Life lessons

The Tree of Life

The Tree of Life

The Tree of Life - we see its images everywhere in art, literature and music. It is a motif that bridges almost all religions and cultures and is particularly prevalent in Judaic art. The Hebrew term Etz Chaim, literally “tree of life”, is a common one in Jewish life. "It is a tree of life for those who hold fast to it. Its ways are ways of pleasantness and all its paths are peace."  With its branches reaching upwards, its trunk on the ground and its roots below, the tree of life can be a mystical symbol linking heaven, earth...

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Yahrzeit, lighting the memorial candle

Yahrzeit, lighting the memorial candle

April 10th, which is the 5th day of Nisan, is my mother’s yahrzeit. When she passed away a few years ago a friend said to me that our parents are the guiding light in our lives. Lighting the yarzheit for her reminds me of that. Several years earlier when my father passed I looked for a yahrzeit candle and realized that they were mainly the jelly jar food store variety. Naturally I went into my studio and created one. And although I know that some people prefer the traditional candle, I designed an electric version. I love when I see it...

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Meet the Artist

Meet the Artist

Meet The Artist: Sara Beames of Beames Designs!  Sara and Michael Beames started Beames Designs! in 1990. Located in the inspiring Hudson Valley of New York, they produce handmade fused glass Judaica, Home Accessories and Jewelry. Sara is the driving force behind the glass design. With a de...

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What is so special about a Hamsa?

What is so special about a Hamsa?

What is the Hamsa? It is the hand that you see in jewelry, charms, wall art, clothing amulets & mezuzot. Sometimes it has an eye in the center, a fish, or a Star of David, sometimes the hand is facing upwards, sometimes downwards. For centuries the Hamsa has been a symbol of happiness, health, good luck and fortune as well as a protective power from evil.The word “Hamsa” comes from the root word for the number five in Hebrew and means five referring to the human hand’s five fingers. The number five is considered to possess special magic powers that...

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Chanukah or Hannukah?

Chanukah or Hannukah?

Chanukah or Hannukah? A few facts about the Holiday of Lights...Chanukah or Hannukah? There's only one way to spell Hanukkah. Unfortunately, it's in Hebrew. When translated to English, the word becomes trickier to express. There's actually no way to spell the guttural "hecht" sound used in the traditional Hebrew pronunciation; Ch and H are the closest we can get. And then there's the issue with the double k's, seemingly added to give the final syllable a little more oomph. The phrase can be spelled Hanukkah, Chanukah, Chanukkah or Hanukah. Menorah or Hanukkiah? Lighting a special, nine-branched candelabrum is the main...

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