Hebrew Amulets are part of an ancient tradition. They vary in shape and content according to their place of origin. .The purpose of an amulet can be characterized as: Defensive white magic, with no intent to harm anyone, except perhaps negative forces that may be at large. It is forbidden to cure with the words of the Torah whereas to protect against disease is permissible. Up to two hundred years ago amulets were very common among all Chassidic Jews, in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East
 
Kam'ea: The Hebrew word for amulet. Most amulets are inscribed on metal, often silver, sometimes tinned copper or brass. Yemenite Jews made the inscriptions on parchment and wore it in a protective amulet case. Hand-shaped (Hamsa) amulets are worn by Moroccan and Tunisian Jews. The large square richly decorated SHEVITI amulets originated from Persia. Traditionally only blue or red stones were used: blue to ward of the evil eye and red symbolizing the life giving power of blood.

Hamsa:
The symbol of the hand was used in North Africa before Jews or Muslims inhabited the area. Both cultures now use it. The Muslims call it Fatima's hand. (She was Mohammed's daughter ) The Jews see it as the Creator's protective hand.
 
Mecubal: A person who is learned in the Kabbalah. It was the Mecubalim who set down the guidelines for the inscriptions on the amulets. The inscriptions are expressions of faith and hope, using the formulae that have been derived from various books of the Bible, often the Psalms. It is forbidden to cure with the words of the Torah. To protect against disease is a different matter. Rabbi Eliazar of Worms (1176-1238) wrote Sefer Raziel, a handbook for amulet makers.
 
Shem-Shemot: Lit. a name. It is used as a descriptive term for the holy and magical names on amulets, in the firm belief in the tremendous power of the written name of G-d, of angels or Biblical quotations. The obscurity of the shemot is a result of the limited surface space available on the amulets and also from a desire to keep the text of the invocation a secret.

Amulets often have two pendant bails; one represents justice, the other, mercy and are known as Yakhin and Boaz. These are also the names of the two staves of the Torah and the names of the two pillars at the entrance of Beit Ha-Michdash (The Temple in Jerusalem).

The Hebrew Amulets shown here are not reproductions of ancient Hebrew amulets. The inscriptions used follow the guidelines off the Mecubalim. (a person who is learned in the mystic doctrine concerning G-d and the Universe). There is a wide range of these inscriptions (Shemot) that may be used. All inscriptions are designated as tested and tried.

All lettering, layout and finish work are done by Eva (I am not a Mecubal, but the craft person following guidelines laid down by others).

Each amulet comes with a translation of the Hebrew and an explanation of its specific qualities.

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Hamsa Design Studio , Eva Strauss-Rosen © 2012
Questions, Comments and Technical Problems: eva@hamsa.com