The Christian fish symbol was also used to mark places that were safe for Christians to be, such a home or business that was owned by a Christian. Using the Christian fish symbol could save a person a lot of trouble in those days, and even now it is used by believers living in countries where followers of Christ are persecuted.
- Chai: Chai is a symbol and word that figures prominently in Jewish culture. It consists of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet Chet (ח) and Yod (י).
The Hebrew word ḥai "living" is related to the term for "life", chaim. It appears in the slogan "`am yisrael chai!" "The people of Israel live!"
There have been various mystical numerological speculations about the fact that, according to the system of gematria, the letters of chai add up to 18. For this reason, 18 is a spiritual number in Judaism, and many Jews give gifts of money in multiples of 18 as a result.
The Chai symbol is often worn by Jews as a medallion around the neck, along with the Star of David, Magen David, and the Hamsa.
- The hamsa: Arabic, also romanized khamsa, meaning "five" is a palm-shaped amulet popular throughout the Middle East and North Africa, and commonly used in jewellery and wall hangings. Depicting the open right hand, an image recognized and used as a sign of protection in many societies throughout history, the hamsa provides superstitious defense against the evil eye. It is also known as the hand of Fatima, so named to commemorate Muhammad's daughter Fatima Zahra. Levantine Christians call it the hand of Mary, for the mother of Jesus. Following its incorporation into Jewish tradition via its widespread use in the Islamic world, it was also renamed the hand of Miriam for Miriam, sister of Moses.
The Hand (Khamsa), particularly the open right hand, is a sign of protection that also represents blessings, power and strength, and is seen as potent in deflecting the evil eye. One of the most common components of gold and silver jewellery in the region, historically and traditionally, it was most commonly carved in jet or formed from silver, a metal believed to represent purity and hold magical properties. It is also painted in red (sometimes in blood) on the walls of houses for protection, or painted or hung on the doorways of rooms, such as those of an expectant mother or new baby. The hand can be depicted with the fingers spread apart to ward off evil, or as closed together to bring good luck. Highly stylized versions may be difficult to recognize as hands, and can consist of five circles representing the fingers, situated around a central circle representing the palm.
Used to protect against evil eye, a malicious stare believed to be able to cause illness, death, or just general unluckiness, hamsas often contain an eye symbol. Depictions of the hand, the eye, or the number five in Arabic tradition are related to warding off the evil eye, as exemplified in the saying khamsa fi ainek ("five [fingers] in your eye"). Raising one's right hand with the palm showing and the fingers slightly apart is part of this curse meant "to blind the aggressor." Another formula uttered against the evil eye in Arabic, but without hand gestures, is khamsa wa-khamis ("five and Thursday"). As the fifth day of the week, Thursday is considered a good day for magic rites and pilgrimages to the tombs of revered saints to counteract the effects of the evil eye.
The number five in Islam is connected to the open hand, the pentagram of the five senses, marriage, the Five Pillars of Islam, the five daily prayers, and the hand of Fatima. In Islamic tradition, the hand of Fatima, "represents the hand of God, divine power, providence and generosity. Sufi staffs or poles are often topped with a khamsa. Among Shiite, the fingers of the hand of Fatima also represent the 'five holy persons' of the Prophet's family: Muhammed, Fatima, Ali , Hassan and Hussein. Ali's name or those of all of The Twelve are sometimes engraved on metal Hands of Fatima.
Five (hamesh in Hebrew) represents the five books of the Torah for Jews and symbolizes the Fifth Letter of the Hebrew alphabet, which represents one of God's holy names. In Jewish mysticism, fish are a symbol of good luck, so many hamsas are also decorated with fish images. Sometimes hamsas are inscribed with Hebrew prayers, such as the Sh'ma, Birkat Habayit (Blessing for the Home), or Tefilat HaDerech (Traveler's Prayer).