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Moroccan Amulet-Hamsa (silver)

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The hamsa (meaning “five” in Arabic) is an amulet in the form of an open hand, intended to ward off the evil eye and enhance good fortune. In Judaism, it has come to be associated with the Five Books of Moses and with God’s name, indicated by the letter heh – the fifth letter of the Hebrew alphabet. In Islamic tradition the hamsa is called the “Hand of Fatima,” after the daughter of the prophet Muhammad,‎ its fingers symbolizing the five tenets of Islam: faith,‎ prayer, charity, fasting, and pilgrimage.‎ 

This hamsa is a silver-plated replica of a synagogue lamp pendant from 18th-century Morocco. The original object is in the Feuchtwanger Collection, which was purchased and donated to the Israel Museum by Baruch and Ruth Rappaport, Geneva. 

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