We’ve all heard of the “Aha!” moment – when you have a realization.

We’re having that, plus an “Ahava” moment about Valentine’s Day, and February in general.

In case you don’t know, “Ahava” means “love” in Hebrew, and idea celebrated in lots of our original jewelry designs.

Judaica-inspired jewelry is, of course, our passion, and we’ve been asking ourselves if Valentine’s Day is really our kind of thing, thinking that February 14 is a Christian holiday.

However, even a quick browse of our Encyclopedia Brittanica has us laughing out loud.

 

Here are a few highlights of what we’ve learned about Valentine’s Day:

 

  • First, let’s start with the word “February”. Named after strips of goat-skin, called “februa” in Latin. On February 15, as part of the pagan Lupercalia Festival, young men named Luperci, named for the cave where the she-wolf nursed Romulus and Remus, founders of Rome, would charge around the city, snapping these leather strips at random women. Some historians suggest that this fertility festival pre-dated Roman civilization.

 

  • (We’re hoping this was done in a spirit of, well, fun—sort of like being playfully snapped with a wet towel at the pool?  We’re not sure.)

 

  • Apparently, Roman women believed that a snap from one of these leather straps would prevent infertility. Okay…

  • February was named after the “februa”, or leather strips—and February was the last month of the old Roman year. So, perhaps it was all a party-atmosphere.

 

How did we get from this scene described above to lacy love-letters, romantic roses and heart-shaped boxes chocolates?

Speaking as a nice Jewish girl, with almost six thousand years of monotheisim behind me, I’m really not sure.

The involvement of a genuine Christian saint in this holiday also seems a bit sketchy here—remind me to do more research!

Meanwhile, let’s just stick with the idea of human AHAVA.

No ritual whippings with pieces of goat-leather, and no mama wolves, please.

Maybe just a nice little necklace—a current favorite is our square gold heart pendant, a modern look with a window looking to your soul on a solid gold chain.

The slightly organic shape of this piece give this necklace a really sensuous, handmade, artistic feel.

Or choose whatever says “I love you.”

 

32 Comments

  1. Those are beautiful!!! I would love to win one of these. My oldest son is sort of rediscovering his Judaism I guess you could say and it would be wonderful to give him one of these for him to give to his girlfriend…who I suspect in the next couple of years will become his wife 🙂

    • Everyone receives a ring! There’s no winner per say, it is until we give out all of our rings for Valentine’s day. We’d love it if you would forward our blog and website to others who’d be interested!

  2. Yes its true many if not all “christian” holidays sadly have their roots in paganism. I agree that ahava is something to celebrate and share. Love makes the world go round! So share some love with friends ,a special someone, or family this feb 14th!

  3. Love that ahava necklace at the top! Interesting factoids, I’ve always thought of “St. Valentine’s” day as a Christian festival.

  4. Nothing quite says love more than being whipped by goat skin… Ugh! Beautiful jewels! Sending ahava to you! No need to send me anything, just wanted to look and say hi! Xo

  5. Knew the history of St. Valentine, whipping strips was all new to me. I see the connection–not having a sweetheart on Valentine’s Day kind of feels like that sometimes. But an ‘Ahavah’ ring would make anyone feel better! Love your wares! 🙂

  6. My daugher’s name is Ahava. We just recently bought her a necklace from you with her hebrew name on block the letters. I want to get her the necklace on the top of this post. I love it!!!

  7. I absolutely love this post. Alefbet jewelry is meaningful in every little piece created, I love everything about this company!

  8. I’ve purchased from you in the past – nice to see you out there in cyberspace. As for Valentine’s Day – nowadays it’s Hallmark holiday, like Halloween. Very little historical or religious meaning. I say flowers, chocolate AND jewelry are appropriate.

  9. I have always loved the phrase, “Ani le dodi ve dodi li” (I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine). That, to me, says “love”.

  10. I discuss Valentine’s Day elementary schoolers every year. I read a story about a little boy who hates that a little girl in his class has a huge crush on him. She follows him around, sits with him and brings him things.! It’s not until she moves away that he deeply misses her and “feels the love”! Of course, she moves back and he is elated! The kids love the story!!! Then I tell my students that I always love jewelry as a gift for Valentine’s Day! I bring out my most gaudy rhinestone necklace and bracelet set from the ’80s! We all have a good laugh!

  11. Since we started dating, my hubby and I never celebrated V-day…beyond the religious thing, we mainly can’t stand how commercial it is! Groundhog’s day, now that is ROMANTIC!!! A lot easier to get restaurant reservations as well. 🙂

  12. Valentine’s Day is for all! I view the day as a extra chance to celebrate life and love which are two major parts of our human essence. Thank you for sharing the history of this holiday with us.

    The “Ahava”/“love” ring is absolutely beautiful. It’s a reminder that if we give love and share love it will always circle back to us.

  13. I love Valentines Day! I think it’s a great time to show my family how much I love them. My husband and I usually celebrate our Valentine’s day on the 16th, though, because that’s the anniversary of our first date.

  14. Hello! I discuss Valentine’s Day with my elementary schoolers every year. I read a story about a little boy who hates that a little girl in his class has a huge crush on him. She follows him around, sits with him and brings him things.! It’s not until she moves away that he deeply misses her and “feels the love”! She sends him cards from her travels and tells him she sends her love in many different languages….Of course, she moves back and he is elated! The kids love the story!!! Then I have a list of how to say the word “love” in the languages of all of the children who have attended the school. I am outside the Washington, DC area, so you can imagine how many words are on the list! I love “talking” jewelry! Thanks for the additional interesting info. (:

  15. I love your jewelry and the blog! I still wear my Hamsa bracelet daily without taking it off, that I purchased a few years ago in black! Awesome quality! Your store is awesome!

  16. You learn something new every day! I guess the flowers, chocolate & jewelry of today are to make up for the whippings of yesteryear!! I love the day AFTER because that’s when all the candy goes on sale. Lol

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