My Hamsa Stage

first-hamsa.jpg

Last spring, at the urging of family and friends, I dove back into stained glass by taking a class at Linden Art Glass in Plymouth, Michigan. I wanted to continue working on my own designs and I sketched a modern looking hamsa.  My hamsa has a symbolic Magan David – a six-pointed Jewish Star with a crystal in the center.

The Hamsa or Khamsa is a symbol used in amulets, charms, jewelry, door entrances, cars, and other places. An alternative Islamic name for this charm is the Hand of Fatima or Eye of Fatima, in reference to Fatima Zahra, the daughter of Muhammed. An alternative Jewish name for it is the Hand of Miriam, in reference to Miriam, the sister of Moses and Aaron as well as the Hamesh Hand. It serves as an ancient talismanic way of averting and getting protection from the evil eye, or more generally of providing a “protecting hand” or “Hand of God”. It appears, often in stylized form, as a hand with three fingers raised, and sometimes with two thumbs arranged symmetrically.

Some sources link the significance of the five fingers to the five books of the Torah for Jews, the Five Pillars of Islam for Sunnis, or the five People of the Cloak for Shi’ites. This significance may have been attributed after the fact, as considerable archaeological evidence suggests that the hamsa hand predates both religions.

In recent years some activists for Middle East peace have chosen to wear the hamsa as a symbol of the similarities of origins and tradition between the Islamic and Jewish faiths. The fingers point up or down usually. (Wikipedia)

I especially liked this thought and so began my Hamsa Stage. My first hamsa is pictured above.

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