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חמסה חמסה שום בצל

Discussion in 'עברית (Hebrew)' started by airelibre, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. airelibre

    airelibre Senior Member

    English - London
    I think that literally this phrase means "hamsa (hand-shaped luck talisman) hamsa, garlic onion" and I understand it is related to superstition. How exactly is it used? Does it have a known original or explanation (ie, why garlic onion?). Is it similar to נקישה על עץ?
  2. ystab Senior Member

    It is used to ward off bad luck or evil eye, mainly after someone says something bad and you don't want it to come true.

    If you ask me about origin, I assume garlic has to do with the fact that it has many benefits, among other things it kills germs (bactericidal). This is also why, I suppose, there used to be cultures that hung garlic cloves on their doors. As for onion, I don't know where it comes from.
  3. origumi Senior Member

    חמסה, שום, בצל are all known, in various cultures, as protective means against supernatural evils. Maybe vampires do not appreciate phythochemicals. Yet I think that the expression חמסה חמסה חמסה שום בצל, rather than authentic, is an imitation as appeared in some TV shows and alike of behavior typical to old ladies of Jewish-Maghrebi origin. The onion seems to join artificially as if "garlic is appropriate so why not onion, also spicy".
  4. Tararam Senior Member

    Wow, I've never heard of it.
    There's "מלח מים" which is a saying you recite repeatedly when a bee threatens to invade your personal space, and sting you.

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