Sacred Texts, but Surplus to Requirements

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Dear Rabbi Simon
We have a box of Chumashim (mostly Bereishis) that were cast-offs from one of the Jewish schools (we were able to have them for Elkanah’s bar mitzvah). They were given to us to use/dispose. With a few exceptions they are in pretty bad shape though still usable technically.
We’re not sure what to do with them – should they go to the genizah [facility for respectfully disposing of unwanted or no longer serviceable sacred items] or is there some alternative use? What would you recommend?
Many thanks
Yosef

Hi Yosef,
The simple if unfortunate answer is that such items are very difficult to re-purpose/find a suitable home for. The affluence of modern Jewish communities and the affordability of new sefarim have eliminated the demand for worn out even if serviceable sefarim such as you describe. (Just as an aside, this delightful essay, by a friend of mine (and founder of the highly-regarded Cross-Currents blog) has some thoughts on this phenomenon https://cross-currents.com/2017/12/08/moving-commentary-occasional-travelogue-1/.)
In practice, they are best deposited in the genizah facility to be found in the parking lot at Beit Shmuel (AKA “Rav Chuna’s”) on Golders Green Road, corner Woodstock Avenue. It is praiseworthy to make a donation there to offset the costs of respectful disposal (ie, burial).
Rabbi Rashi Simon

Questions & Answers
this week

Questions and Answers

Ask the Rabbi: Quinoa on Pesach
Dear Rabbi Simon,
Where do you stand on quinoa (and the kitniyot ban) for Pesach?
Many thanks,
Tzippy
***
Dear Tzippy,
In line with other American authorities, I am in favour of quinoa. Although I reject completely the voices (mostly from Israel) seeking to abolish the ban on kitniyot entirely, IMO we do not need to include in the prohibition pseudo-grains that were unknown in the Old World until modern times. Best to buy with a Pesach hechsher though, to be free of any possible wheat contamination.
Rabbi Rashi Simon
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