Amulets

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Amulets Guide

Since the beginning of time, people have been searching for ways to protect themselves from harm, invoking the names of angels to protect them from perceived evils. Judaism also has a form of spiritual protection aside for the various commandments (Mitzvot) that are performed on a daily basis in the form of amulets.

What is an amulet?

An amulet is an ancient form of protection from physical and spiritual harm that takes the form of an object or some type of text that invokes the name of G-d to protect the wearer. In Judaism, amulets took the form of a square of parchment that had divine names of G-d, names of angels, or passages from the Torah - especially those from the Book of Pslams - written on it. Traditional amulets were placed inside a silver or leather pouch and were worn by the person on his body.

Today, the term amulet refers to a wide range of blessings and prayers, such as the Traveler’s Prayer known as Tefillat HaDerech in Hebrew that is said when embarking on a trip upon leaving the city limits. Other prayers found on and blessing found on amulets include requests for livelihood, children, and success in various fields as well as the traditional prayers from protection from physical and spiritual harm that invoke the names of G-d and various angels in heaven.

Materials

While traditional amulets were made from parchment, today’s amulets are made from a wide range of materials including plastic, gold and silver. Plastic is typically used in amulets that are placed in a wallet or have a prayer on it while gold and silver are used in amulets that have an engraved text that features names of G-d and angels.

Decoration

Amulets can be any color and are usually decorated with Judaica items as well as floral patterns. One of the most popular decorations on amulets is the hand position used by the priestly family - the Kohanim - when giving the divine blessing. Other decorations include the seven species - particularly pomegranates because of their traditional association with fertility and financial success, animals, crowns, lions and Stars of David.

The text of a traditional amulet is typically written in Hebrew font, generally similar to that used in a Torah Scroll. However, they may also appear in other languages, such as in Russian or English. The text of an amulet may also appear in the shape of traditional Judaica items. Two of the most popular shapes are the Hamsa and Menorah.

For More Information

For more information on Amulets or other Judaica items, feel free to contact our Judaica experts with any questions or concerns.

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