n. A hand-shaped amulet (often a wall-hanging or jewelry) conferring good luck or protection, popular in Israel and originally from the Middle East / North Africa.
" In Jewish culture, the hamsa is called the Hand of Miriam; in Muslim culture, the Hand of Fatima." (source)
Languages of Origin
Arabic خمسة 'five', Heb חמסה
- Religious: Jews who are engaged in religious observance and have some Jewish education
- Jews: Jews of diverse religious backgrounds and organizational involvements
- Israel: Diaspora Jews who feel connected to Israel and have spent time there
- Non-Jews: (words that have spread outside of Jewish networks)
- Sephardim: Jews with Sephardi or Mizrahi heritage
- North America
- The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001).
- Dictionary of Jewish Usage: A Popular Guide to the Use of Jewish Terms, by Sol Steinmetz (Lanham, MD, 2005).
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