WHAT MAKES HAMSA A VALUABLE MOTIF?
An amulet in the shape of a five-fingered hand, also known as hamsa or khamsa, finds place in both Jewish and Islamic faith.
THE HAMSA MOTIF
The Hamsa motif is usually designed with a watchful eye in the center of the palm and is said to be a powerful charm against evil. The amulet is sometimes accented with the fish images which are believed to bring good luck and prosperity, according to Jewish mysticism.
The motifis said to have been introduced to the North African and Middle Eastern Jewish population centuries ago by Islam. The Jews retained the Arabic name hamsa, but defined it as the ‘hand of Miriam’ while linking it to the sister of Moses. However, the Arabs call the five-fingered motif, ‘the hand of Fatima’, commemorating the favorite daughter of Mohammad.
CULTURAL BELIEFS ASSOCIATED WITH THE HAMSA
A malevolent stare is believed to cause illness, accidents and bring bad luck. While the Hamsa is said to ward off evil that results from such stares, the amulet with the fingers closely sticking to each other brings good luck. The open hand of Hamsa represents blessings, strength and power. Additionally, Buddha’s preaching and gesture of protection is represented with an open right hand. The Hamsa is recognized by the Christian tradition too. In Christianity, the divine symbol is associated with the hand of the Virgin Mary which protects pregnant women from malicious gazes and promotes a healthy pregnancy. Therefore, the amulet is usually hung on the doors of the rooms where a mother to be rests.
HAMSA JEWELRY FOR PROTECTION
It is believed that wearing the hamsa can influence the feeling of being protected from the evil eye greatly. The amulets wards off any feeling of negativity from the wearer. The talisman is able to protect the wearer from envious colleagues and acquaintances. Apart from that, wearing the hand of Miriam at night in the form of a ring or pendant can keep nightmares and restlessness at bay.
HAMSA IN GOLD AND SILVER
It is common for people to buy hamsa jewelry in gold and silver. Since silver stands for purity, it is known to hold magical properties. A silver amuletmakes a thoughtful gift for a birthday or a bat mitzvah. However, the beautifully designed Judaic motif in dazzling gold or silver, hanging on a delicate chain, makes a perfect gift for someone you love.