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Written Divine Names

Quote:If one has a document that contains a name of G-d but which is no longer needed, it is best to set it aside in a safe place so that it will not be thrown into the garbage, etc. When one accumulates a number of such items and they need to be disposed of, it is considered to be appropriate to respectfully bury them, so they will decompose within the ground.
from your webpage, .

I just noticed that in my local newspapers and phonebooks they sometimes write out G-d in certain articles and advertisements.  Also I have some old catalogs from Artscroll that has examples of pages of books which have The Name written out.  Can I dig a hole in my backyard and bury these items that I no longer need? How does one respectfully bury these items?

I thought I've heard that they can be burned also.  Can I burn these articles in a fireplace or such?  

Is there a prayer that would be appropriate to recite when disposing of such items?  I know that HaShem is aware of my thoughts, words and actions at all times but would like to verbalize that I'm not trying to desecrate His Holy Name.

Shalom Donny,

After researching the halachos of what we call shaimos (written "names" of G-d) which need to be put in genizah (safely "hidden away"), these laws technically apply only to documents, pages, etc. which  have (a) one or more of the seven Holy Names in Hebrew, or (b) parts of verses of the Tanach (Hebrew Bible) etc. Thus if it just contains the word "G-d" or the like written out in English or another secular language, this is not technically shaimos. However, some Rabbinical authorities hold that in order to show full respect to the One Above, even His written-out names in the secular languages are fitting to be treated with this level of respect.

Burial of shaimos papers and books should be used instead of burning. There is no prayer which needs to be said. The proper respectful manner to dispose of these papers is to box them up and bury them in a Jewish cemetery. Most Orthodox synagogues and Orthodox Jewish homes have boxes in which shaimos papers and books are collected and then taken to a Jewish cemetery to be buried. By all means you can ask an Orthodox Jewish layperson or Rabbi to help you with this.

Recently a shaimos burial service started for people who are not near a synagogue:

Guidelines for what belongs in shaimos and what doesn’t are printed right on the box. When this shaimos box is full, just visit the post office and send it off: A return address is printed right on the box.  The box arrives at the shaimos burial site where it will be properly handled and buried under Orthodox supervision.
Rabbi Yitz
Sheets of paper with Hebrew letters - what is a proper method of disposal? I am practicing writing Hebrew letters and do not want to keep every piece of paper I practice on. None of the papers have any of the names of G-d. Just letters and words. And as for paper with names of G-d, what is the proper way to dispose of those? Thank you.
There are 2 common terms used for sacred writings which need disposal, one is G'nizah which means to hide or to bury, the other term is Shaimos, which means names. Only papers or writings which contain verses from the Torah (written and Oral) or that have the sacred names of Hashem need to be disposed of by burial in a special area designated for this purpose. Other writings that are not holy in any way may be disposed of in any manner; i.e. secular newspapers, magazines, grocery lists, advertisements, penmanship practices, written in hebrew etc.
Rabbi Yitz
Thank you. You all are providing a great service. The nature of the questions that are posted are evidence of this need.

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