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What Happens When You Combine a Fish with a Hamsa Hand?

You've probably seen a fish on artwork and most often asked yourself why?

Why would a fish be depicted inside a piece of art? Do they symbolize something in the Bible and what does a fish mean spiritually?

Hamsa Hand with Fish

There are three colorful fish in this hamsa hand wall hanging, which most likely would be overlooked-- but they shouldn't. They have a deliberate, meaningful and spiritual purpose here, drawn within the hamsa amulet.

Rashi, the famous medieval commentator on the Tanach and the Talmud said that fish deter the evil eye.

If you remember your Bible stories then you'll remember our forefather, Jacob, who sent his sons' to the land of Egypt during the famine in Israel.  The famous son, Joseph, was sold into slavery and later became the Pharoah's, right-hand man. 

When Joseph and Jacob finally reunite after twenty years, and Jacob is on his death bed, Genesis 48:16 he blesses his grandchildren, Ephraim and Manasseh.  The blessing says that all of the children of Israel shall all be blessed, “And may they proliferate abundantly like fish,” 

Why fish?

Rashi explains that fish are fruitful and multiply.

They are also not affected by the evil eye — because they are hidden from the eyes of man (Berachos 20a).

fish evil eye in talmudic translation

The Talmud makes its claim that fish are resistant from the evil eye because they are underwater and out of human contact.  As well, a fish never closes its eyes so they are constantly watching.

Just like God.

May God always be there to watch over you and guide you in life.

This makes the fish an effective amulet.

Fish are like the presence of God all around you

fish for evil eye

 

A fish also symbolizes fertility-- since they lay so many eggs.  "May you be as plentiful as the fish in the ocean!" 

So, yes for someone having fertility "issues" a fish is a lovely and very powerful amulet to gift.  May God bless them with fertility.  

genesis 1

Genesis 1:21-22

A fish also is representative of rebirth, good luck, health, happiness, strength, and endurance.  The connection to the water is also representative of a deeper awareness of our selves. 

Rebirth and transformation are also characteristics associated with fish.  Their evolution throughout millions of years represents the power to change, adapt and grow.

Another strength of the fish is its sense of community. They swim in schools, in large groups, especially when threatened they will often swarm together. 

Wow, right?

 

 jewish art sewing

 Judaic Sewing Projects

As you can see fish are a strong symbol in Judaism and found interwoven throughout the Torah and in Biblical commentary.

In Christianity, fish were one of the earliest symbols used by Greeks and Romans.  

It was first used as a hidden symbol for Christians during the Roman persecution, in the first century BCE. It would "tell" people where to meet and congregate so no one else would know.

christian fish symbol

The Greek word for fish, ichthys, is as follows in meaning:

I – Iota or Iesous (which means Jesus)

X – Chi or Christos (which means Christ)

N – Theta or Theou (which means God)

Y – Upsilon or Yidos/Huios (which means Son)

Y – Sigma or Soter (which means Savior).

There are many New Testament biblical references as well that use the symbolic fish.   Such as Jesus feeding the five thousand with five loaves and two fish Matt 14:15-21 and John 6:5-13. ancient fish in christian artwork

 

Christians were also referred to as Pisciculi, the Latin root word for fish.

 

Hamsa Hand With Fish Amulet Wall Hanging

Christians were also referred to as Pisciculi, the Latin root word for fish. Jesus called His disciples “fishers of men.” (Matt. 4:19).

As you can see, fish are very symbolic of both Judaism and Christianity. They are not only beautifully artistic creatures of the sea that lend to endless sources of drawing and depiction but also maintain a deep historical and spiritual representation from as far back as Biblical times.

So, the next time you see a fish within your wall art or piece of jewelry you'll know the intent of the artist.

Let us know if you have any pieces at your home with a fish in it? We'd love to know in the comments.

Here's the latest piece of wall art featured at the beginning of this blog post that has two beautiful, colorful fish on it surrounded by a lucky hamsa hand and an evil eye.

We'll let you tell us about what it means to you! 

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