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Love Thy Neighbor

2025 Exhibition
to benefit israel/promote unity

Since the October 7, 2023 attack on Israel, my focus has been on expressing the country's beauty and culture,

and on representations of related people/sites/subjects. This is as much a creative choice as it is a heartfelt need. 

 

The intention of my art is to inspire appreciation of one another's differences.

 

Click on the paintings in the section below to read a description of the subject

and of its relevance to this collection.

 

These pieces (and many more to come) are available as my gift to those who donate directly

to organizations that either support Israel or battle hatred in any form.

 

Stay tuned for more on this...more artwork and more details!​ 

For inquiries, please go to Contact

HamsaCollection.jpeg
the hamsa as a symbol of peace

The Hamsa hand is instantly recognizable among several religions and cultures as a symbol that heralds good fortune, unity and ultimately, peace.

The 7 paintings you see above, therefore, collectively form the “centerpiece” of this Love Thy Neighbor exhibition which celebrates beauty across diverse ethnic groups and beliefs.

The precise origin of the Hamsa symbol is unknown. Historians say it predates Islam and Judaism, the religions to which it is most closely associated. One theory suggests that it comes from ancient Egypt in a form that featured two fingers, a thumb, and an evil eye. According to Egyptian legend, the fingers represent the gods Osiris and Isis, and the thumb is associated with their child Horus. Other theories posit that the Hamsa originated during the Phoenician civilization or even thousands of years ago in Mesopotamia.

Whatever its origins, the Hamsa is universally believed to be a protective talisman that repels evil. It is not a religious symbol, like a crucifix or Star of David; instead, it is a good luck charm that is worn as jewelry, displayed in homes or carried as an amulet.

IN JUDAISM, the Hamsa is referred to as the Hand of Miriam. Miriam was the sister of Moses, whose honorable life led her to become a representation of protection and luck. Hamsa comes from the Hebrew word hamesh, which means the number 5, thus the 5 fingers that can represent the 5 books of the Torah: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. The number is also an inherent reminder that one must use all 5 senses in the holding of one’s beliefs.

IN ISLAM, the Hamsa is known as the Hand of Fatima. Fatima Al Zahra was the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad and his first wife, Khadija. Fatima is seen as pure, and so the Hand of Fatima is viewed as a symbol of protection and strength. The number 5 is also significant in Islam, from the Arabic word khamsah. For Shi’ite Muslims, it represents the five People of the Cloak; Sunni Muslims view the fingers as the pillars of Islam: Faith, Prayer, Pilgrimage, Fasting and Charity.

FOR LEVANTINE CHRISTIANS, the Hamsa symbolizes the Hand of Mary, connecting it with the protective qualities attributed to the Virgin Mary.

 IN HINDUISM AND BUDDHISM, the Hamsa takes on a different meaning, representing chakras and the 5 senses, and mudras (hand gestures) that direct healing flow. Hands are important symbols in these religions as they are the tools used to connect with one’s spirituality. The 5 fingers also represent the elements of nature: earth, fire, water, air, and the ethereal.

In all its representations, the Hamsa is considered a protection against harm. I am hoping that this work helps to further that concept, showing it as a unifying element that inspires respect – and peace – among us all.

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