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What is the Hamsa Hand and what makes it a Jewish Symbol of Luck?

The Hamsa Symbol and charm is an open right hand.

It is used as a symbol to represents blessings, good luck, and protection as a powerful amulet in deflecting harm from the evil eye.

The Hamsa can be displayed either with the fingers pointing up or down, either way it will bestow blessings. 

The hand can be depicted with the fingers spread apart to accentuate warding off evil, or as closed together to bring good luck. 

Hamsa in Jewish Faith

The Hamsa is called the Hand of Miriam. The ‘hand’ is also associated as a symbols of ‘The hand of God’.

  • ‘Hamesh’ (hamsa) in Hebrew is the number five
  • The Five Books of Torah
  • Five fingers on the Hand
  • The letter ‘heh’ is fifth letter Hebrew alphabet
    •  ‘heh’ is an abbreviated one of Gods holy names. 
  • 5 Sense (sight, touch, smell, taste and hearing) a reminder to use all 5 to live life in health.

 

What does the Hamsa mean in Judaism?

The belief of the magical powers of the hamsa hand in Judaism goes back to Biblical times, where it is referenced in Deuteronomy 5:15, stated in the Ten Commandments as the “strong hand” of God who led the Jews out of Egypt. The Jews quickly made a connection with the Hamsa hand and Jewish culture, where it acquired meaning as an influential icon throughout the community.

The hamsa is recognized and used as a sign of protection in many times throughout history, is also believed by some, to provide defense against the evil eye.

Hamsas often contain an eye symbol used to protect against evil eye, a malicious stare believed to be able to cause illness, death or just general unluckiness.

The evil eye is a curse believed to be caused by the cast of a malevolent glare of others, usually given to a person when they are unaware. Many cultures believe that receiving the evil eye will cause misfortune or injury.

The pervasive concern for the ‘Evil Eye’ (ayin harah in hebrew) is one of the biggest factors in the development of  the hamsa as a protective amulet, among Jews.

 

More Hamsa Articles:  The Hamsa & Its Jewish Origins   –  Why is Hamsa a Traditional -Housewarming Gift   –   Hang a Hamsa for Good Luck & Blessings