The Surprising Symbolism of Kabbalah’s Red String Bracelet

For centuries, Kabbalists and those interested in Jewish mysticism have worn a simple red string bracelet. But what is the meaning behind this modest accessory that has become so popular? The red string bracelet is shrouded in intrigue and surprises many with its profound symbolism.

You’ll discover why such a small thing seems to cast such a large, mysterious aura.

History and Origins of the Kabbalah Red String Bracelet

The red string bracelet is deeply rooted in Kabbalah, the ancient Jewish tradition of mystical interpretation of the Bible and magical practices. According to Kabbalist myth, the first red string originated in the 16th century with an esteemed Kabbalist rabbi named Isaac Luria.

Luria claimed the red string was a powerful “tool” to fend off the “Evil Eye.” The Evil Eye is the notion that a person or supernatural entity can harm you merely by looking at you. The red string bracelet works as protection against any evil.

Another origin tale says the red string’s power comes from Rachel’s biblical grave. Pilgrims to her resting place received a red thread from faithful Kabbalists. They tied it around their wrists to absorb her pure essence. As Rachel was one of the biblical matriarchs, a red string from her grace guarantees luck.

Red String Bracelet in Modern Times

Today, Kabbalah and the red string continue to grow in popularity thanks largely to celebrity interest. Major stars like Madonna, Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, and more wear the red string bracelet. Their public fascination casts an even wider spotlight on this mystic charm.

The Kabbalah Centre in Los Angeles sells red strings to its student members and to anyone interested. Most Kabbalah practitioners believe that properly tying the red wool string around your left wrist wards off misfortune.

Skepticism Around the Red String

Despite avid celebrity fans and faithful followers, the red string bracelet also attracts skepticism. Critics view wearing the red string as a frivolous fad rather than a spiritual practice.

Some Jewish scholars argue the red string has no historical or textual basis in the Torah or other Jewish scripture. They say Kabbalah manipulated folk superstitions into supposed mysticism.

Even those open to Kabbalah’s teachings question any mystical properties in the red string itself. They encourage focusing instead on living morally and spiritually.

Symbolism and Meaning Behind the Red String

Why red? And why string?

In Kabbalah, the color red represents strength and power. The string itself stands for the desire to connect with the Light of God, faith in something greater, or the “life force” in all things.

Tying the red wool string into a bracelet and wearing it on the left wrist (the receiving side of the body in Jewish tradition) allows the wearer to receive this Light and positive energy.

Red String Bracelet Colors

Red is the traditional and most common color tied around the left wrist. But some Kabbalists use strings of other colors based on what they want to manifest.

Here are the general meanings behind red string bracelet colors:

  • Red – protects against evil eye and misfortune
  • Blue – symbolizes healing, peace, harmony
  • Green – represents prosperity, success, abundance
  • Yellow – inspires happiness, optimism, hope
  • White – connects to intuition, clears chakras
  • Black – wards off illnesses, severe misfortune

Left Side Vs. Right Side

Wearing the red string on the left wrist isn’t arbitrary. Kabbalah teaches that the left side represents the desire to receive, while the right side reflects the ability to share.

Humans naturally tend to receive more than give. But to reach fulfillment and balance, we must transform the left, receiving side, which the red string targets.

By focusing intent while wearing the red string on your left wrist, you can overcome your natural state of neediness. Instead, you tap into selflessness and share blessings with others.

Protection from the Evil Eye

The “evil eye” is another reason Kabbalists wear the red string on the left wrist. The evil eye is the metaphysical idea that people can unintentionally or intentionally transmit negative energy through their gaze.

This envy-induced evil eye seeks to drain you of your life force. But the red string bracelet protects against any sinister curses or bad luck coming your way.

How to Properly Wear the Kabbalah Red String Bracelet

For Kabbalists, properly preparing and tying the red string enables you to unlock its full power. Here is one common ritual:

  • Cleanse yourself with ritual hand washing
  • Remove any negative energy by waving a sage stick around your body
  • Face east towards the rising sun
  • As you tie 7 knots, recite your desire for protection against the evil eye
  • Kiss the knotted red string and tie it on your left wrist

Once tied, wear the red string bracelet at all times if possible. Some believe severing the string or removing it purposefully severs your connection to the Light. If the string ever breaks on its own, that simply indicates it has served its protective purpose and absorbed too much negativity.

You should then retire it respectfully and replace it with a new one.

To maintain the power of your red string bracelet, avoid deliberately cutting or taking it off. But natural wear and tear happens. Follow these care tips when your red string frays or breaks:

  • Never throw away the red string. Bury it outside instead.
  • Before removing the string, express gratitude for its protection.
  • Wrap the string remains in a natural material like cotton or linen.
  • Bury in soil to return the string to the earth respectfully.

By caring for your red string this way, you honor its purpose and can transfer the bracelet’s power back to nature.