Tashmishei kedushah are objects which serve a holy object (such as
a Sefer Torah), They contain a holy object or cover it and are in immediate
contact with it. The law of tashmishei kedushah applies even to objects
which are used more to protect than to show respect for a holy object (e.g.
the ark in which a Sefer Torah and other sacred writings are placed, even if
they are printed rather than handwritten by a scribe. According to most poskim,
sacred texts that are printed have a sanctity comparable to the handwritten
text.). Ornaments that are placed upon a Sefer Torah are also considered
tashmishei kedushah even though they do not actually touch the Sefer Torah
Tashmishei kedushah that are worn out and unsuitable for further
use must be put aside in a safe place. It is forbidden to use them for any other
purpose and it is forbidden to burn them. The prohibition to burn them is implied
in the verse “Do not do so to Hashem, our G-d.” In contrast, tashmishei mitzvah do not have kedushah after the mitzvah has been done.
Mezuzah cases and paper or plastic which is wrapped around it are considered tashmishei kedushah.
The law of tashmishei kedushah applies only to objects that have
been designated and used as tashmishei kedushah. The law of tashmishei
kedushah does not apply to objects that have been prepared or separated
for used as tashmishei kedushah, but have not actually been used. It
also does not apply to objects that have been used only once as tashmishei
kedushah and have not been designated for use as tashmishei kedushah.
For example, the brown paper that is used to wrap a Torah book for mailing has
no kedushah. But if it were wrapped with that same paper with the intention
that the paper should always cover it, it acquires kedushah and must
be treated as tashmishei kedushah.
Tashmishei kedushah such as the wrapping of a Sefer Torah, may not
be made from something that was previously used for a mundane purpose if it
is used in the same form in which it was used for the mundane purpose. But if
its form is changed, it is permitted to use it. Tashmishei mitzvah, such
as a talis bag and even the talis itself, can be made from something that was
previously used for a mundane purpose. (Tashmishei mitzvah need not be
placed in a geniza.)
An object which serves tashmishei kedushah (tashmish detashmish),
like the bag of a talis in which tefillin inside their bag are placed, has no
kedushah.(The tefillin bag is considered tashmishei kedushah
even though it does not touch the tefillin directly [they are in cases] because
they do touch the straps.)
A bookshelf that is used for sifrei kodesh is considered tashmishei kedushah
and it is forbidden to use it for mundane purposes. It is forbidden to discard
it or to burn it. Some allow it to be sold or to be redeemed. The bookshelf
is no longer considered kadosh and the value of the bookshelf (the proceeds
of the sale) is applied to purchasing sifrei kodesh.