Chai Hamsa

November 2006
Sterling silver

The hamsa is a classic symbol of protection in both Judaic and Arabic cultures. The name of the hand-shaped amulet actually comes from the Arabic word for "five," a reference to the five fingers. Sometimes known as a God's Hand or the Hand of Fatima, the hamsa usually has an eye depicted in the palm to help ward off the Evil Eye. That is replaced here by the Hebrew word חי (chai), which means "life" and is a well-known motif in Judaica.