comes from the root word for the number
five in Hebrew. The number five is considered
to have special magical powers that bring
good luck. The number five is represented
by the five fingers of an open human hand
in a natural motion of the holding an open
hand to warn off an oncoming enemy. The
shape of the hand is a symbolic “stop
sign” to the devil. It is commonly
believed that both the Hamsa hand and the
colors blue and turquoise are defenders
against all evil. Hamsa hand is the most
popular cameo for well-being and good luck
in the Middle East .
|There are two main styles
of a hamsa hand: the stylized
hamsa hand with two symmetrical thumbs, and hamsa
hands that are not symmetrical and shaped like
actual hands. Either hamsa hand can be
worn with the fingers pointing up or down.
The hamsa is popular as a charm most often
worn as a necklace, but can be found
as a decorative element in houses, on key chains,
on other jewellery items. Many artists use the
image of the hamsa hand in jewelry, paintings,
sculptures, wall decorations, and amulets.
The renewed interest in Kabbalah
and mystical Judaism is a factor
in bringing the hamsa
pendant back into fashion. In Jewish
mysticism, fish are a symbol of good luck,
so many hamsas are also decorated with fish images.
Sometimes hamsas are inscribed with Hebrew
prayers, such as the Sh'ma, Birkat
HaBayit (Blessing for the Home), or
HaDerech (Traveler's Prayer).