By Honey Good. I am really lucky to have a wonderful family and a terrific set of friends from all walks of life. American, European, Asian, Hispanic, African American, Jewish, Christian, non-believers, young and older, and the list goes on. One thing they all have in common: They love my Red String.
Two years ago I began wearing a Red String around my wrist. “What is the meaning of the red string bracelet on your wrist?” I was constantly asked. You now are aware that I have very inquisitive friends and family. How lucky is that!
This is my response: I wear this red scarlet string around my wrist as a type of talisman, thought to have magical powers of protection that will bring good luck to its wearer. It is Kabbalah. I believe in its power. The string is made from thin red wool. I wear it on my left wrist, nearest to my heart. Seven tiny knots secure it. My husband, Shelly wears one also. You can never cut off the string. It has to fall off the wearer naturally.
The custom of wearing the red string dates back to Genesis 38 and is worn to ward off misfortune. The tradition is popularly thought to be associated with Judaism’s Kabbalah (the ancient Jewish tradition of mystical interpretation of the Bible). The string is left on one’s wrist until it falls off on its own accord, at which time a loved one ties another red strong around the wearer’s wrist. My last red string stayed on my wrist for exactly one year to the day.
After explaining the meaning of the Red String I am asked questions. I will share some of their questions with you.
- Do I have to be Jewish to wear a Red String? No.
- Do you have an extra Red String to tie on my wrist? I only tie the red string on my family or my dearest friends. So it depends...
- Will it matter if I wear it on my right wrist? Yes. The left side of the body is the receiving side.
- How long will my Red String stay on my wrist if I am lucky enough to have one? There is no set time. It depends on the wearer. My last red string stayed on my wrist a year.
- How will I replace my Red String when it falls off on its own? My Red Strings are from Jerusalem. I purchased them at the Wailing Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem from poor older ladies for a small donation. I will only wear Red Strings from Israel. However, you can purchase them online.
- How do you feel wearing your Red String? I feel protected by something bigger. I feel closer to my religion. I know I am portraying who I am.
I receive emails and texts from family and friends. The message is always the same: “My Red String fell off! I feel lost without it! Please send another one soon…if you can!”
And if I can...I do. Thank goodness I brought back several “blessed red strings from Israel!"
But if you don't have the chance to make it to Israel, don't worry, you can always order them for yourself or your loved ones from Amazon here.