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For an earlier pretext on making a Hamsa, see the Ḥida (1724-1806), who writes about protecting oneself by making the letter heh (because it's the letter for five, and a symbol for the hand, it's often associated with the hamsa--which also means "five"). In his book of discourses on the gemara, פתח עינים, originally written in 1790, the Ḥida ...

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