Why does someone wear a red string on their wrist and what is the meaning behind the string?
Across many cultures and religions you'll find the same string, with the same interpretation, worn (usually) on one's left wrist. The red string is symbolic of protection, faith, good luck, strength and connection to others.
From religions of Judaism and Christianity, Hindu and Buddhism to cultures such as Chinese and Latino you'll find that the red string all has the same basic meaning of protection and luck.
Speaking within this blog post from the Judaica perspective, we refer to this red string of fate bracelet as a bendel bracelet, a red string bendel bracelet. It can also be referred to as a Kabbalah prayer red string bracelet.
Alef Bet's “red thread” bracelets come accented with a tiny charms (protective eyes, stars, hamsa) and are one of our most popular items sold in the line of jewelry, even though traditional red thread bracelets do not typically incorporate small trinkets.
With the popularity of Kabbalah studies on the rise these days, these red threads are truly seen almost everywhere, worn on one's left hand. A few "Hollywood types" really pushed the trend and it hasn't settled down as a popular design.
You might be curious as to the benefit of wearing the string of fate on the left hand as opposed to the right?
It is not because it is better than the right, but simply because of the kabbalistic point of view that the left represents the Desire to Receive, as stated in Kabbalistic teachings. The right hand is just the opposite-- it's the selfish Desire to Receive for the Self Alone, akin to the Evil Eye. So that's why wearing the string on the left hand is preferential, and it acts as a filter or a reminder to restrict the Desire to Receive for the Self Alone.
The Book of Splendor (Zohar) also tells us that the red thread invokes the protective power of the matriarch Rachel, who guards the wearer like her own child. You can read about who Rachel was and her tomb over on our blog here.
According to other interpretations, the red string bracelet also protects you against diseases, poverty, and curses.
But here’s a mind-blower...
It’s not just a Jewish thing.
While India is significantly east of our frame of reference, there is apparently a parallel Hindu tradition.
The primary purpose of this “Mouli” is to act as a reminder to achieve your goal. The symbolic thread triggers thoughts about the goal and constantly reminds you to continue onwards.
But, Hindus, they interpret the Kalava, the red string, also as an amulet for protection, much like the red string of fate bendel bracelet.
It is thought to defend the wearer against everything from enemies to natural disasters.
In Buddhism, the color red is a symbol to remind oneself of showing compassion to all. And, it actually rules the tongue; for the tongue can cut deeper than the sword.
But, it doesn’t stop in the east.
In South America, is it also customary in the Latino culture to tie a red string to ward off mal de ojo, or bad vibes.
Babies are often seen with a red string on their wrists or ankles as a sign of protection.
In Christianity, the words from the Book of Genesis 38 mentions the red string to “worn off misfortunes.” Red is also symbolic of fire, blood, and Pentecost which is the color of the martyred saints.
And thus, a red thread bracelet is very popular among those of the Christian and Catholic faith as well.
But of course, we shouldn’t close without mentioning the Chinese belief of wearing the red string.
It is known as the “string of fate.”
Chinese red string is such a powerful string, even if it is only an image in ones' mind. The meaning is to bind two individuals by the supreme power of love and mutual trust.
The power to stick to one another, through thick or thin of life.
This isn’t only for soulmates in love, but also for parents, friends, siblings and to those that add value to our whole existence.
It has also been told that when an entire family wears the red string, it is like a spiritual blessing for everyone which lasts for generations.
It makes the family members connect better and act as one another’s support in times of need.
So what makes Alef Bet Jewelry's red string bracelets different?
In all of Alef Bet’s red string of fate bendels, the red thread is actually woven by hand through a gorgeous 925 sterling chain-link bracelet by Roberto, our amazing "bendel man." Since 1999 we've been blessed, and more so us than he, with such a loyal employee!
Roberto, our Bendel man
What happens to the string? Why does it break?
You know, the general idea seems to be that you wear the string until it naturally disintegrates or falls off with normal wear and tear.
And when the string rips, tears, breaks, or is just simply lost-- it is because it absorbed the ill-will meant for you. It did its job by protecting you.
And when it does break, it’s totally up to you to decide if you want to replace the red thread or continue without it.
Good ideas know no boundaries!
Wear your red thread bracelet, by any name, in good health.
You know, with all superstitions, the belief or the “outcome” does fall in the heart and soul of the believer.
You ultimately decide your own destiny.
But a little luck and protection never hurt either.
So, if you do decide to wear a red string thread bracelet, take a look at the vast collection of Alef Bet's bendel bracelets-- they are all handmade by Roberto!
Ranging from baby sizes to adults, both men and women will love the red string collection.