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Jewish Terminology Appendix

Below you'll find definitions, symbolic meaning and historical significance of the Jewish terminology used throughout product descriptions on this website. 


Hamsa

The Hamsa Hand is an ancient Middle Eastern amulet symbolizing the Hand of God. It's a protective sign. It brings its owner happiness, luck, health, and good fortune.

There is a wide variety of different spellings which includes hamesh, hamsa, chamsa, and khamsa. It is also identified as the Hand of Miriam, Aaron and Moses’s sister, and the Hand of Fatima. In Hebrew, the number five is “hamesh” and the fifth letter of the Hebrew alphabet is “Hey,” one of God’s holy names. “Hamesh” is representative of the five books of the Torah. In Judaism, it is also interpreted to be the Hand of Miriam, and symbolic of the owner’s five senses in an effort to praise God.

The Hamsa Prayer:

Let no sadness come to this heart,
Let no trouble come to these arms,
Let no conflict come to these eyes,
Let my soul be filled with the blessing
of joy and peace.


 Havdalah

A Jewish religious ceremony or formal prayer marking the end of the Sabbath.


Purim & the Grogger

Purim:

The festival of Purim is celebrated each year on the 14th of the Hebrew month of Adar (late Winter / early Spring). It commemorates the salvation of the Jewish people in ancient Persia from Haman’s plot “to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews, young and old, infants and women, in a single day,” as recorded in the Megillah (book of Esther).

Purim Gragger:

gragger, sometimes pronounced grogger, is a special Purim noise maker which made up of a handle and a revolving part that makes noise as it spins. Normally, making noise in the synagogue is forbidden during services, but on Purim even the adults join the children to make noise each time the mention of the evil enemy of the Jews, Haman, is mentioned during the reading of the Megilah. 


Shabbat:

Shabbat or Shabbos is the Jewish Sabbath.

 

Shema Yisreal

Shema Yisrael (“Hear, O Israel”) are the first two words of a section of the Torah that is the centerpiece of the morning and evening prayer services, encapsulating the monotheistic essence of Judaism:

In its entirety, the Shema consists of three paragraphs: Deuteronomy 6:4–9, Deuteronomy 11:13–21 and Numbers 15:37–41.

Its recitation twice a day (morning and evening) is a biblical commandment. In addition, it is recited just before retiring for the night, as well as during the Kedushah service on Shabbat.


Tzedakah

In Judaism, tzedakah refers to the religious obligation to do what is right and just, which Judaism emphasizes are important parts of living a spiritual life. In practice, most Jews carry out tzedakah by donating a portion of their income to charitable institutions. A Tzedakah box is used to collect that money and keep it safe until it is given to charity.

Named after my Mother, Fran, who is the most generous person I know, this tzedakah box is fabricated from pewter and brass the letters are hand pierced. The top is comes off to remove the money to give to charity. 


 Yahrzeit

Yahrzeit is the act of honoring the anniversary of the death of a parent, sibling, child, or spouse, observed by lighting a memorial lamp or candle the night before and reciting the Kaddish at the evening service of the day before and at the morning and afternoon services of the day itself.This pieces is made from aluminum and brass.

The word "Yahrzeit" is Yiddish and is translated to mean "time of year". In Judaism, there is a focus on carrying on the memory of those before us from generation to generation.

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