Shemoneh Esrei

Alternative Spellings

Shemone Esray, Shemoneh Esrai, Sh'moneh Esreh, Shmoneh Esre, Shemoneh Esreh, Shmone Esre


  • another name for the Amida, the central prayer during Jewish services. [lit. 'eighteen', the number of blessings it originally had]

Example Sentences

  • "After Shemoneh Esreh, we will be davening Kaddish Shalem on page 244."
  • "The afternoon service has three parts: Shmoneh Esre, Ashrei, and Aleynu."

Languages of Origin

Textual Hebrew, Yiddish


Heb שמונה עשרה 'lit. eighteen', Yiddish/Ashkenazi Heb שמונה־עשׂרה shimenésre/shmoyne-ésre

Who Uses This

Religious: Jews who are engaged in religious observance and have some Jewish education


North America


The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001).
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).


This term is more popular among Orthodox Jews; non-Orthodox Jews are more likely to say "Amidah" (עמידה).

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