Shema: Prayer or Affirmation?

Shema Necklace

The Shema is among the most famous of all Jewish sayings.  But contrary to popular belief, it is not a prayer. It is a declaration of faith, an affirmation and a pledge of allegiance to one God.

In English, the Shema is translated as — “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.”

This sacred affirmation is among the first words that a Jewish child learns, and the last words a Jew pronounces before passing from this life.  The Shema literally connects the circle of life. 

Religion teaches us that the Shema must be pronounced twice daily: once as we awaken in the morning, and just before falling asleep at night. The Shema is so ingrained in the collective Jewish psyche, that it has actually been used to save lives. 

Many may not know that shortly after the end of World War II, a band of rabbis embarked on a perilous journey to bring back the orphaned children of many Jews who perished in the death camps.  The babies and children who were spared and saved, often by strangers, ended up in orphanages and pretty much stripped of their Jewish identities.

In order to help identify the Jewish kids in a sea of desperate orphans, the rabbis would recite the Shema while the children slept. Those who were brought up in Jewish homes would begin to cry, remembering the Shema as the song their mothers sang to them at bedtime.

The popularity of the Shema in cultural Judaism has exploded in recent years.  Today many Jews say the Shema affirmation as a way to acknowledge the importance of God in their lives.  You can now find this affirmation on everything from coffee mugs and coasters, to precious pieces of jewelry.

Our signature Western Wall collection includes necklace and ring designs with the Shema “Hear, O Israel” affirmation.

Browse our complete selection, or contact Liza Shtromberg for custom designed pieces.


I Am My Beloved’s and My Beloved is Mine

Ani Le Dodi Ring

As summer heats up, love is definitely in the air. There are millions of ways to express feelings of love to our beloved. A surprise weekend getaway, romantic dinner by the beach, bouquet of fragrant summer flowers, or — a timeless piece of meaningful jewelry.

In the old days, unique jewelry was handcrafted out of precious metals like gold and silver. Adorned with precious and semi precious stones, the most beautiful and meaningful pieces were inscribed with heartfelt messages.

In Jewish tradition, jewelry represented social status and often carried not only ornamental but also spiritual elements.  A combination of culture and fashion, Jewish jewelry is rich in spiritual and symbolic meaning. From elaborate engravings, to inscriptions with deeply meaningful messages — Jewish jewelry inspires love, passion and devotion.

A particularly touching affirmation in Jewish jewelry is a Hebrew phrase taken from the Song of Songs: “Ani Le Dodi Ve Dodi Li” which means — “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine”.

These sacred words embody a love that is beyond the material world. Symbolic of the love between two people, the phrase also suggests a deeper connection between man and God.

Embossed on a ring, the phrase “I am my beloved’s …” makes a perfect wedding ring for a traditional Jewish wedding.  It’s also a piece that can be passed down from generation to generation, along with family stories and traditions.

For more Jewish jewelry with “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine” message, check out our Western Wall jewelry collection. There you’ll find unique, handmade pieces of jewelry and the most meaningful expressions of love.


The Enigma of Shavuot Holiday

Tikun Olam

Yesterday marked the end of Shavuot.  A significant but somewhat enigmatic holiday, Shavuot celebrates the receiving of the Torah from God. The festival is celebrated with all-night Torah study sessions, re-visiting of the Ten Commandments, and a hearty dairy feast.

According to oral traditions and legends, the holiday marks a day of revelation for the Jewish people.  A time in history — more than 3,000 years ago, having experienced collective epiphany, the Jews made an everlasting covenant with God.  The holiday is an annual reminder of this covenant to accept Him as the sole deity and follow His laws as spelled out in the Torah.

In Hebrew, Shavuot means “weeks” and is sometimes referred to as the “Feast of Weeks”. This is probably because the festival marks the end of a seven week period after Passover during which the Jewish people prepared themselves to receive the Torah.  Part and parcel of the Torah are the oh-so famous Ten Commandments.

But did you know that these ten are just a fraction of the 613 commandments mentioned in the Torah?

Commandments, also known as “mitzvot”, are the cornerstones of Jewish religious and cultural life.  When it comes to commandments, much like any modern hot list, there are “DO’s” and “DON’Ts”.  Surprisingly there are 248 “Do’s” and a whopping 365 “Don’ts” — one for every day of the year.

In today’s over-saturated, over-stimulated, and largely secular society it’s easy for the sacred teachings to fade into the background of the daily grind. Keep the teachings close to your heart with a simple and beautiful reminder of a Western Wall collection necklace. 

As you browse the site, you’ll find many gorgeous necklaces with Jewish sayings and symbols. May they serve as powerful reminders to always receive and practice the teachings of the Torah.

Want a custom designed piece with your favorite commandment? Email us or contact by phone (323) 913-1444 to set up a free consultation.


An Eye for the Evil Eye

Here’s a riddle: what hangs around a celebrity’s neck, on a rearview mirror, and above the front door?

Answer: an Eye amulet.

Eye amulet2

As jewelry designers, we are often asked: what’s really behind the meaning of the “evil eye”?  The answer, of course, depends on who you ask.

A talisman for thousands of years, the blue eye has taken on many meanings.  Familiar to Greeks, Turks, Italians and many others who live around the Mediterranean, the symbol is generally accepted as a way to ward off unwelcome attention — otherwise known as the “evil eye.”

The notion of the evil eye stems from antiquity and remains one of the most believed superstitions. In Judaism, the meaning is reversed. In fact, the eye is actually viewed as a protective symbol and a metaphor for God’s omnipresence.

Rather than an actual repellent for evil spirits, the Jewish eye is anointed with deep spiritual and philosophical meaning. As Jewelry, it is worn for protection, positive energy, happiness, and a gentle reminder of an invisible yet ever present God. For some, the Jewish jewelry eye symbol has even triggered authentic self-reflection.

So remember — there’s always an eye for the evil eye.

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And don’t forget to browse the Western Wall jewelry collection for unique, handcrafted Jewish jewelry rings, necklaces, pendants, bracelets and much more.

Interested in custom designed Jewish jewelry? Contact Liza Shtromberg at lsjewelrycustomers@gmail.com.