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Recycling Weekly Parsha Sheets
In Shabbat-B'Shabbato, I read your position with respect to the weekly parsha sheets and the wide diversity of subject matter, including advertising. I am among those who benefit most from the great increase in the number of weekly bulletins, and it goes without saying that I do my reading at home and not in the synagogue. I personally collect the pages of the bulletins and do not throw them out after I have read them, but I know that in our synagogue and probably in many others a large number of unread bulletins remain after Shabbat. It seems to me a great pity that there is no way to recycle this material. I wonder if it might be possible to recycle the parsha sheets in such a way that the contents are not desecrated or harmed.

Shalom Yael, I appreciate your question very much.
More than twenty years ago, the Zomet Institute was involved in a study of paper recycling. It seems that making a special line for recycling holy printed material would be financially prohibitive. Somebody who could organize nationwide collection of the material (at least in the big cities) for economic or philanthropic reasons in order to recycle it would receive the blessings of many rabbis – although on the other hand some might object because of such issues as desecrating the sheets and erasing the holy name of G-d.
We have some ideas about this matter, but the main problems are related to logistics and finance. The halachic considerations are secondary to these issues.


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