…OF LUPERCALIA AND LOVE

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.”

 

Heart Matters– Valentine’s Day

Beaded handmade lucky symbol bracelet
Heart and Horse Shoe Lucky Symbol Beaded Bracelet

February 14 is Valentine’s Day, the most romantic day of the year for lovers. But what if you’re not crushing on anyone special at the moment?

This Valentine’s Day, we encourage you to think of all of the people who inspire your love, and who love you back. Then let them know, with a gift of exquisite love-jewelry from Alef Bet.

Because we think that love is all about believing, and about courage. The very word itself, “courage”, comes to us from the Latin word for “heart”.

Our collection of uniquely heart-warming Judaica jewelry includes many heart-shaped pendants and other pieces which are gifts to be cherished year-round. But if you’re feeling less literal, our exclusive “Woman of Valor” necklace celebrates feminine strength and courage. And, our huge array of Hamsa and watchful “eye” jewelry wraps all of your loved ones with an aura of sheltering protection, long after the last Valentine’s Day chocolate has been gobbled up.

Order now for prompt delivery by February 14.

Wear in good health—and with heart.
Paula & Alissa