live in Israel.
    – chschtsch
    Commented Oct 19, 2015 at 20:15
  • I wonder if the usage of "shaimis" derives from Hebrew or Yiddish...
    – Double AA
    Commented Oct 19, 2015 at 22:57
  • @DoubleAA What would the Yiddish etymology be?
    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Oct 20, 2015 at 15:57

The sentence I usually see used on printed material is:

"נא לשמור על קדושת הגליון"

=Please preserve the holiness of [this printed] sheet.

I see this on material like the brochures about the weekly Torah reading which different organizations publish and distribute in synagogues.


The used term in newspapers is "טעון גניזה"

  • Thanks for this information. Have you seen this directly? (Where?) Or did you learn this some other way? If you could edit in how you know, that would improve this answer. Thanks. Commented Oct 20, 2015 at 14:34

I think that religious people are familiar with the phrasing לגניזה. That seems to cover both the content that something contains "religious materials" as well as the action itself, that you wish them buried.

BTW, there are numerous items that people assume are "shaimos" that really are not. I'll edit in a link to an article about this, later. Thus, I would caution that prior to declaring such items, make sure that this is really necessary for the items you want to "dispose". Genizah is costly - if not monetarily, it is labor and time-consuming to an extent.

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