Technical Notes on the Amulet Page

Getting a Hebrew Font

    If you are not getting the Hebrew in Hebrew (it will probably look like a bunch of accented Latin alphabet vowels), then you need to download a font that includes Hebrew in Unicode. There are numerous ones out there; I like David, but Arial Unicode MS, Tahoma [Tahoma Grande on the Mac] and Times New Roman all have Hebrew support. The latest version of Internet Explorer & Netscape come with Hebrew fonts, I believe. Of course, if you don't read Hebrew, why bother?

Regarding the amulet


    As far as I know, the amulet contains no colors. My use of colors on this page reflects a (not uncommon) feature of this amulet. The quotations from the Bible (Num. 6.22-27 & Psalm 121), in both cases, begin with the text for a few words (enough to identify the passage) and then continue it using only the first letter of each word. The Numbers passage then concludes with two complete words. I have used the blue letters (if you don't have color, please accept my apologies) to mark the portions of the text that are given only in the abbreviated fashion.

    If this were in English the first three lines might look something like this:

The L-D spoke to Moses, saying: StAahs
stysbtIYssttTL-Dbyaky    tL-DmhftsuyabgtytL-Dluhcuy
    and I will bless them.

    The tetragrammaton is represented in several ways (only one of which is the tetragrammaton itself). I have used red to indicate those places. Hebrew readers will recognize the abbreviation right away. It is used in the Numbers passage consistently, even in the abbreviated section. But is used in the Psalms passage in all but one case (where is used -- I suspect this may be an error). Inside Lilith's portrait we see written vertically. This is atbash for the name of God. We also find here, in the text of the amulet, the only unmodified instance of it, although it is split between lines (1 & 2).


    It appears that the craftsman may have inadvertently left out a letter in the text from Numbers. However, the letter could have been written at the place where the amulet is cracked. Perhaps it is visible if you look at the amulet itself (although I would have expected it in the previous column. I have put that letter (as well as the text it represents in the translation) in square brackets (line #2).    Some of the text inside Lilith's body is unreadable in the photos (again, maybe you can see more in person). I have occasionally done some educated guessing (helped by the more experienced eye of David Sandmel). Those guesses are put in square brackets.


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