THE CHAI (חַי)
But if you've ever pronounced the word Challah (the braided bread prepared for Friday's Sabbath dinner), then that should give you a better idea of how the Chai is pronounced.
The Chai is often given as a gift in the form of a necklace, and can be seen alone or in combination or embedded within the Hamsa Hand or Star of David.
In my own drawings I have embedded the Chai within my Hamsa Hand artworks from my Hamsa 2013 series and my Hamsa 22 - Hebrew letters series (CHET) letter which also has the Tree of Life from the Kabbalah.
SYMBOLIC & NUMERICAL MEANINGS OF THE CHAI
The word 'CHAI' is made up of two Hebrew letters, Chet & Yud and it possesses both a symbolic and numerical meaning.
Symbolically Chai represents life - and life is traditionally an emphasis in the Jewish religion. Perhaps you've already heard the common Jewish toast 'L'Chaim' (to life)!
There is also a common expression ' Am Israel Chai' which means 'the people of Israel live' - a phrase used both in joyous times but also as a kind of prayer or statement emphasizing the survival of the Jewish people despite many historical attempts of annihilation.
The Number 18
Numerically the two letters make out the number 18 in what is known as Gematria , which is a mystical jewish tradition of assigning numerical value to the Hebrew letters. The Chet equals 8 and the Yud equals 10 (8+10 = 18).
The Chai therefore also represents good luck and it is common to give gifts resembling in some way the number 18 or even double 18 (36) 'Double Chai'.
To read more about the symbols i use in my Hamsa Hand artwork, check out the Symbolic Elements where you can read about The Hamsa Hand, The Eye symbol, The Dove , The Fish, The Eagle, The double headed eagle, The Tree of Life , The Pomegranate Fruit & The Hamsa Hand in a Danish Tv Show - and more!
Check out my website www.maybellbareket.com for more about me & my Hamsa Hand artwork and connect on Instagram and Facebook!