by Catalogs.com Info Guru Elizabeth Sobiski
As one of the oldest religions in the world, Judaism is filled with symbols that carry significant meaning to believers.
They are an essential part of the faith and are often used as tools for teaching the religion to others. By capturing the symbols in finely crafted jewelry, wearers can have a daily reminder of their faith as well as an heirloom for passing on to future generations. Here are 10 of the top Judaic jewelry designs.
Or Rimon, in Hebrew. The pomegranate is a symbol of Rosh Hashanah and believed to have originated from the famous apple from the Garden of Eden. This fruit was highly valued and sought after throughout the Mediterranean, as the skin was used as a remedy for tapeworm and the seeds for a dye. It is a symbol of life and is eaten for good luck.
9. Ancient Shekels
These coins represent the money that was given in tribute in approximately 520 BCE, or during the time of the second temple. There was great opposition to the building of this temple and many faithful Jews contributed to the project, sending money from far outside the Land of Israel. It took over 20 years to complete the temple. The ancient shekels symbolize the sacrifice and dedication of those Jews.
The Shekel is a symbol of Jewish independence. Coins cast for men’s or women’s jewelry – like handsome shekel cufflinks – include imagery and inscriptions with a nod to Judaica: a Hebrew-inscribed chalice and a branch with pomegranates, one of the Seven Species of Israel.
Perhaps one of the most iconic symbols of Judaism, the menorah is a seven-branched candelabrum used in Temple. It is generally recognized as a symbol of Israel, where it is used as a “light unto the nations.” The menorah of Hanukkah has nine branches and each night during the eight days of Hanukkah a new candle is lit. Because if this, jewelry fashioned to look like a menorah is popular during Hanukkah.
The symbol of the Torah is that of a two-handled scroll, similar to the ones used in Jewish temples. The name refers to the five books of Moses: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, as well as the entire Jewish bible. The scrolls are one of the holiest of symbols to Jews. Devout practitioners can wear jewelry to show others their commitment to their faith.
5. Kabbalah amulet
Kabbalah is a Jewish prophecy that teaches about life, the universe and our own selves. It is based on complex ideas that portray the connection between God, man and all other creations. Amulets and talismans are believed to have a healing effect on the wearer’s body and soul. They are also thought to ward off the evil eye.
This popular symbol is the Hebrew word for living, made up of the two letters Cheit and Yod. Some wearers believe it refers to the living God, while other say it represents Judaism’s belief in the importance of life. The symbol dates back to medieval Spain and has been in constant use since then. The toast, l’chiam, means ‘to life’. Those who observe Judaism follow the basic principles embodied by the symbol: kindness, thoughtfulness, selflessness and remaining good-natured.
This is a stylized hand, and indeed, represents the hand of God. It is a protective symbol, often wrought in silver, bringing its owner luck, health, happiness and good fortune, all while warding off the evil eye. There are many versions of the hand, some that include the evil eye ward, a pomegranate, the Star of David, and symbols of prayers. The curved thumb and pinky fingers represent the bridge between God and man.
2. Blessing tube
These tubes serve as pendants for necklaces and are usually made of sterling silver. Silver represents light and purity to those of the Jewish faith. A finely written scripture or a tefillah (Jewish prayer) is carefully written, then inserted into the tube. Cut-outs in the tube let people see parts of the prayer it contains. The pendant is then blessed before it is given as a gift.
1. Star of David
A compound of two equilateral triangles, a Star of David is one of the most important symbols in Jewish faith. It dates back to 14th century Europe, where it was used on Jewish flags. Stories tell believers that the symbol originated on the shield that David carried when he went to slay Goliath. On the Israeli flag, it represents the promised land. The intertwining of the two triangles is also thought to stand for the connection of both of the dimensions of God, that is Torah and Israel.
Jewelry with these symbols makes for a very special gift, to both Jews and non-Jews alike. Pair a necklace with a lovely scented candle, perfect for prayer and times of introspection. The key here is to let your inner faith be your guide when choosing symbolic jewelry – these are just a few suggestions and examples.