• a chaperone, protector, or guard
  • a camp counselor on duty
  • one who keeps vigil over a dead body before it is buried
  • adj. observant, observing the laws of kosher, shabbat, or negiya (not touching members of the opposite gender outside of family)
  • a member of Hashomer Hatzair or a camper or counselor at a Hashomer Hatzair camp

Example Sentences

  • Of all the counselors, Ariele is the bunk shomer tonight.
  • I can't shake my teacher's hand, I'm shomer.
  • Donny: How come you don't roll on Saturday, Walter? Walter Sobchak: I'm shomer shabbos. Donny: What's that? The Dude: Yeah, and in the meantime, what do I tell Lebowski? Walter Sobchak: Saturday, Donny, is Shabbos, the Jewish day of rest. That means that I don't work, I don't drive a car, I don't f***ing ride in a car, I don't handle money, I don't turn on the oven, and I sure as s**t *don't f***ing roll*! ("The Big Lebowski," 1998)

Languages of Origin

Textual Hebrew, Yiddish



Who Uses This

Religious: Jews who are engaged in religious observance and have some Jewish education
Orthodox: Jews who identify as Orthodox and observe halacha (Jewish law)
Camp: Jews who attend or work at a Jewish overnight summer camp


North America


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


There is a tradition of not allowing a bride or groom to be alone lest the evil eye harm him or her before the wedding. Friends and relatives who keep them company during this time are called shomrim (שומרים). Also, there is a tradition of giving the bride and groom a few minutes alone (called yichud, ייחוד) after the chuppah ceremony. The friends or relatives who guard the door to the yichud room are called shomrim.

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