Shmira is a Hebrew word meaning watching or guarding. It refers to the Jewish ritual of watching over the body of a deceased person from the time of death until burial. Shomrim are individuals who perform Shmira.
In a practical sense, Shmira is a form of guard duty, safeguarding the body prior to burial. It has a religious basis in the Talmud wherein the soul is said to remain near the body until the body is buried. Shmira is practiced out of respect for the body and soul, so that no individual is abandoned prior to burial.
Providing Shmira is regarded as fulfilling the mitzvot of Kavod ha Met, respect for the dead, and Nichum Aveilim, comforting mourners. It is an essential element of chesed shel emet, performing acts of true loving kindness with no expectation of repayment. We provide Shmira for every deceased while in our care.
The practice of Shmira involves reading Tehillim (Psalms) or other appropriate texts while in proximity to the deceased. Shomrim are not literally watching the body.
We welcome and encourage Jewish family and friends to participate in Shmira at our facility, even if only for an hour or two. Our staff will guide you in where to sit and what to read.
Shmira is a beautiful gift of caring for the deceased, and offers the Shomer a meaningful opportunity for quiet reflection. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 204.582.5088 for more information.