According to traditional belief, God is present in all of Hebrew writing.

This had the result that in the course of time, for fear of careless treatment, all texts written or printed in Hebrew letters were included in the genizot, eventually also secular literature and correspondence and the like.

When synagogues were rediscovered and restaurated after they had fallen into oblivion for many years, they often revealed these exceptional treasures of Jewish culture.

The graphic works in the GENIZAH series show HaShemot. These oftentimes unadorned fragments from the genizot have a way of opening a window into an era past.


In ancient Hebrew, archives and libraries are called bet ha-genizah (hiding or storage house).

Genizot, places of storage, existed in many churches and synagogues, usually in the attic of a synagogue. This is where holy texts, liturgical writings and ritual objects that were no longer in use were kept safe.

They could not simply be discarded because they had the name of God in them, which must not be expressed directly, but is only paraphrased.

One way to paraphrase God’s name is the Hebrew word HaShem, (“the name”), HaShemot in plural.

Writings containing HaShemot were first kept in the genizah before they could be ritually buried at a later point.