The hamseh (literally “five” in Arabic) is a hand with the palm facing outward in order to ward off the “evil eye.”
It’s a symbol of blessing and protection, often worn as an amulet, to protect the wearer from evil.
The hamseh is also known as the hand of Fatima. Fatima was the daughter of Mohammed, founder of Islam. Jews and Christians from Moslem countries adopted this folk symbol which brings good fortune. If you visit the Joseph Caro Synagogue in Safed in the Upper Galilee, you will see hanging light fixtures decorated with a hamseh.
You will find the hamseh portrayed on wall hangings and tapestries, on decorative ceramic wall plaques and on gold and silver pendants.