We are continuing in siman 21, discussing the halachos of geniza. Today, we will discuss the halachos of geniza for tashmishei mitzvah. It is clear from the Gemara that tashmishei kedusha require geniza, either in earthenware or in a lower form. However, tashmishei mitzvah do not require geniza. Nevertheless, they should not be discarded in a manner of bizayon. They should be double wrapped so that they do not get mixed with garbage, and then they may be discarded. A tashmish d’tashmish certainly does not require geniza, but should still be double wrapped.
It is important to note that an item which is still fit to be used for a mitzvah purpose should not be discarded. For example, if a person has a tallis which is still usable, they should not discard it. However, once it is no longer usable, it can be discarded without geniza.
The Rema raises the question whether it is appropriate to put tzitzis in geniza if one wishes. Although it may seem to be a wonderful idea, maybe it is a degradation to the items of kedusha which are in geniza to include an item of a lower level of kedusha. The Rema concludes that it is not a problem, but rather is a midas chassidus to put it into geniza, so one may put it in geniza if they wish. In our days, where we are overburdened with geniza, it would probably be better to refrain from putting such items in geniza.
Practically speaking, a tefillin bag is considered tashmishei kedusha, and requires geniza. The plastic bag around it is primarily there to protect the bag, so it is considered a tashmish d’tashmish of kedusha and does not require geniza. Similarly, the plastic cover on top of the bimah serves to protect the embroidered bimah cover rather than to support the Sefer Torah. The embroidered cover is a tashmish d’kedusha, so the plastic is a tashmish d’tashmish and does not require geniza. A tashmish d’tashmish may be double wrapped and discarded, akin to a tashmish d’mitzvah.
- A tashmish d’kedusha requires geniza, but a tashmish d’tashmish of kedusha does not require geniza
- A tashmish d’mitzvah and a tashmish d’tashmish of a mitzvah do not require geniza.
- When they do not require geniza, they should be double wrapped before being discarded.
- Although it is a midas chassidus to place tashmish d’mitzvah in geniza, it is preferable to refrain nowadays, due to the fact that we are overburdened with geniza.