Monday, September 4, 2006


I wrote a long post yesterday, and lost it when DD called to have me look up something online for her. Today I wrote another one, and at the end, I decided to add a picture. The picture uploaded, but not the post.

The picture is a little watercolor I did one day after school, trying out a design. It is called the Hand of God, or Hamsa Hand, or Hand of Miriam. It has a number of different names, and is a middle-eastern symbol of good luck. Usually the hand has an eye in the palm; the all-seeing Eye of God, which wards off evil. One source told me that the Hand of God is Moslem, and another source told me that it pre-dates Judaism, so I'm not sure anyone can claim it.

My friend in Jerusalem gave me my first Hand of God in the late 70s, a small charm which I put on a chain and wore around my neck. It wasn't secure, and disappeared one day, never to be seen again. Several years ago I was poking around in the bead shop down at Freighthouse Square in Tacoma, and found another Hamsa charm. I bought it - just a few cents, and it resided in a box of trinkets until this past winter, when I put it on a chain. I love to wear it. It reminds me of a song we sometimes sing, taken from one of the psalms, which has a line that says, "...and holds me in the palm of His hand."

Well, I thought it would make a lovely cross stitch design, and that's what I was thinking of when I did the little painting. It was meant as a sketch more than anything, but I like the colors. My DD has a beautiful embroidered wall hanging - about 12x12, with a Hamsa hand. When the Jerusalem friend visited last summer, she brought it for DD. This friend was my roommate in college, a Detroit girl who finally decided she wanted to live in Israel, and has for 30 years. My children call her Aunt, and one of my grands is named for her. We think having her as part of our lives makes us pretty special.


Cassie said...

Wasn't my fault you lost your post, "Guy!"

Hliza said...

I don't know what to say, really. We don't believe in portraying God in any physical way in Islam but feel He's always around us, everywhere, everytime.

Cassie said...

I don't think I would know how to portray God. I always think of him as an old long haired man who just loves us a lot. I wouldn't presume to draw him. I think God transcends human conception and we will never be able to imagine what he looks like from a human point of view. I don't think that the Khamsa is trying to portray God so much as it's trying to portray God's love and all encompassing shelter.

PS Hliza, I love your name... how do you pronounce it?

Hliza said...

You're the second one who finally ask me the same question! Bet so many others are wondering too..
You pronounce it as Liza (Leeza). Liza is my real middle name. H stands for my first name. Blogger was so cruel not allowing me to put Liza at the first place. So, that leads me to this unique name!