The Chai is one of the most recognizable and traditional of Jewish jewelry styles. It is a Hebrew word that means "life" or "alive" and its symbolism has made it a cornerstone among Jewish decorative motifs. Judaica Webstore has a tremendous selection of Chai jewelry in traditional and contemporary styles rendered in sterling silver, gold, and other materials. Choose from beautiful necklaces or pendants to wear around your neck, or a lovely bracelet to wear on your arm.
Most non-Jews know the phrase "L'Chaim", but not many know precisely what the term means. It is a Hebrew phrase that means "to life", and it is frequently confused with the word "chai" by non-Hebrew speakers. While both words relate to life, "L'Chaim" means "to life" but "chai" means "alive".
Chai forms the basis of common names given to many Jewish children: Chaim for boys and Chaya for girls.
Chai is immediately recognized in its written form, but many think of it more as a symbol rather than a specific word. This could be in part due to the numerological associations that many attach to it. The word is formed by combining the letters "chet" and "yod" and actually creates a very fluid symbol. This is why it so frequently appears on jewelry. While you will often see it appearing on its own as a pendant dangling from a chain, it is also a figure that is used as a base for Hebrew text or as a symbol with another sort of charm.
For instance, you might see the famous Hamsa, which is a hand symbol that is used to ward off the evil eye, with the Chai in the palm area of the hand itself. You will also see filigree designs that form the word Chai, and which are often made of silver or gold. Chai is also frequently placed inside of a heart, atop small disks or figures made of gold or silver, or even shaped entirely of diamonds or other gemstones.
It is found in both the biblical or ancient Hebrew lettering as well as in the more modern Hebrew scripts too. This makes it an easily recognizable and yet very flexible sort of jewelry to choose. Whether given as a gift or selected as one of your preferred pieces, Chai jewelry from the Judaica Webstore is very unique and stylish.