genizah

also spelled  Geniza (Hebrew: “hiding place”),  plural  Genizot, Genizoth, or Genizahs,  

      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.

      In 1896 Solomon Schechter (Schechter, Solomon) investigated a genizah in the old Ezra synagogue in Cairo. In time, some 90,000 manuscripts were uncovered there, a cache so priceless that biblical scholars subsequently referred to the site simply as “the genizah.” This vast collection of liturgical, legal, commercial, and literary documents—among them a fragment of the original Hebrew text of Ecclesiasticus—generally revolutionized the study of the medieval history of Palestinian and Middle Eastern Jewry. Schechter's conclusions regarding a Zadokite sect were confirmed years later, after the discovery (late 1940s and '50s) of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The scrolls were found in caves that apparently also served as genizot. The manuscripts from the Cairo genizah are now preserved in many of the great libraries of the world.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • GENIZAH — (Heb. גְּנִיזָה; literally storing ), a place for storing books or ritual objects which have become unusable. The genizah was usually a room attached to the synagogue where books and ritual objects containing the name of God – which cannot be… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Genizah — A genizah (or geniza; Hebrew: unicode|hbrgimelhbrnunhbryudhbrzayinhbrhe storage ; plural: genizot) is the store room or depository in a synagogue (or cemetery), usually specifically for worn out Hebrew language books and papers on religious… …   Wikipedia

  • Genizah — Geniza (hebr. גניזה gənīzā; aus pers.: gonj Schatzkammer; Plural: Genizoth) ist ein vermauerter Hohlraum zur Aufbewahrung ausgedienter hebräischer liturgischer Schriften. Hier wurden nicht mehr lesbare Torarollen oder andere Texte, die man nicht… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • genizah — noun A storeroom located in or by a synagogue where are kept sacred Hebrew books that cannot be used (through damage or heretical teachings), but which cannot be discarded because they contain Gods name. The Cairo Genizah was discovered in 1896 …   Wiktionary

  • Genizah — [gɛ ni:zə] noun a room attached to a synagogue and housing damaged, discarded, or heretical texts and sacred relics. Origin from Heb. gĕnīzāh, lit. hiding place …   English new terms dictionary

  • genizah — n. a room attached to a synagogue and housing damaged, discarded, or heretical books etc., and sacred relics. Etymology: Heb. genizah, lit. hiding place f. ganaz hide, set aside …   Useful english dictionary

  • Genizah — Gueniza Une gueniza ou guenizah (héb. : גניזה « [endroit de mise en] dépôt »; plur. guenizot) est la pièce d une synagogue servant d entrepôt, principalement pour des ouvrages traitant de sujets religieux rédigés en hébreu, devenus …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Genizah — n. storehouse for Hebrew sacred books no longer in use …   English contemporary dictionary

  • genizah — ge·ni·zah …   English syllables

  • genizah — A repository for damage or banned books …   Grandiloquent dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.