What is the meaning of the name "Hamsa" in English?
The hand in the background below is the "hamsa" (literally meaning "five" in Arabic).
The word "Hamsa" originated as a root word in the Semitic languages of the Middle East. As just mentioned, it is an Arabic word.
In the Arabic world, the hamsa hand is also known either as the Hand of Fatima or the Hand of Destiny. Fatima was the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad who married Ali, the nephew of the Prophet. Fatima is described as a faithful, holy, woman.
What word is used by the Jewish people as the equivalent for "Hamsa"?
The Jewish people use the Hebrew word "Hamesh" as an equivalent for "Hamsa". Hamesh means "five" in Hebrew. Therefore, the Jewish people refer to the 5-fingered hand amulet and symbol as the "Hamesh" hand. Jewish people also refer to the Hamesh Hand as the Hand of Miriam or Miriam's Hand. The biblical Miriam was the older sister of Moses.
What is the meaning of the "Hamesh" hand or "Hamsa" hand in the Jewish religion or faith?
The hamesh hand or hamsa hand is a symbol of blessing and protection within the Jewish tradition. There are also hamsas in other religions.
Where is the origin of the Jewish hamsa hand or hamesh hand, or where does the Jewish hamsa hand or hamesh hand have its origins?
The Jewish hamsa hand or hamesh hand is from Essaouira, a small town on the Atlantic coast of Morocco.
Alternate spellings of the "Hamsa" hand include: "Hamseh" hand, "Hamsah" hand, "Khamsah" hand, "Khamsa" hand, "Khamseh" hand, and "Khamse" hand.
Bordered Hamsa Hand / Hamesh Hand background on this page courtesy of: