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There is an idea that one can an appoint a shomer (guard) to daven maariv (shma) and some achronim extend this idea to lighting the menorah. What this does is allows one to do work and eat something prior to performing the mitzvah and the shomer is there to ensure you don't forget about it.

A shomer is an actual person who reminds you. Is it acceptable to set an alarm clock which will remind you to perform the mitzvahs mentioned?

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R' Sh'lomo Zalman Auerbach indicated that it would be acceptable to rely upon an alarm for eating if the alarm is functional, although it should not be relied upon to wake oneself from sleep (Halichos Sh'lomo, T'filla 2:12).

R' Bentzion Abba Sha'ul also indicated it would be acceptable to rely upon an alarm clock for eating, provided that the person intends to respond immediately when the alarm goes off and the person doesn't drink alcoholic beverages during the meal (Or L'Tziyon II, ch. 15, fn. 1).

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