in Judaism, a repository for timeworn sacred manuscripts and ritual objects, generally located in the attic or cellar of a synagogue. In the Middle Ages most synagogues had a genizah, because ceremonial burial (often with the remains of a pious, scholarly Jew) was thought to be the only fitting manner of disposing of sacred documents. Countless sacred manuscripts-called shemot ("names") because they contained the name of God-were thus left to gather dust or to disintegrate slowly.
Learn more about geniza with a free trial on Britannica.com.
Dictionary.com presents 366 FAQs, incorporating some of the frequently asked questions from the past with newer queries.