Photo credit: Seeuinpoland.com
In the center of Poland's Jewish quarter there is an Israeli restaurant, not owned by Israelis, called Hamsa.
It boasts a huge hamsa hand on the outside brick wall.
In the center of the five-fingered hand are two Hebrew letters, Chai. These two letters together mean life. A blessed life, full of love, good health and happiness.
Sort of strange that three non-Jewish Poles would open an Israeli restaurant, but it's a hit!
From an interview in The Times of Israel, owner Gilowski explains the use and name of the restaurant... “Hamsa, for me, is a symbol of peace between nations — like a meeting point between people — and that’s what we wanted to bring to Poland,” Gilowski says. “We wanted to serve food that would unite people.”
True -- a hamsa hand amulet is a multi-cultural symbol.
This hand-shaped figure is found all over the world, all with the same meaning.
- Push back negativity
- Usher in positivity
- Good fortune
Called a hamsa hand, sometimes spelled chamsa or khamsa, it is an oddly shaped hand to say the least, with two thumbs and no pinky.
The fingers can point up, or they can point down.
You might be asking if there are different interpretations for the way the hand is facing, and there are.
However, they aren't significant enough to make the amulet any less effective.
When the hamsa hand faces down it is often interpreted as a gesture of welcoming into your life an abundance of goodness, kindness, friendship, and grace. The fingers are often fused together, to further enhance and deliver luck.
If the fingers of the chamsa face up, it is a universal sign against evil. A shield, a barrier of protection both from our inner thoughts and those of hatred, jealousy, and insecurities. Many times in this position the fingers are spread apart to ward off evil.
You'll find the hamsa hand truly all over the world.
From Poland, to the United States, from Australia to Asia.
The Hamsa hand in Buddhism and Hinduism is all about the five energy senses, or chakras.
Each finger represents a different harmony and balance. There are many Indian mystics that state that when one practices yoga with intense passion, there is a deep connection to yoga symbols-- and one of the top five symbols is a hamsa hand that protects one from evil and harm. This glass hamsa hand, along with two other yoga symbols-- the OM and lotus flower, is available for purchase at alefbet.com.
In the Middle East and North Africa among Islamic faith the Hamsa is often referred to as the Hand of Fatima. In Judaism it is called the Hand of Miriam, and for Christians the Hand of Mary.
One might say that the hand is found in all three Abrahamic faiths since reference to the hand is found in the Bible, Deuteronomy 5:15 which says, "The Lord your G-d brought you out from Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm." Interpretations state that this exemplifies G-d's willingness to intervene on behalf of G-d's people and lead them away from struggle.
Should I wear or display a hamsa symbol?
You might be saying to yourself right about now that you too want a blessing, an amulet of luck and fortune, in the form of a hamsa hand. As you can see, there is no one connection to any single religion or culture. It truly is a multi-cultural talisman of good luck, fortune, protection, health and preventing harm from coming your way.
This amulet comes in many forms-- from tattoos to jewelry, from clothing and home decor to keychains to wall hangings. Shown below is a small diamond and 14k gold pendant hamsa necklace.
If you're so inclined as to seek out a hamsa, as large as the one in Poland, you might have to find a commissioned artist to create it for your home. But, if you want to display a smaller good luck hand in your home to watch over and protect you and your loved ones, you'll find a lovely selection at Alefbet.com.
Photo credit: customer alefbet.com
From wooden designs of Turkish Byzantine flowers, to glass OM hamsa displays, as seen above, there are surely pieces you'll fall in love with. And best yet, they require only a single thumbtack to hang up on your wall or above your doorway.
What benefits come with wearing or hanging a hamsa on a wall in my home?
- The symbol invites happiness, good health, luck and fortune
- Protects you from harm, danger and negative energies.
- Invites positive energy
- Reminds us to nurture and care for our own spirit and health
- It aides in healing
All in all, this multi-cultural good luck symbol with a history deeply rooted in many cultures all over the world is not only a beautiful work of art, but has many powers. From jewelry to indoor wall hangings, to large pieces of photographed wall decor that is popular on the web, this is a five-fingered design you shouldn't be without.
What is a hamsa hand amulet?
Most commonly, it is just known as a hamsa or spelled as chamsa, even khamsa.
There are many interpretations of these particular usages.
The hand is often depicted with an eye in the center of its open palm, presumably to ward off negative energies, including the gaze of envy.