Purim: Jewish Feminism?

We think that it’s no coincidence that Purim falls in March, which is National Women’s History Month. Purim always calls for the reading of the Book of Esther, the woman who embodies Jewish resistance to annihilation. That’s what we call girl-power, Kosher-style!

Rabbinic tradition tells us that Esther was one of the four most beautiful Jewish women of all time (Sarah, Rahab and Abigail were the others). What you may not know about Esther is that her Hebrew name was Hadassah (meaning “myrtle tree”), now familiar to us as the benevolent organization of women who work in support of the Jewish community, and the larger world-community, too.

She was a Jewish orphan who became the most powerful woman on earth, by marrying King Ahasueras , King of Persia. Was it looks alone? Was it that year-long makeover that Esther experienced, with all of those aromatic baths, oils, myrrh and perfumes? Not likely – King Ahasueras had lots of options. He was, after all, the world’s most eligible bachelor! Yes, he had a harem. And of all the babes in the realm, he chose Esther as his queen. And the rest is history.

Our advice for Purim: enjoy a lovely bath, a nice massage with aromatherapy oils, and put on your favorite jewelry in celebration of Esther, and women everywhere.

Spa Google Image
Relaxing at the Lady Spa


Wedding or Promise Ring in Hebrew

Hebrew wedding ring
Ani l’dodi ring in Hebrew

Throughout history, wearing a wedding ring was a sign of the commitment ‘you’
are making to your partner and to your marriage. The ring was and remains a
“constant sign of your own rededication and recommitment to this relationship,”
as well as a means of acknowledging this publicly.

The ring that you
wear, that was placed on your finger by your loved one on the wedding day, does
not represent your commitment to your marriage, your love for your spouse, your
faithfulness. It represents the commitment, love and faithfulness of your
partner to you. “Take this ring as a sign of my love and fidelity.” The ring is
a reminder of the promise that another has made to you and of the promise that
God has made to you both.

One beautiful tradition says that a Jewish
wedding band should be simple and unbroken. A smooth ring portends an untroubled
life, and the continuity of the Jewish wedding rings represents the hope for an
everlasting marriage.

Read entire article here

Shema Israel Prayer Jewelry

shena yisrael jewelry
Shema Israel prayer in Hebrew

When thinking of the Shema Yisrael prayer you usually don’t assosciate Justin Bieber and Jewish prayers.  But, according to the tabloids, he recites the Shema  before each concert.  Well, since the majority of us readers don’t perform in concerts, we can’t brag about saying the Shema prior to performing.  However, what we can take credit for is saying the Shema Yisrael during morning and evening daily prayers, or when we are able to pray.

The Shema prayer is based on the first two words found in Deuteronomy 6:4, in the Torah.   This first verse expresses the very basic belief of Judaism: monotheism.  The belief in One G-d. It is traditional for Jews to utter the Shema as their last words, as well as for parents to teach their children to say it before going to sleep at night. “Hear, O Israel: the Lord is our God, the Lord is one.”

שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ יְהוָה אֶחָד – Sh’ma Yisra’el YHWH Eloheinu YHWH Eḥad
Shema Israel Jewelry
Shema Israel Necklace

Sh’ma Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu Adonai Eḥad – Hear, O Israel: the Lord is our God, the Lord is One

Since the Shema is such an important prayer, the idea of wearing it came about.  Huh?  Well, why not take the words from the prayer, as beautiful as they are, and make them shine and sparkle.  Hence, the idea of Shema jewelry came about and now is Alef Bet Jewelry’s  best selling line.
Wearing a symbol of your religion doesn’t have to only be limited to a Star, mezuzah or Chai anymore.  Words can represent pride, heritage and Judaism just as a Magen David necklace does.

Shema Yisrael Jewish prayer necklace
Shema Yisrael Hebrew prayer jewelry


What is a Jewish Mama?

Jewish Great Grandma
A Jewish Great Grandma, a Bubeleh
So what is a Jewish Mama?
According to Wikipedia, the stereotypical  Jewish mother is ” a nagging, overprotective, manipulative, controlling, smothering, and overbearing mother or wife, one who persists in interfering in her children’s lives long after they have become adults.”   Or is  a Jewish mother one that a warm,  plump woman that always has a pot of chicken soup boiling on the stove?
Grandmother Ann Brooks

We all have mothers.  But not all fit in the same mold. 

I am now a mother, am I like the old European Jewish mother that came over at the turn of the cenury?  Am I the mother that nags, “put your clothes away, do your homework, wash you face!”  Or am I the soccer mom that drives all day long from one activity to the next? 

Honestly, I have three kids.  I seem to yell put this away, clean up, eat better….but I also help with school activities, work and drive from activity to activity.   I must confess I do love kickboxing, that isn’t too typical right?!

 It isn’t easy being a parent.  Our roles today are similar but so different to those of our grandparents.   Our worries are more global– out of the family business and neighborhood to the future.  What awaits the world and our kids?  It is fearful but also encouraging, knowing that we will continue on our lineage for years to come.

How do you like those pictures of my great-grandmother and grandmother?

What kind of mother are you? 



Tattoo Hamsa Necklace

One of our most popular jewelry motifs is the Hamsa, or protective hand. This icon is used as an amulet by many Middle Eastern people.

Of course, we see it created in silver, gold, bronze, diamonds, pewter, glass, as a personal ornament. I have also seen it woven into lush Turkish rugs, and painted on gorgeous
fountain-tiles in North Africa. As you know from previous blogs, especially in the desert, protection and well-being are linked symbolically to having easy access to water.

I have heard the Hamsa called the Hand of Miriam, as well as the Hand of Fatima, depending upon who wears it.  I have seen it displayed with the fingers pointing up, and pointing down, although the fingers pointing down in my experience is more common.

Middle Eastern Hamsa Necklace

Sometimes, as in our alluring “Middle Eastern Necklace” (our item # art-m), the hand and fingers are stylized to abstraction, though we know the protective powers are still there!

It’s intriguing to know that the icon of the hand extends beyond our immediate frame of cultural reference. “The Mano Poderosa”, or Hand of Power, is often portrayed in Latin Roman Catholic sacred art, especially religious art from Spain and Mexico.

Abhaya MudraAnd check this out: the Mudra (hand-position) of Protection, known to Hindus and Buddhists as the Abhaya
Mudra. Portrayals of the Buddha often depict his right hand in this sheltering, yet liberating gesture, which is often translated from the Sanskrit to mean  “Fear not”.

Scholars say that Buddha first made
this gesture when he became enlightened. Prophets and saints of many other spiritual paths also are often depicted with their right hand in this position.

Coincidence? Doesn’t seem likely.
In any case, enjoy this universal symbol of protection from harm.Image of a Mudra Hand

Do you wear green on St. Patty’s Day?

Do you wear green on St. Patrick’s Day even though you aren’t Irish?  We did, actually still do.  It always was fun in this Jewish household growing up having a “green day.”  We would start the day out with green bagels from Western Bagels, and have a green feast for dinner.   You know– green limeade, green pasta, green bread, green salad, and finally, green jello.  A Jewish American home without jello is well, about as kosher as a Jewish family celebrating St. Patrick’s Day!

Did you do anything fun for this holiday even though you aren’t Irish?  If you do, let us know and we’ll send you a free Luck ring from www.alefbet.com

We got a great response from the last promotion, we thought we’d try our fake Irish luck again and send out the second ring in the series.  Hey, refer a friend to the site and if they buy something, we’ll send you two different rings you can stack on one finger.  We are also on facebook where you can post a comment and we’ll send you the ring. 

Oh, the luck of the Irish……

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…and scientists and nutritionists are discovering more every day. Modern health care is all a-buzz over this succulent ancient fruit. Many studies are underway, and current evidence suggests that pomegranates are packed with antioxidants which, basically keep you young, fighting heart disease, keeping your organs and skin vibrant, and more.

Of course, people from the lands where pomegranates grow have known this for thousands of years, from Israel to India, Persia, Egypt, Turkey, Greece, Morocco—all ancient cultures which have long prized the pomegranate not only for its refreshing tart-sweetness, and the beauty of its gleaming, gem-like seeds, but also for its health-giving properties.

Who can resist? In the Greek myths, the goddess Persephone was tricked by Hades, shadowy ruler of the underworld, into a lifetime shared with him when he offered her a few juicy pomegranate seeds for the road. Sort of like the first Pomegranate Martini—with drastic results!

This nourishing fruit, which is botanically related to the rose, stands for fertility and abundance in every sense. We haven’t counted,  but Jewish tradition tells us that the pomegranate contains 613 seeds, one for each of the Mitzvot, or commandments, which define a good life. In this sense, the pomegranate is a life-support system for the spirit as well as the body!

Our pomegranate-themed jewelry is a natural, so to speak, for Rosh Hashanah or Jewish New Year, when pomegranates are always enjoyed as a symbol of new commitment and new beginnings. For the same reason, we love pomegranate jewelry as a birthday gift, and as a wedding gift—after all, the Song of Solomon describes the lover’s glowing cheeks “like pomegranates”. This symbol of eternal renewal also resonates for anyone starting off on a new adventure, including launching a new business enterprise.

Garnet jewelry also calls to mind the restorative powers of the pomegranate: the garnet resembles the aril, or pomegranate seed. Most scholars agree that the word “garnet” is related to the Latin name for the pomegranate, Punica granatum.

Wear yours with joy, and in good health!


If you’d like to see the rose gold pomegranate online, click here.  There is also a sterling silver version.


Well, what is it exactly?  In Hebrew a Star of David is called a Magen David, a shield of David, not a star at all. 

I find it very interesting, and will slowly try to map out the history.  Lets start at the beginning.

The actual shape of the Star is a hexagon, two equal triangles.  This first began showing up around the 12th century in a Karaite document called Eshkol Ha-Kofer by the Karaite Judah Hadassi, as a protective Jewish amulet.  It came from Psalm 18, the poems of King David, where G-d is compared to a shield granting Divine protection.

“Seven names of angels precede the mezuzah: Michael, Gabriel, etc. … Tetragrammaton protect you! And likewise the sign, called the ‘Shield of David’, is placed beside the name of each angel.”[9]

 However, there are even earlier signs from the 3rd century where the hexagons (the star) was used as a decorative piece on a tombstone in the Galilee.

This marks the beginning of the history of the “shield of David.”  I will continue to write more on this symbol of the modern day Jewish People.