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From the Heb. verb gnz, “keep, enclose,” the genizah is a side room in a synagogue (usually a cellar or attic) in which to keep old, discarded, damaged, or in some way unserviceable MSS. Because these writings contain the name of God, they are not to be destroyed. Older Judaism also placed heretical texts in the genizah. Most of the older synagogues had a genizah.

The most famous genizah was found in Old Cairo, on the second floor of the Ezra Synagogue, built in a.d. 882. Discovered as early as 1753 by Simon of Geldern, it was made famous by Solomon Schechter, who in May 1896…

Cite this page
Butts, James R., “Genizah”, in: Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Consulted online on 02 April 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2211-2685_eco_G17>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004169678, 20080512

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