SYMBOLS

 Hamsa

 

Symbolism of the Hamsa

Hamsas always have three extended middle fingers, but there are some variation to how the thumb and pinky fingers appear. Sometimes they are curved outwards as in the example shown above, other times they are just significantly shorter than the middle fingers. Whatever their shape, the thumb and pinky finger are always symmetrical.

 The Hebrew word is Hamesh which means five. Hamsa refers to the fact that there are five fingers on the talisman, though some also believe it represents the five books of the Torah. Sometimes it is called the Hand of Miriam after Moses’ sister.

In Islam, the Hamsa is called the Hand of Fatima, in honor of one of the daughters of the Prophet Mohammed. Some say that in Islamic tradition the five fingers represent the Five Pillars of Islam. Many believe that the Hamsa predates both Judaism and Islam, though no one is certain of its origin.

Many Hamsas will have an eye displayed in the palm of the hand. The eye is thought to be a powerful talisman against the Evil Eye. The Evil Eye is a certain look that can cause bad luck for the person at whom it is directed. This "look" often originates with a person, though not always intentionally. Legends about the evil eye give both regular people and those with certain powers the ability to cast the evil eye.

Other symbols that can appear on the Hamsa include fish and Hebrew words. Fish are thought to be immune to the evil eye and are also symbols of good luck. Going along with the luck theme, “mazel” – meaning “luck” in Hebrew – is a word that is sometimes inscribed on the amulet.

Popular ways to wear the Hamsa include as part of a jewelry design or on a key chain. However it is displayed, the amulet is thought to bring good luck and happiness.

​Evil Eye
This is believed by many cultures to be able to cause injury or bad luck for the person at whom it is directed for reasons of  envy or dislike. The term also refers to the power attributed to certain persons of inflicting injury or bad luck by such an envious or ill-wishing look. The evil eye is usually given to others who remain unaware.
 

Protective talismans and cures

 Attempts to ward off the curse of the evil eye has resulted in a number of talismans in many cultures. As a class, they are called "apotropaic" (Greek for "prophylactic" or "protective," literally: "turns away") talismans, meaning that they turn away or turn back harm.

The Hamsa, a charm made to ward off the evil eye.

Disks or balls, consisting of concentric blue and white circles (usually, from inside to outside, dark blue, light blue, white, dark blue) representing an evil eye are common apotropaic talismans in the Middle East, found on the prows of Mediterranean boats and elsewhere; in some forms of the folklore, the staring eyes are supposed to bend the malicious gaze back to the sorcerer.

Known as nazar (Turkish: nazar boncuğu or nazarlık), this talisman is most frequently seen in Turkey, found in or on houses and vehicles or worn as beads.

In Islam, only God can protect against the evil eye. 

 

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