Obj. ID: 37417
Sacred and Ritual Objects Amulet, Ukraine, circa 1800
In the centre of the amulet there is a circle that has the letter ה in the middle standing for "the Lord". Around the circle there is a Hebrew inscription:
זה הילד יגדל לתורה / לחופה ומ"ט (מעשים טובים).
May this child rise to Torah, Huppah and to good deeds.
The other side of the amulet is decorated with two fish. The break between the fish once had a hole for the chain and a new hole was made instead. This side has an inscription and it reads:
י'ר'מ'ה'א'ו'א' [=יהיה רצון מלפניך ה' אלהינו ואלהי אבותינו]
שתציל תנוקת של
עמך ישראל שלא
תפול אסכרה בפיהם
ותגדלם לתורתך ותגן
May it be Your will, our God and God of our ancestors
that You save children of
Your People Israel from
and raise them to Torah
and protect them with Your mercy (based on the verse from Likutei Tfilot, part 1, Prayer 28)
The following description was prepared by William Gross:
This is an example of a type of inexpensive, easily cast lead amulet that has only recently come to light. The disovery came because of extensive use of metal detectors by amateur explorers in the FSU, primarily in the Ukraine, where such amulets have been uncovered in both quantity and variety. In the Gross Family Collection there are more than 60 different variations. It is clear that they were a very popular protective talisman, worn by numberous Jewish children.
This is an example of a round "Heh' type amulet created for a male child to be hung around his neck on a string or chain. It has been postulated that this amulet was connected with the protection of a child for whom the Pidyon Haben ceremony could not be performed on time. In the center of the obverse is the single letter "Heh" of the monogrammaton. Around this is the blessing for the child to grow "to the Torah, to the Chupah and to good deeds". On the reverse are additional prayers for the wellbeing of the child and against the evil eye. This is a small version of the more frequently found larger amulet of the same type. Inscription: "Heh"
F | Fish | Two fish
G | God | Monogrammaton
O | Ornamentation: | Foliate and floral ornaments | Floral motif
Lilientalowa, Regina. Dziecko żydowskie. Kraków: Polska Akademia Umiejȩtności, 1927. P. 46