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.”


Reciting Prayer for Unity After Las Vegas Tragedy

Hebrew Shema Israel Prayer

As we all awoke to the news in Las Vegas this morning, October 2, 2017, I found myself reciting the Shema Israel prayer.

It just came to my mind.


The shooter saw no color, no religion, no nothing… except pure hatred.


The Shema Israel prayer, says we are all equal, have One G-d. One G-d across many religions, who does not love anyone any less, or anymore.  You can read more about the prayer here.

We are human beings, an inspiring reminder that life is precious, that we are all united.

That we are all ONE.

The hatred and evil acts going on in the world based on hatred only makes us stronger.  I am sure you joined me in watching the broadcasts and hearing about the self-less acts of true heroes helping others.  How people protected others they didn’t know.  How the wait to donate blood is over 8 hours long, how they are turning away donations.  That is the  G-d we know, that is the humanity we know.

Hear Israel, the Lord is Our G-d, the Lord is One.

We are with you Las Vegas, we are with you in this world.

No religion, no color, no politics can divide us. We are equal.

We are ONE. 

How do you feel about the community?  Share you positive experiences with what you have seen around you in this time of tragedy.

Stackable Rings Trend Here to Last


Fashion is ever changing and not remaining in one place for too long. It’s a rare thing when something stays on trend for longer than a season or two but when it does then you know that it’s probably one worth participating in. The stackable ring trend is one of those long lasting trends, and I am SO happy about that. People are still showcasing their stacked rings on multiple Pinterest boards, blog posts, and in magazine articles. 2016’s trend of stackable rings is not going anywhere in 2017.

November 16, 2013 - Blog posts shooting with Elisa Dahan for Infashionated.com

Ring Stacking How-to:

Try starting with a delicate and/or sparkly ring as the foundation? But don’t stop there, Alef Bet Jewelry offers a wide variety of rings that are perfect options for the stackable ring trend. From high-end to low, stackable rings are making their mark. Many fashion experts suggest an anything-goes mentality that employs a selection of varying sizes, shapes and colors. While another advises choosing one metal (gold, rose gold, silver or platinum) or one color and then playing with textures. But I believe you the only rule is – there are no rules! This is fashion and fashion should express you and your beautiful personality! So no matter how you stack, strive for a cohesive look that makes you feel good.

Don’t forget to check out our website and Instagram feed for even more inspiration!



Alef Bet Jewelry



It’s ALL About the Choker

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The choker necklace is one of Fall 2016’s biggest trends.

They were key accessories in the nineties, and they are making a comeback alongside backpacks, bandanas, bombers and cropped tops. Some of the world’s supermodels, like Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid, have rocked these necklaces in every way, whether at the Met Ball or walking the streets of LA.

Not only are they super chic but can be worn any way.

Chokers are the perfect accessory and a stand-out piece to include in any outfit. Now, a great outfit in itself can go a long way, the best thing you can do for any outfit is spice it up with a good accessory. You see, it makes a statement.   The best way, of course, is to try a trend and decide for yourself if it works for you. Here are some ways we have paired our chokers:

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You can see these online here.  As always, Alef Bet’s designs come with a full money back guarantee.  We’d love to see how you decide to wear this trend.  Let us know on Instagram!

Shema Israel Hebrew Necklace

Shema Israel Sterling Silver Necklace
Shema Yisrael Necklace in Silver


Wearing the Shema Yisrael necklace is like holding a precious gift close to your heart.   The Hebrew prayer, Shema, translates as “Hear O’Israel, The Lord is Our G-d, The Lord is One.”  -Deuteronomy 6:4.


The Shema prayer is the considered the most important prayer in Judaism, stating that Jews have only One G-d, there are no others.  Keeping the faith close by, not only in your heart and soul, but on your body is a beautiful statement.  Necklace comes in silver, gold-plate or rose-plate and all have a single brightly shining stone in the upper corner.  Like a smile smiling down on you….


See the Shema Necklace on Amazon.com by clicking here.

Suburgatory + Judaic Jewelry

A wonderful treat happened to us today!  The costume designer from the upcoming ABC Show, Suburgatory, called and asked us to send over quite a few samples of Stars of David and Chai pendants!  Now, I haven’t seen the show, no one has yet, but I assume there is a Jewish character on the show.  I will set the DVR to record the new show and keep you posted on any news!

Jewish Star Necklace sent to Suburgatory
Star of David Necklace sent to Suburgatory

Do We Sell Jewish Earrings? Body Part Jewelry?


We love jewelry. A precious ornament says “I love you” when
given as a gift. A piece of adornment can also be a great gift to yourself,
serving as a silent, tactile affirmation – to give strength, give confidence,
and make the wearer feel beautiful.


Contemporary Judaic bracelets, necklaces and pendants are
the specialty of the house here at Alef Bet. We create jewelry from many
different materials, with many different “vibes”, literally ranging from
diamonds to leather. In fact, perhaps we should experiment with combining these
two, for a really interesting fusion?

jews and tattoos
Jewish Tattoo Hamsa


What we don’t have too much of: earrings. Or nose-rings. Or
ornaments which would fit into any other punctured body-part.


We do get requests for earrings. And, we’ve gotten feedback
that some people conclude that we don’t make or sell earrings because we are
opposed to piercing, on religious, moral, ethical or esthetic grounds.


Not really. While we don’t pose as Talmudic scholars, we do
note that in the days  of Rebekah, wife
of Isaac, and other Jewish matriarchs, piercing—of the NOSE, not the ears—was
accepted, and a woman’s nose-ring was a normal part of her attire, like her
bracelets…and maybe a nice cashmere sweater.  (Genesis 24:22)


Piercing of the ears in those days seems more controversial,
and seems to have an association with enslavement (see EXODUS 21:6). The same
association, by the way, follows tattooing, which in ancient times was the mark
of a slave, like a cattle-brand. In other cultural traditions, tattooing has
strong associations with the criminal underworld and other behaviors considered
“deviant” by the mainstream.

Both piercing and tattooing get mixed reviews in various
traditions within the Jewish community, but hey, times change. In the past couple
of decades, extravagant multiple piercings and tattooing of the face, and even
the most intimate (!) reaches of the body, have become much more commonplace. The
fact that these once-taboo practices are so ordinary, so suburban, so
“everywhere”, seems to have robbed them of their once-outlaw or deviant status.


From a Judaic standpoint, this contemporary theatrical
approach to piercings—way beyond a discreet opening in the ear-lobe for a delicate
post or wire—seems to have more in common with pagan practice, and even with
some aspects of Christian sacred art. I am thinking especially of Latin (Italian,
Spanish, Mexican) Roman Catholic art, where drops of blood, crowns of thorns,
the Passion of Christ on the Cross, the sacred heart pierced by a sword, the
mortified flesh, and so on are depicted with graphic realism. This is where we
get the word “excruciating”—as in, the pain of a human body being removed from
the Cross. But, I digress.


Jewish sacred art has historically forbid this kind of
depiction, the stated reason being that it verges on idolatry. And in my
observation, the art of Islam follows a similar reasoning. This is part of why
the art forms of the Middle East and North Africa are filled with such dazzling
mathematical and geometric designs. Strictly speaking, depictions of humans and
animals were often discouraged in those artistic traditions.


In any case, maybe we’ll design some earrings for pierced
ears—almost no one I know can stand to wear clips or screw-backs. In fact, the
latter do indeed seem like something from the Spanish Inquisition!  What about thorns….

image from I love Mariannas
Thorns of the Cross


But the nose-ring, in spite of its long Jewish history, will
have to wait. Ditto for the belly-button jewelry and all the rest.

Travel Safe | Jewish ways of Protection and Travel


It’s summer, and your schedule is probably packed with travel: weddings, family reunions, class reunions, and hopefully some gorgeous vacation-time to restore and refresh you.

Travel itself is dehydrating. Whether you’re flying first-class or crossing the country in a beat-up van (both can be fun, in their different ways), you’ll find your sleep schedule interrupted, perhaps a bit of anxiety as you wait for your suitcase on the luggage carousel at the airport, pass painstakingly through security and customs, the occasional frustration if your flight is delayed, etc.

Fear not! Wearing an evil eye amulet or one of our Hamsa designs cannot guarantee that your baggage won’t get temporarily misplaced in Cleveland. But, as we always say, it couldn’t hurt. Hamsa Design with Pearls

Wearing a piece of “protective” jewelry is like carrying-on a little peace of mind. We also like to take a bit of ribbon and tie a Hamsa or “eye” inside our suitcases when we travel. A reader of this blog recently even suggested that we create a Hamsa-shaped luggage tag, and we’re considering it.

Now, back to the hand-symbolism of the Hamsa itself. We have to re-blog ourselves. Our last blog on the origins of the Hamsa contained a rather esoteric illustration of the Aaronic blessing.

But we left out some of the more important aspects of this hand-position which is familiar to many Jews worldwide, as part of worship. This blessing-gesture forms the hands into the shape of the Hebrew letter “Shin”.

Shin in Hebrew
Shin in Hebrew

This letter appears on the mezuzahs which sanctify and guard Jewish homes, and call to mind the names of Almighty God, Shaddai, and the Shechinah, the Divine Presence and Sabbath Queen. Of course, thousands of scholars have written thousands of pages about the implications of all of this, over the past few centuries. Just a little light reading for the beach this summer.

An aspect of this blessing, offered to the congregation by the priestly Kohanim, involves an emanation of powerful light through the gesture—a light which is so powerful that we are commanded to look away.

Does this light emanate from a galaxy far, far away? Wait a minute….yes, there is a similarity to the famous “Vulcan salute”, created by actor Leonard Nimoy for his half-Vulcan character, the unflappable Mr.Spock.

Mr. Spock

Nimoy was inspired by the Aaronic blessing which he observed as a child in Temple. Below, from his autobiography, I Am Spock”:

“The special moment when the Kohanim blessed the assembly moved me deeply, for it possessed a great sense of magic and theatricality… I had heard that this indwelling Spirit of God was too powerful, too beautiful, too awesome for any mortal to look upon and survive, and so I obediently covered my face with my hands. But of course, I had to peek.”

Even if you’re not a Trekkie, travel safely this summer—and live long and prosper.

Hidden Hamsas, Hidden Hands

hamsa jewelry
Sparking and adorable hamsa necklace

When we look at our hands, we can’t help but remember one of the most beautiful lines from the Book of Isaiah, where the speaker is feeling neglected and forgotten by the Almighty.  The Almighty responds that it would be easier for a mother to forget the growing child in her womb than for Him to “forget” Zion, adding rather fiercely, “I have carved you in the palm of my hand.”  Looking down into the creases of our own hands with this passage in mind, especially if we’re feeling a bit lost, can be a comforting meditation.

Much of the beauty of Judaism is its sense of Mystery.  We’ve all heard that expression, “The Lord moveth in mysterious ways.”  So true.

As you know from reading our blog, one of our favorite icons of Judaica is the Hamsa, the protective hand. And our “TINY HAMSA CZ” series of necklaces and bracelets is among our most alluring and meaningful.

This design is not the straightforward Hamsa, or stylized protective hand, which appears in many of our most popular pieces, though we love those, too. The “Hidden Hamsa” pattern looks like a delicate, dainty, floral filigree abstract, punctuated with a tiny gem. We offer this design in several different iterations—silver, gold-dipped, on leather, or on a fine chain.  (Check out our items Hidwn, hid4, hidn3, hidhn1.)

The fact that the protective hands Hands are  “hidden” from plain sight is
intriguing. Perhaps a reminder that even when we can’t see the actions of the
Almighty, we are always in good hands.

CAPTION : On the subject of hands, here is a drawing of the traditional Priestly Blessing of
Aaron. Occasionally, one sees this esoteric image carved into the entryway of
Temples. The interpretation of the characters and the mathematical meaning of
the numerical sections of the drawing could cross a Rabbi’s eyes. Suffice to
say, the name of G-d, and the word “Koach”, or strength (derived from the
Hebrew number for 28, since the hands are divided into 28 sections), are the
take-away message.