“HANDS-ON” PROTECTION

Tattoo Hamsa Necklace

One of our most popular jewelry motifs is the Hamsa, or protective hand. This icon is used as an amulet by many Middle Eastern people.

Of course, we see it created in silver, gold, bronze, diamonds, pewter, glass, as a personal ornament. I have also seen it woven into lush Turkish rugs, and painted on gorgeous
fountain-tiles in North Africa. As you know from previous blogs, especially in
the desert, protection and well-being are linked symbolically to having easy
access to water.

I have heard the Hamsa called the Hand of Miriam, as well as the Hand of Fatima, depending upon who wears it.  I have seen it displayed with the fingers pointing up, and pointing down, although the fingers pointing down in my experience is more common.

Middle Eastern Hamsa Necklace

Sometimes, as in our alluring “Middle Eastern Necklace” (our item # art-m), the hand and fingers are stylized to abstraction, though we know the protective powers are still there!

It’s intriguing to know that the icon of the hand extends beyond our immediate frame of cultural reference. “The Mano Poderosa”, or Hand of Power, is often portrayed in Latin Roman Catholic  sacred art, especially religious art from Spain and Mexico.

Abhaya MudraAnd check this out: the Mudra (hand-position) of Protection, known to Hindus and Buddhists as the Abhaya
Mudra. Portrayals of the Buddha often depict his right hand in this sheltering, yet liberating gesture, which is often translated from the Sanskrit to mean  “Fear not”.

Scholars say that Buddha first made
this gesture when he became enlightened. Prophets and saints of many other spiritual paths also are often depicted with their right hand in this position.

Coincidence? Doesn’t seem likely.
In any case, enjoy this universal symbol of protection from harm.Image of a Mudra Hand

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About jewishstarjewelry

Alef Bet Jewelry is a mother-daughter company that manufactures jewelry in Los Angeles, CA. The company was started while Alissa was attending UCLA, and her husband came up with the idea of making Hebrew letter jewelry. Hence, the name and company were born--- Alef Bet Jewelry. (Like alphabet but in Hebrew) Since 1996, Alef Bet Jewelry has grown both its products and popularity. We are nationwide and our jewelry can be found in many boutiques and jewelry stores near you. Call for a store near you, or look online at www.alefbet.com.
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14 Responses to “HANDS-ON” PROTECTION

  1. C Ramirez says:

    great article and even better jewelry on your site. I love AlefBets’s hamsas. My family comes from Spain and I love jewelry that can be used by people of different faiths.

  2. Elyssa says:

    I love that something as simple as a hand is a sign for protection. As a mom, HaShem knows I’ve used my hands to protect my daughter more times than I can remember, and I will continue to do so until the end of my days. 🙂

  3. audrey freeman says:

    I love your jewelry. I have been wearing the hamsa bracelet I bought for years now. I have recently purchased two for my maids of honors. My niece has asked for one too, so she’s getting one soon. I get so many nice compliments on the jewelry I have purchased.

  4. lisa lamm says:

    Another fabulous article! Years ago, a friend travelled to Turkey and brought me back a Hamsa necklace. I love it! But I love your jewelry even more! 😉

  5. D Fromkin says:

    Great article and I love the jewelry!

  6. alicia says:

    amazing article. the jewlery is very beutiful and im proud to be jewish

  7. Elana says:

    Great article! My mom’s family is Sephardic so I received my first hamsa around the same time I got my first Magen David. Nice to see that they have become more widely worn.

  8. C. Duran says:

    The article is very informative and your jewelry is quite unique.
    Curious if the hamsa would be appropriate for a young jewish male?
    Possibly for a bar mitzvah gift? Appreciate your toughts!

  9. Michele says:

    Thank you for this posting! While I have looked into the meaning and origin of the Hamsa, I have never found such a well rounded description. Love your jewelry!

  10. Joanna says:

    Always love reading about the background behind your jewelry!

  11. Rachel says:

    i loveeee the first necklace shown on this post, so much.

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