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genizah

/ɡɛˈniːzə/
noun (pl) genizahs, genizoth (ɡɛˈniːzəθ)
1.
(Judaism) a repository (usually in a synagogue) for books and other sacred objects which can no longer be used but which may not be destroyed
Word Origin
C19: from Hebrew, literally: a hiding place, from gānaz to hide, set aside
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for genizah

geniza

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.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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