The hand is the body part most frequently depicted in symbol. Hans Biedermann writes in Dictionary of Symbolism that "tracings of the hand in Ice Age cave temples (along with other evidence) suggest that humans have always been predominately right-handed. It is probably for this reason that the right hand side has been treated predominately as better and luckier than the left" (pg. 283). The right arm holds the sword and is aggressive while the left hand holds the warrior’s shield and represents passivity. The left is also "The non-aggressive hand associated with decay, death, weakness. In the East, to except anything with the left hand is an affront, as it is considered vile" (Jobes, pg. 71). The left hand is also associated with deviousness.
In Tibetan tradition, the hand is symbolic of the holiness of an incarnate lama; the left hand grasping the right at the center of the waist in ancient Sumer was a posture of prayer. Pointing downward, the hand denotes the calling on the earth to witness (Jobes, pg. 721). The right hand represents Deity. The aggressive hand, hand of growth and strength. Right hand laid on a person conveys authority, blessings, power, strength. Right hand lifted to heaven, and oath, swearing" (Jobes). The right or left is not always opposite. In the Cabala, both hands have positive meanings. The right hand symbolizes the hand of blessing and mercy while the left hand is the hand of the king and represents justice. The right hand is also associated with rectitude.
In Africa, circumcised boys point their right hand to heaven, left hand touching the earth, to call upon the earth to witness their status of adulthood and for membership into the tribe, called the heaven and earth or witness sign. In China, the right hand is yang and strong and in time of war the hand of honor, which holds the sword; the left hand is yin and honor.