Topics: What is Shomer Negiah? - About.com Religion & Spirituality

If you ve ever tried to shake hands with an Orthodox Jew of the opposite sex, you might have been told, "I m shomer negiah" or had the individual refrain from taking your hand. If you re not familiar with the concept of  shomer negiah , it can seem foreign, archaic, or even counter-cultural. 

In practice, the terminology refers to someone who refrains from physical contact with individuals of the opposite sex. This observance excludes immediate family members, including one s spouse, children, parents, siblings, and grandparents. 

There are other exceptions to this rule, such as a doctor treating a patient of the opposite sex. Medieval rabbis allowed for a male doctor to examine a woman, despite the necessity to touch, according to the assumption that the doctor is preoccupied with his work ( Tosafot Avodah Zarah  29a). 

In Jewish religious law ( halakha ), the laws of yichud ( Hebrew : איסור ייחוד issur yichud , prohibition of seclusion ) is the prohibition of seclusion in a private area of a man and a woman who are not married to each other. Such seclusion is prohibited in order to prevent the two from being tempted or having the opportunity to commit adulterous or promiscuous acts. A person who is present in order to prevent yichud is called a shomer.

The laws of yichud are typically followed by Orthodox Jews. Adherents of Conservative and Reform Judaism do not generally abide by the laws of yichud.

The term "yichud" also refers to a ritual during an Ashkenazi Jewish wedding in which the newly married couple spends a period secluded in a room by themselves. In earlier historical periods, as early as the talmudic era, [1] the marriage would be consummated at this time, but that practice is no longer current.

If you ve ever heard someone say they re  shomer Shabbat , you might be wondering what exactly that means. We ve got the answer, and more below.

The word  shomer (שומר, plural shomrim, שומרים) derives from the Hebrew word shamar  (שמר) and literally means to guard, watch, or preserve. It is most often used to describe someone s actions and observances in Jewish law, although as a noun it is also used in Modern Hebrew to describe the profession of being a guard (e.g., he is a museum guard).

Additionally,  ​ a  shomer  in Jewish law ( halacha ) is an individual who is tasked with guarding someone s property or goods.

Yom Kippur, my favourite holiday!  I wanted to make video about Elul before doing on about Yom Kippur, but then I was shown how many misconceptions there are about Yom Kippur and what we are striving for that MUST be cleared up first!  So happy to share with you my excitement for this incredible holiday and clear up some false ideas.  Enjoy!

Does everyone here remember the refreshingly honest interview that I posted with Gila Manolson last year??  If you haven’t read it, read it NOW I often reread it when I want to be inspired!!

There are many aspects of Judaism that everyone finds intriguing but nothing quite as much as the concept of shomer negiah (guarding one’s touch).  I only made a few short videos about the subject , and it is the one that is most asked about.  I can’t begin to tell you how many people from other religions have written telling me how this idea has changed their relationships and made their lives so much better!!

Dating a man. 5 dates so far. we are both committed to being shomer negiah. when we walk, i notice he keeps his hands in his pockets. i appreciate all his efforts. he.

The term tzniut ( Hebrew : צניעות , tzniut , Sephardi pronunciation, tzeniut(h) ; Ashkenazi pronunciation, tznius , " modesty ", or " privacy ") is used within Judaism , and has its greatest influence as a concept within Orthodox Judaism. It is used to describe both the character trait of modesty and humility , as well as a group of Jewish laws pertaining to conduct in general, and especially between the sexes. The term is frequently used with regard to the rules of dress for women.

Humility is a paramount ideal within Judaism. Moses is referred to as "exceedingly humble, more than any man in the world" ( Book of Numbers 12:3), though the adjective used of Moses is anav (ענו), and not tzana (צָנַע), the cognate of the noun tzniut. [1] The verb tzana "to be humble" occurs in Proverbs 11:2 and, (in the hiphil ), "walk humbly" in Micah 6:8.

The Talmud states that humility is one of the characteristic traits of the Jewish people ( Talmud , Tractate Yevamot 79a).

Monday through Thursday I surround myself with girls who openly share their dating stories, with all the details. We all laugh and go on about our business. When Shabbat comes along, all the details stay hushed and I find myself around a different group of girls, some who may not even have stories to share. These girls are what are called shomer negiah which means that they have decided to not touch those of the opposite gender until marriage. And quite frankly, I'm not sure whether to admire them or check their sanity levels.

Shomer negiah defies all of the societal changes that have become the norm This is me living a life between two worlds. As fun as it is to date and share stories with girlfriends, I happen to see so much of the wisdom in the laws of Jewish modesty, specifically shomer negiah. And although I have taken on many of the customs in Judaism I otherwise thought I never could, i.e. keeping shabbat Friday nights and giving up eel sushi, I don't see how it is humanly possibly to not touch boys anymore!

For a brief moment in time, I tried dating guys who are shomer negiah and so therefore, involuntarily, I was too. But when people ask me how I'd feel about the concept of not touching men, I can't help but laugh. It depends on the day. And whatever I could tell you now about how I feel will probably change by the time you actually read this. So I want to say this instead. That even though some of us, self included, may not be strong enough, or understand enough, on why it is important to keep the laws of shomer negiah , there are many lessons to be learned from its wisdom.

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