Judaism is a religion that emphasizes the importance of life. Jews are encouraged to be good, ethical people (mensches) and enjoy the time they are given on Earth. A common Jewish toast is “l’chaim!,” which means, “to life!.” It is said at celebrations in anticipation of all the good things to come.
Because it means “life,” the Chai is consequently a symbol that captures an important aspect of Judaism. According to the gematria, which is a mystical tradition that assigns a numerological value to Hebrew letters, the letters Het (ח) and Yud (י) add up to the number 18. The Het has a value of 8 and the yud has a value of 10.