The Story of the wimpel, a personalized Torah Binder, demonstrates the literal meaning of a folk custom. This uniquely designed strip of fabric carries the owner through his/her history with each celebrated and inscribed life cycle event. Its prayer includes the blessing to live a Jewish life, create a Jewish home and to perform good deeds. It also actively contributes to each event with its binding of the Torah Scroll. The owner of a family wimpel that had been illuminated with data celebrating four generations remarked that "our family simchot, without the ritual inclusion of our wimpel, would feel like celebrating Pesach without performing a Seder."
3 generations Aug. 1994
Grandmother: Bernice McFarland
Mother: Bonnie Kaplan
Daughter: Bat Mitzvah Rachel Kaplan
This is an invitation for you, the reader, to contact us and ask about this curious custom. Ask about the emotional and spiritual cohesiveness provided to a family when gathering personal data and the discovery of their genealogy with other family members, the 350-year-old history of the wimpel, how the wimpel became one of the few Jewish links in a broken family and preserved the identity of a young college coed, how a wimpel that was thought to have been destroyed by the Holocaust found its way to Israel and its owner, with the inscription of the date of its first binding to the Torah, about the unique Torah binding service and how the use of this tool for celebration will enhance all of your life cycle events. Each Jew has a story to tell and is encouraged to bring that identity and essence to the Torah and share it in celebration.
.....a time of fun, group comradery and spiritual renewal.
"Dear Teacher: We are absolutely thrilled with the wimpel. It is beautiful and we look forward
to having it take its rightful place at all the B'Nai Mitzvah celebrations coming up with these students."
Our education staff is "really happy about the introduction of this tradition into our synagogue life...each
grade will be able to benefit from having you come here and help them create their class wimpel. Thank
you for your beautiful handiwork. Everyone is very, very happy."
Rabbi Nancy Weschler Azen, Congregation Beth Shalom, Sacramento CA
This experience is something unusual, a time of creation. The 350 year old folk custom continues with the designing of a new Wimpel. The class, begins to create its personalized Torah Binder.
Congregations in Northern California have begun to include Wimpel Day in their B'Nai Mitzvah class curricula. Family genealogical research has become a shared activity in preparation. The students bring their rough drawings to class. Parents lend support, while their youth apply their designs to wimpel fabric. Guidance can be provided by an artist and student of Judaic studies as teacher. Fabric and colored textile pens are needed. The prayer and all artistic finishing will later be added by an experienced artist as wimpel designer, written in Hebrew calligraphy. When the wimpel is completed, itís binding of the Torah scrolls can individually, or as a class, be included at upcoming Simchot.
Please call with inquiries as to how this program will provide an extra spiritual dimension to your religious observance and celebration.
The 51st Annual Convention of the American Conference of Cantors & Guild of Temple Musicians, held at the Manchester Grand Hyatt, San Diego CA, included a booth for Wimpel M'Dor L'Dor amongst the 15 booths selling or showing unique Judaica items. During the conference, held from June 27 to June 30, a wimpel designer provided instruction as to how to make a wimpel in an interactive workshop. Kits and wimpel bags were made available for purchase.
Definition of a Wimpel: A Personalized Torah Binder, designed and created for an individual, couple, family or organization at the time of birth, Bar or Bat Mitzvah, Wedding or Conversion; to use for binding the Torah Scroll in celebration of any Simcha or Life Cycle event; record of chronological Jewish events in the life of an individual, couple, family or organization.