Israeli jewelers have dedicated many years to the study of Kabbalah and Jewish mysticism.
Jewish gold and silver jewelry collections reflect the beauty and spiritual elements of Judaic tradition. Each piece of jewelry carries a particular meaning and intention to inspire the wearer and bring health, happiness, and spiritual unity to their life.
The Hand of Fatima, also called Hand of Fatima, or "Khomsa", is claimed from so many origins that it would be difficult to arbitrate them today.
Two important questions can still be asked: what does it represent, and is it a religious symbol?
Origin of the name of the Hand of Fatima or the "Hamsa"
The Hand of Fatima (typical French term, having no equivalent expression in Arabic) or Fatma, is the French name given to the Khomsa, خُمسة. Khomsa is as much a Hebrew as an Arabic term (the Arabic and Hebrew languages are cousins, and have a lot of vocabulary in common, or at least in the root words). The name of Khomsa is close to the word khamsa, خَمسة, which means five in Arabic (the number five). This obviously refers to the number of fingers on the hand.
Examples of Hands of Fatima or “Hamsa”
The French name, Main de Fatima, is more directly associated with the Arab world, and has its origins in Islam (the name of Fatima, not the Hand). Fatima comes from the name of the daughter of the prophet Mohamad, because one of the explanations given to the hand of Fatima, is a legend, describing an event associated with the prophet of Islam. But that does not mean that the Hand of Fatima is a religious symbol. It is on the contrary the Arab culture, which a posteriori, tried through a Muslim legend, to re-appropriate the Hand of Fatima, which also claimed by many others.
Cultural and geographical origins of the Hand of Fatima
Culturally, the Hand of Fatima is claimed by both Jews and Muslims, and even to a lesser extent, by Hindus.
Geographically, the Hand of Fatima made its first appearances in North Africa, i.e. in the current Maghreb (to simplify), and in the Middle East, i.e. on the side of the 'Egypt. But traces of it are also found in India and Pakistan. This could be explained by the close links and intense exchanges that took place in the past between the Arab world and the world of India.
Note that some Arab countries, such as Saudi Arabia, do not recognize the Hand of Fatima. It is therefore wrong to associate it directly with the Arab world, although a large part of the Arab world knows it.
Who holds the Hand of Fatima?
The Hand of Fatima is mainly worn by women in the countries mentioned above: the Maghreb countries, India, and Pakistan. Due to population movements, it is also found in Europe, and especially in countries with a seafront on the Mediterranean; it is common in France and Spain.
It is worn mainly by women, but nothing in its symbolism intends it exclusively for women. If it is worn mainly by women, it is because it is a piece of jewelry, and few men wear jewelry. But those who wear it can just as well wear a Hand of Fatima. The symbols associated with the Hand of Fatima are not excluded for men. In certain environments and populations of modern culture, it is actually worn by men (but in smaller numbers than women).
What does the Hand of Fatima represent and is it a religious symbol?
Let's first answer the religious question: certainly not, the Hand of Fatima has no religious meaning. On the contrary, some "very pious" Muslims even consider it as contrary to Islam, and sees in it shirk, شرك: idolatry, that is to say pagan worship. However, most Muslims don't go that far, and readily accept it for all its meanings, regardless of any religious contraindication to wearing it.
Read more on what it represents, would certainly lead us to endless speculation. We will therefore stick to what appears undeniably: its appearance. We first note 5 five fingers (hence its other name of Khomsa for Jews and Arabs), but with two thumbs. Certainly, it is a human hand, because it has five fingers. But the fact of a hand with two thumbs may seem strange. It would in fact be two hands superimposed back to back, or the trace of a single hand, alternately posed from the front, then from the back. In both cases, and whatever the culture, this gesture of the hands refers directly or indirectly to any gesture of invocation. The hand of Fatima is therefore a spiritual symbol and the symbol of some hope. This belongs to the person who wears it, because the meaning on this subject is not more precise (except to advance meanings which can always be disputed).
We then often note a central eye, at the level of the palm, which is not always represented, but which is frequent. This eye is recognized by Arabs, Muslims and Jews as the symbol of protection against "the evil eye". The evil eye can be appreciated differently depending on the culture. It is, to put it simply, a bad twist of fate, caused or not by an evil spirit, depending on cultures and personal affinities. The hand of Fatima is therefore a symbol of protection.
How to interpret the Hand of Fatima today?
All the explanations previously given are subtle, and it is doubtful that people who wear the Hand of Fatima ask themselves so many questions. And moreover, these meanings have ancient origins, and origins don't always explain everything about a thing's present. We will now have to look at the popular and contemporary perception of the Hand of Fatima.
From all the above, we understand that the Hand of Fatima is not a religious symbol, and this is widely accepted by those concerned. We also know that Islam itself, to which a certain naivety associates it, does not recognize it as a symbol of Islam.
How then to interpret the Hand of Fatima today, in a contemporary way, and then how to interpret it within "secular" countries, of which France is an example, and whose populations, through ignorance, can nevertheless be inclined to see religion where there is none?
First of all in response to certain ideas that Muslims should not wear the Hand of Fatima, on the pretext that it would be shirk (pagan idolatry), I would answer that I do not have never seen anyone worship him, or offer him idolatrous attitudes or gestures. It has nothing religious, certainly, but it has nothing anti-religious either.
If the three monotheistic religions have tried to prohibit certain rites and certain objects, it is because these objects were potentially dark in their eyes (although certain religions have also invented from scratch dark meanings to things that originally had nothing dark about them) And the hand of Fatima bears nothing dark, and in no way deserves to be forbidden by religious ordinance.
The Hand of Fatima should not be interpreted as a talisman in the deeper sense of the word. People who wear talismans harbor another attitude, and wear them with a sense of concern. Because when you wear something to ward off bad luck, it is the soul itself that is inhabited by fear and worry. And on the contrary, people who wear a Hand of Fatima do so happily, as if they were wearing something beautiful and pleasant (at worst they don't care, and wear it like jewelry, most often fake, and nothing more).
The Hand of Fatima is like a hand gesture…. exactly. An auspicious sign, like a beautiful thing. In any case, this is its current use, when it has a meaning… and to be convinced of this, one only has to look at the artistic inspirations from which it originates. It is as much a source of inspiration for its decoration as a source of inspiration as a decorative object (in some North African restaurants for example).
It is also for the person who wears it, a way of marking in a pretty way, their North African origins, or their friendships with the North African populations: the Hand of Fatima is also a symbol of the bilad (بلد, the country: bilad is a word meaning "country" or "homeland" in Arabic).
To understand what it represents today, you have to be receptive to what those who wear it communicate when they wear it…. and it is rather good simple things that we feel.
Today and in the world around us, the Hand of Fatima is an ethnic symbol, or more precisely a cultural symbol, because there is no Arab ethnicity in the proper sense of the term, and the Arab identity, which covers several ethnic groups, is historically and above all, a linguistic and cultural identity. It is a cultural symbol, with personal interpretations, generally beautiful, which must therefore be associated with the Hand of Fatima.
The Star of David
The Star of David: oldest complete copy of the Masoretic text, the Leningrad Codex, dating from 1008.
The Star of David (Hebrew: מגן דוד: magen David or magen David, literally "shield of David") is the symbol of Judaism. It consists of two equilateral triangles: one pointing upwards, the other downwards. Today, it is notably found on the flag of the State of Israel.
According to Jewish tradition, it represents the emblem of King David and would also be a symbol of the Messiah (of Davidic lineage).
You could say that the expression "star of David" is historical, while the expression "seal of Solomon" has a connotation, a value, a magical atmosphere. Same denotation, but different connotations.
Symbolic in Judaism
Its first appearance in Jewish history dates from the 7th century BC. J.-C.. For the Pharisees and the doctors of the Torah, the six-pointed star symbolized the six days of the week, the seventh day, that of the divine rest (the Shabbat), was symbolized by the center of the 'star. It is in a way a representation of the fullness of the number seven, a sacred number. Today, it could just as easily represent the antagonism between water and fire as that between High and Low, etc.
The meaning of the Prophet's symbol comes from Balaam's prophecy: "A star from Jacob becomes ruler, a scepter rises up from Israel" (Numbers 24, 1-25) This text announces the coming of a messianic star, which was to come out of the house of David, hence its name. The six-pointed star also served as a symbol for Christians until the 7th century. It represents the reconciliation between the divine Trinity and the human trinity.
The meaning of the shield of David is that when David was sought by Saul, he hid in a cave where, when the soldiers entered, a spider would have woven a web in the form of a six-pointed star hiding David. This star was also present on the shield of the soldiers during all the battles won by Israel over its enemies. The six points at the extremities of the star and the 6 points of intersection of the triangles could also represent Joshua's disposition of the twelve tribes of Israel, unified under the kingship of David, in the Land of Israel around Jerusalem..
Merci infiniment, Nicole, pour ces précisions qui sont de véritables enrichissements apportant une connaissance plus fine du Judaisme, de ses symboliques si complexes parfois, surtout s’agissant de la Kabbale. Ces rajouts réguliers me sont précieux, passionnée par cette richesse spirituelle juive sans laquelle la suite des époques et civilisations n’aurait pas eu un tel héritage. Que les Chrétiens n’oublient jamais, les Musulmans non plus! que leur matrice est le Judaisme, n’en déplaise aux antisémites qui deviennent alors des anti eux-mêmes, par ignorance, inconscience, immaturité, manque de curiosité de leurs très lointaines racines… Ajoutons que les Juifs aussi héritèrent des civilisations précédentes: la Messorah est également cela, la chaîne ininterrompue de l’Humanité !