Oy Vey - Jewish Blog

Jewish Jewelry

  • Star of David Jewelry

    Posted By Mike Rosenthal on March 25, 2010 | Leave a Comment

    Those of us who are familiar with Star of David jewelry may yet be surprised by Star of David philosophy. The reference is to a philosophical treatise by German/Jewish philosopher Franz Rosenzweig who penned his opus “The Star of Redemption” in 1921. Rosenzweig lived in the time of emancipation, when Jews were first exiting the ghettos of Europe and coming into contact with Western culture and the enlightenment.This was a time of extreme assimilation for Jews, and many either stopped practicing their faith or else converted to Christianity in order to become more fully integrated into society. Rosenzweig was one of those seriously tempted to leave his Jewish faith and convert. Fortunately enough, during the high holiday season of 1914, on Yom Kippur day, he went to synagogue and was so deeply moved by the service that he not only decided to become a practicing Jew, he decided to write his book based on the shape of the Jewish Star of David, the Star of Redemption.

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  • Talit and Tefillin Jewelry

    Posted By Mike Rosenthal on March 18, 2010 | Leave a Comment

    Star of David jewelry, Hamsa necklaces, evil eye bracelets and other accouterments associated with Judaism are actually relatively modern in the realm of Jewish jewelry. There is, though, an actual commandment, or mitzvah, to adorn various Jewish objects and practices with their own jewelry. It is actually more a general imperative than a specific commandment, but if comes from the Song of the Sea, which the Israelites sang after the Egyptians drowned in the Sea of Reeds.  The verse is, “This is my God and I will decorate him, the God of my father and I will exalt him.” Since you can’t exactly decorate God, the Rabbis interpret that you decorate His commandments by beautifying them.

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  • Jewish Jewelry Past to Present

    Posted By Mike Rosenthal on March 07, 2010 | Leave a Comment

    A long, long time ago, in a land about 11 hours from the US East Coast by airplane, somewhere in the Sinai desert, the first collection of Jewish jewelry was created, and written down in the book of Exodus. In fact, Exodus can actually be read as the Jewish people’s trials and tribulations with jewelry. There was not only personal jewelry, but communal jewelry as well. The first to be discussed by the Torah, in true Jewish fashion, is the communal jewelry.

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  • Chai Necklace

    Posted By Mike Rosenthal on February 25, 2010 | Leave a Comment

    You may have seen it on the necks of many Jewish women. Men wear it, too. The Chai necklace conveys such a simple message. In English it sounds quite hippieish, a don’t-worry-be-cool Epicurean eat drink and be happy for tomorrow we die sort of thing. I mean, imagine if you wore a necklace that said “Live.” Not in the sense of “Live performance,” or “Live Action News Ultra Mega Whopping 24-hour Coverage,” but in the sense of “Live Long and Prosper.”

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