Chai Jewish Jewelry

The Chai is one of the more popular Judaica symbols. Chai which is represented by the number 18 in Jewish numerology translates to "life" or "living". The Chai signifies a long life and Chai jewelry is powerful on its own and can often be found interwoven with other Jewish symbols like a Star of David or Tree of life. Chai necklaces in both gold and silver make great bar-mitzvah gifts and Chai bracelets are great bat-mitzvah gifts!


Chai Jewish Jewelry

Many people are familiar with the traditional Jewish toast, l’chaim, and many may even know that it translates as “to life” in English. It is less known, however, that the word Chai carries an important symbolism in Judaism and Jewish culture. Chai, referring to the concept of living, originates in the Hebrew word for life. For this reason, the Hebrew letters of the word are used as a visual motif that represent long life and prosperity. These letters also add up to the number 18, which has a longstanding history in Jewish numerology. Giving 18 gifts, or the multiples of 18, such as 36, is culturally appropriate in Judaism. It is often referred to as “giving life,” which refers to the Chai symbol's original meaning.

Giving the Chai symbol as a gift expresses good wishes and carries the giver’s wish of long life and happiness to the recipient. For this reason, jewelry marked with the Chai symbol is appropriate for many occasions. Medallions, either as a Chai pendant or in combination with the Star of David, can express an affirmation of life for those fighting with an illness. The palm shaped Hamsa pendants with the Chai symbol can be perfect gifts for expecting mothers and new parents. These two powerful symbols of Jewish heritage combine a wish for life and protection against evil.

Yet Chai jewelry and its symbolic meaning is not only for women. The masculine version of Chai, Chayim, can be expressed in signet rings and cuff-links. These, along with pendants, are very popular presents for men, as they express good wishes for the wearer as well as remind them to the significance of keeping Israel and Jewish traditions alive. Referring to the resiliency of Jewish people and Judaism, Chai developed a particular meaning in the 20th century as a response to the Holocaust. The symbolism of Chai reinforces the continuity of the Jewish faith and people from ancient times to contemporary society.

The meaning of Chai permeates Jewish culture as it carries within it the wish of longevity. For this reason, jewelry bearing the symbol of Chai will always be a welcome present. Wishing good, long, and prosperous life to our loved ones, friends, and even our business associates is a sentiment well received and appreciated. Mezuzah pendants with the symbol of Chai can be the perfect gift for the first home-buyers or young people moving away from their families for the first time. Chai jewelry is also a good gift option to non-Jewish people. Selecting the right style of Chai jewelry that fits the recipient’s taste is just as important as sharing the symbolism of Chai. Wishing long life unto another person will create a bond that lasts forever.