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Bird Hamsa Bracelet Pendant, Silver

Modeled on a pendant from Jerusalem or Morocco, first half of the 20th century 

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In this hamsa amulet – a replica of part of a synagogue lamp pendant – birds flank a Star of David, in the center of which is the letter heh, representing the name of God. The hamsa (meaning “five” in arabic) is an amulet in the form of an open palm, intended to ward off the evil eye and enhance good fortune. In Islamic tradition, it symbolizes the “hand of Fatima,” the daughter of the prophet Muhammad, as well as the five tenets of Islam (each represented by one of the fingers): faith, prayer, charity, fasting, and pilgrimage. In Judaism, it has come to be associated with the Five Books of Moses and with God’s name (indicated by heh, the fifth letter of Hebrew alphabet).  


The original object is from the Feuchtwanger Collection, purchased and donated to the Israel Museum by Baruch and Ruth Rappaport, Geneva 

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