We know, you order Chai masala tea at your local Indian restaurant. It is sweet, creamy and oh-so-delicious. This is also what comes up when you do a google search for Chai.
Happened to us, so you aren’t the only one out there.
A chai is actually a combination of 2 Hebrew letters: chet and yud. Pronounced “hi” or if you want to fake an accent, had a hard ch to it. There’s no need to do that though.
So, how come it is common to wear these two letters and not two other random Hebrew ones? This is really a two-part answer.
Well, there is the mystical tradition, called gematria, that assigns a numerological value to Hebrew letters. The letter chet has a value of 8, since it is the 8th letter in the alphabet, and the yud is the 10th. So that equals 18. And 18 is now a lucky number because of these two letters combined together and their value. You’ll often find Jewish people gift in increments of 18, 36, 72…. you can do the math from there.
The second reason comes from the word Chayim…meaning life. You’ve heard it in modern day songs, from the Black Eyed Peas, I Gotta Feeling, when they yell out “L’Chayim!” To life! Ok, now that Fiddler on the Roof song “L’chayim, L’chayim to life!” will play in your head.
In a nut shell, Chai, the combination of two letters is for a long, prosperous and healthy life.
Alef Bet Jewelry has it set with diamonds and 14k gold or in sterling silver on lucky red string bracelets. No matter the reason, gifting something with a Chai or in increments of 18 is a good thing, a positive thing, a lucky thing.