Apologies for a beginner’s question - I am but a goy.

I’ve been trying to understand whether shemiras halashon / shemiras einayim / shemiras hanefesh are related to listening - to HKBH.

Is shemiras related to shema, and if so, could someone explain to me the meaning of shemiras, if it is related to shema?

Many thanks.

  • 1
    There’s also shemiras Shabbos, shemiras hamitzvos, etc. Commented Jul 9 at 3:03

2 Answers 2



"Are the words Shema and shemiras / shomer related?"

Everything is related to everything in some way.

If you're asking if the words listen (שמע) and guard (שמר) share any unique grammatical similarities that neither share with any other word, then no. They share the first two letters, but are completely different words with completely different roots.

Now, everything is related to everything else, all the more so in the Torah and the Hebrew language. Sometimes two words that are not grammatically similar do have other kinds of similarities.

For example, the words "leven" (חמץ) and "unleavened bread" (matzah/מצה) almost share the same letters, and Torah Ohr from the Alter Rebbe explains that the ח can be interchanged with a ה in some cases, thus highlighting that even though chametz and matzah are total opposites, they still can have some similarities, as explained there (parshas bo).

Anyways maybe the ר and the ע could be similar in some way? But I haven't seen any sources to support this.

Anyways, in general listening to something means one guards it in one's mind, so it does seem the words have similar implications, but no grammatical similarities.


Looked at strictly grammatically the two words שמע to listen and שמר (from which comes shemiras) to guard, are different words and there are obvious differences between hearing something and guarding it.

It could be said that the implications of the commandment of שמע ישראל ה׳ אלקנו ה׳ אחד which are to give up one's life or sacrifice all one's money if necessary to proclaim G-d's unity imply a guarding of G-d's unity. In that sense the words have similar implications.

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