Rav Moshe Shternbuch: Can You Throw Newspapers With Torah Content Into The Garbage?

newspaperRav Moshe Shternbuch points out (1:553) that the Rambam (Yesodei HaTorah 6:8) distinguishes between Kisvei Kodesh meaning klafim of tanach that must be buried and seforim that do not fall into the category of Kisvei Kodesh which do need to be buried but it is forbidden to destroy them or burn them. If you destroy them you get Malkus D’Rabanan (Mardus).

To be Melamed Z’chus on people who throw newspapers with Torah content in the garbage he makes two points. Firstly, printed materials technically have no kedusha, and secondly, since these newspapers are made to be thrown out they never become kadosh.

Although Rav Shternbuch himself buries any papers with any kind of torah content, he paskens that one should wrap it in a bag or another paper before throwing out. That would be okay considering the fact that it is printed and meant to be erased. Furthermore it is best not to place it in the garbage can with the rest of the garbage but rather in separate bin. He ends by saying that V’Hamachmir Tovoi Alav Bracha. Revach.

This content, and any other content on TLS, may not be republished or reproduced without prior permission from TLS. Copying or reproducing our content is both against the law and against Halacha. To inquire about using our content, including videos or photos, email us at [email protected].

Stay up to date with our news alerts by following us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

**Click here to join over 20,000 receiving our Whatsapp Status updates!**

**Click here to join the official TLS WhatsApp Community!**

Got a news tip? Email us at [email protected], Text 415-857-2667, or WhatsApp 609-661-8668.


  1. @really: What’s wrong with a kosher frum newspaper (assuming it is not taking up learning time) ? The question I posed is whether there’s an issue of bringing the divrei torah in the paper into a bathroom.

  2. I think the sheilah goes something like this:

    Baal Ha-bus: Rebbeh! May I take the (moderated) into the bathroom?

    Rav: Take it in? You should really ask me if you are allowed to take it out!

  3. One must put newspaper into the yellow recycling bins. No need to mention garbage, which is put into the green bins. Paper is meant to be re-cycled, not thrown out in the garbage, filling up our landfills with unnecessary material, material which can and needs to be re-used. Quit being so wasteful.

Comments are closed.