shammos, schammos, shames
- 1. candle lit first and then used to light other hanukah candles
- 2. the caretaker of a synagogue.
- 3. personal assistant / aide / gofer, especially to a rabbi or in the Hollywood entertainment industry
- "The shamash is going to order new siddurim."
- "For the first night, we will need one candle and a shamash."
Languages of Origin
Textual Hebrew, Yiddish
Heb שמש shamásh, Yiddish שמשׂ shámes
Who Uses This
Religious: Jews who are engaged in religious observance and have some Jewish education
Jews: Jews of diverse religious backgrounds and organizational involvements
The New Joys of Yiddish, by Leo Rosten and Lawrence Bush (New York, 2003).
The Joys of Hebrew, by Lewis Glinert (New York, 1992).
Dictionary of Jewish Usage: A Popular Guide to the Use of Jewish Terms, by Sol Steinmetz (Lanham, MD, 2005).
JPS: The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001)
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