Hamsa

Written by Stacy Chbosky
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Hamsas are lovely Jewish blessings for the home. The hamsa both blesses the house and wards away evil, particularly in the form of "the evil eye." The hamsa first came out of the Middle East, but you can now find them in Jewish homes all over the world. Like mezuzahs, hamsas seem to inspire artists to new heights of creativity.

New Takes on Traditional Designs

Artists are often inspired when they're asked to bring a new twist to an old tale. The parameters of an ancient design pose an exciting limit to creative people. For example, every menorah must be designed to hold nine candles, and every mezuzah case must be made to hold the sacred mezuzah scroll. Dreidels are always four-sided and hamsas always incorporate a hand.

Within these restrictions, however, artists have all the room they want to play. This balance of restriction and freedom leads to some truly incredible designs. You can find colorful hamsas made of ceramic, or elegant ones made of pewter or sterling silver.

If you've grown tired of the hamsa, mezuzah, or menorah in your home, don't be afraid to replace them. You may want to hold on to an old piece, for sentimental value, but that doesn't mean you need to hang it on your wall or bring it out every Hanukkah. You should absolutely love the pieces of Judaica in your home, and if you don't, you should replace them.


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