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What is Jewish hamsa jewelry?

By Catalogs Editorial Staff

Give the gift of tradition when you choose Jewish hamsa jewelry

Give the gift of tradition when you choose Jewish hamsa jewelry

The simplest answer to the question, “What is Jewish hamsa jewelry?” is this: It is jewelry fashioned in the shape of the hamsa hand, and worn as earrings, necklaces or bracelets. It is an ancient Jewish symbol that is a visual and tangible representation of some Jewish values and ideals.

Read on to find out what makes this symbol popular and why it has so much meaning to wearers.

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The hamsa is a palm shaped amulet, depicting an open right hand. The hand is shaped like a typical human hand, with three extended fingers in the middle and a curved thumb and pinky on either side. It can be worn with the fingers pointing up or down, as both positions are believed to be equally powerful.

Throughout history, is has been a symbol of protection against the evil eye and brings the wearer happiness, health and good fortune. 

History

This symbol has appeared in history since ancient Mesopotamian times as a sign of protection. Many Jews believe the five fingers of the hamsa are there to remind them to use their five senses to praise God, as well as representing the five books of the Torah. This all relates to the general belief that God is in everything and exists everywhere.

The term ?evil eye? is one of the fiercest terms in history and describes a look given to inflict suffering, harm or bad luck to whom it is given. Many cultures believe that this look alone is enough to cause these things to happen and wearing talismans such as the hamsa helps protect wearers.

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Symbolism

Overall, the depiction of the open right hand is a sign of protection from evil while representing blessings, power and strength.

The hamsa is traditionally carved from jet, a black stone, or formed from silver. In Judaic beliefs, various metals have symbolism. For instance, gold represents divine light, the glory of God. Silver is the sign of purity, innocence and holiness. Brass symbolizes strength, hardness and firmness.

The hamsa is now a common symbol in daily life and is regarded as an emblem of Israel itself, mostly due to the renewed interest in Mizrahi customs and legends. These are Jews whose roots trace back to Muslim majority countries.

Design

Many hamsa designs include depictions of an eye on the palm of the hand. It is this part that protects against the ill fortune of being given an evil look. If the piece is a simple design in metal with no accents, the eye takes center stage and is easily identifiable.

Other offerings include semi-precious and precious stones to decorate the thumb and fingers of the hand. Some artists use a larger stone or crystal to represent the eye. That way, the protection is still there, even if it?s not as obvious.

There is also plenty of creative freedom, especially with colors since colors have special meaning, too. Blue is a very important color in Jewish tradition. It is used to remind believers of the blue sky, the ten commandments and God in Heaven. Purple is the color of royalty, white represents physical and intellectual purity, life and death. Crimson is unique. It is the color of blood and is an emblem of life, joy and happiness. It is also the color often associated with sin.

The hamsa in all of its various styles are found in many homes and worn as jewelry by many people, even those who are not of Jewish faith. It is regarded as the antidote to negative energies, especially when paired with an evil eye. A bracelet with a hamsa charm is thought to be one of the strongest talismans in jewelry. 

 

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