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Hamsa Wall Hanging with Bird Motif

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

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In this hamsa, modeled on part of a synagogue lamp pendant, two birds flank a Star of David, in the center of which is the Hebrew letter heh – the fifth letter of the Hebrew alphabet and an abbreviation of God’s name. The hamsa (meaning “five” in Arabic) is an amulet in the shape of an open hand, intended to ward off the evil eye and enhance good fortune. In Islamic tradition it 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. In Judaism, it has come to be associated with the Five Books of Moses and with the name of God. 

The original item is from the Feuchtwenger collection, which was purchased and donated by Baruch and Ruth Rapaport, Geneva 

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