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n. pl. sham·mo·sim (shä-mô′sĭm)

[Yiddish shames, from Hebrew šammāš; see shamash.]


(ˈʃɑːməs; Hebrew ʃaˈmaʃ) or


n, pl shammosim or shammashim (Hebrew ʃaˈmɔsɪm)
1. (Judaism) an official acting as the beadle, sexton, and caretaker of a synagogue
2. (Judaism) the extra candle used on the Feast of Hanukkah to kindle the lamps or candles of the menorah
[from Hebrew shāmmāsh, from Aramaic shĕmāsh to serve]


or sha•mes

(ˈʃɑ məs)

n., pl. sham•mo•sim or sha•mo•sim (ʃɑˈmɔ sɪm)
2. the candle used to kindle the other candles in the Hanukkah menorah.
[1945–50; < Yiddish shames < Hebrew shammāsh server, attendant]
References in periodicals archive ?
White, the "goy" from whom they bought their shoes, had been the shammes at Temple Zion for thirty years.
Yet another stacks books on the almemar, shoves them, balled up crumpled wet, into pew pockets, lays them out on seats swept toward the rear, nosebleed territory from which the Shammes groans in with an enormous what hath God wrought iron key, looped on a rope around his waist, hanging low under his gut, swinging with his stride--which is as long and wide as the last night he'll spend here, free, unconcerned.
Or maybe not, for I am suspicious of the proclivity of psychiatrists to opt for explanations somehow related to sex, especially when, as in Yale's case, there was very possibly another cause, namely, that a shammes had shlogen Kamisar back when he was a mamzerook.
But he was given to odd witticisms: he must have been seven when one Hanukkah evening he lifted one of the candles from our Menorah, planted himself in front of the dining-room window, and absentmindedly sucking his thumb (he sucked his thumb until he was ten), smeared a staggering number of large and little HEIL HITTLER HEIL HITTLER HEIL HITTLER all over the steaming windowpanes with the tip of the shammes.