“There is something called the “evil eye,” which is when you do not want to attract attention to yourself because you might get the “evil eye.” Other people cannot give the evil eye, but it’s a spiritual thing. I once had a family friend who when she visited would say “oh your so ugly” and “oh such ugly children,” because she did not want to give us the evil eye. Saying “oh such beautiful children” would give the children the evil eye. It is kind of like bad luck. Another example would be that people don’t buy things for their baby when they are pregnant.”
There are many variations of the ‘evil eye’ and it is used across the world to express a certain “look” that is bad luck for the person receiving it. Hamsa, for example, means five and is a symbol of a hand often used in Jewish jewelry or in talisman. Each of the five fingers of the hand represents one of the books of the Torah, Michal explains. An evil eye is in the center of the hand, because the eye is said to cause bad luck to anyone who gets the “look.” This look can come from a person unintentionally, so people need to be careful how they act around other people.
Michal, who calls her family very Jewish, claims that if you wish not to receive the evil eye then you should not boast about yourself, and you should avoid talking about your belongings, any good luck you might be having, and especially you should not talk about your children.
Therefore, when Michal’s aunt calls her nieces and nephews “so ugly” she is trying to protect them from other’s jealousy, because that jealousy could give the children and the family the “evil eye.”