Every religion around the world has its own jewelry that represents different things. Such is the case for Jewish jewelry and its importance to Jewish society.
Commonly enough, these types of jewelry are called motifs. Many followers of the faith have no idea what they represent, so we thought it’s best to write an article and explain them.
Safe to say, there are tons of decorative pieces out there that are quite commonly used in Jewish society, and we’ll start with…
1. Star of David
Probably the jewelry motif that everyone recognizes, regardless of religion, the Star of David is a widely marketed symbol.
This symbol can be found in many sacred writings, gravestones, synagogues, and artifacts. This is why the Star of David can also be found as jewelry, and why it is so common.
But what does this symbol represent? Well, the origins of this symbol aren’t really known, although some say that it originates from the Israelite King David. Others have different theories, but none have been confirmed.
Some say that the symbol is a reference to the origins of David but contrary to popular beliefs, this symbol only came to be a few hundred years ago.
A mezuzah is used to remind people that god’s presents are established in the lives of those that have it affixed on their front doors.
A mezuzah is nothing but a sacred container that holds a scroll. The scroll is a handwritten paper with Torah verses. It is written by a rabbi and then placed inside the mezuzah.
The mezuzah can also be hanged on other doors, for the purpose of protection from god. However, as with anything in the world, this container can be made into jewelry.
The most popular ones include earrings, necklaces, bracelets, etc. Regardless if a mezuzah is made into jewelry; it still gives Jews strong divine protection against bad spirits and evil forces.
Yet another motif that is used to guard against evil forces and bad spirits, the Hamsa is a symbol that holds great importance in Jerusalem.
The Hamsa can be seen in various cultures throughout the world. One example is in Arabic and many other Muslim cultures. The Christian world isn’t exempt from the Hamsa, and many Christians have a variation of this symbol in their homes.
But the Hamsa is also important to Jews, so much that it is used for good luck. This symbol can be turned into jewelry, which mostly includes earrings, necklaces, bracelets, etc.
Chai derives from two words,” chet” and “yod”. These words end up creating the word “living”.
Judaism scholars have focused a lot on explaining the meaning of this symbol. Interestingly enough, the Hebrew numerology for the word references the number 18. If you didn’t know, the number 18 is very important to Jewish society.
But what does this number mean? Well, religious scholars say that the number 18, or Chai, represents peace, prosperity, and longevity. Another interesting fact is that Chai holds great importance in Jewish gift-giving culture.
As gifts are quite common in Jewish society, getting someone Chai jewelry is one of the most basic things to do. You can visit here for more references into what to give you friends and family.
5. The Ten Commandments
Much of Hebrew jewelry rotates around the Ten Commandments of the Torah. As you all know, the Torah is the core of the faith. It holds equal importance as the Bible and Koran to other religions.
But the Torah is so important that every follower of the faith should know its lines. This book derives from ancient scrolls that were said god gave the Jew and Israelites soon after the exodus. But before the scrolls, the followers’ only way of praying was through Oral Law. This is an important aspect of the Jewish faith that is passed down from generation to generation.
The Torah or the Ten Commandments are very popular in Jewish society and can be found in many forms. One very common form is to be made into jewelry. As with any other religious item on our list, it can come in many jewelry forms such as necklaces, earrings, pendants, etc.
6. Shema Yisrael
Shema Yisrael derives from the two ancient Hebrew words “Shema”, which means “hear”, and Yisrael which translates to “Israel”.
Naturally, Shema Yisrael is a reference to the old country and the first verse of the Torah. Shema Yisrael is also the beginning of a popular prayer and holds high importance in Hebrew society.
The prayer can be found on the mezuzah as well as, many forms of jewelry of which the most common ones include earrings and necklaces.
Before the Star of David came into existence, it was the Menorah symbol that mostly associated with Judaism.
The Menorah is a sacred candelabrum that was used to perform prayers and rituals. Most importantly, this symbol was used during the exodus where followers of Moses would pray in the wilderness.
The Menorah is very important to Hebrew society, so much that it can be found in any Holy Temple around Jerusalem. But the representation of this symbol is to serve a reminder of the exodus.
Menorah earrings, necklaces, pendants, and bracelets are quite common jewelry pieces in Jewish society.
8. Ani Le Dodi
The Song of Solomon is the reference for the phrase Ani Le’ Dodi Ve’ Dodi Li, which roughly translated to “I am beloved, and the beloved is mine”.
The Ani Le Dodi song is a reference to the love and passion that two people share. It is a way to express love and emotions between two individuals, and between an individual with god.
This passage is so popular that many followers of the faith carry the engravings on rings. Truthfully speaking, Ani Le Dodi rings are the most common pieces of jewelry that can be found around Hebrew society. The most common forms of these rings come in the form of wedding rings.