Mosaic Law History, Dec., 1996 letter
The following letter was printed in the Mosaic Law Synagogue Scroll and has been revised and updated for clarity by the author and relates Mosaic Law Wimpel History.
December 1, 1996-present
Dear Mosaic Law Family,
By now you most surely must know what a wimpel is? We have searched and found, even within our fold, wimpelin dating back 100 years. The custom found its beginnings in Germany with examples dating to the mid 1600's. Although many wimpelin were destroyed with other ritual objects during the Holocaust, examples were often retrieved from family congregations, before the leaving of the family from Germany to settle in new countries.
|Mosaic Law Congregation has rekindled the tradition within a number of our families, and has beckoned the display of examples made for fathers and sons in first half of this century. Our December 8, 1996 Torah Dedication ceremony was scheduled to include the showing of a wimpel made just outside of Heidelberg, Germany, for Harry Spatz, father of Laura Spatz Weisberg in 1929. When his family left Germany and immigrated to Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1936, the wimpel was taken along. He, in turn, brought it to America when he left Argentina, at the age of 17 in 1946.
Wimpel for Harry Spatz
Leisel Grausz , a longtime member of Mosaic Law Congregation, proudly displayed the well-embellished wimpel belonging to her son and brother of Susan Kuttner, Peter Edelmuth. It was made, following Peter's Brit Milah in 1946 in Washington Heights, New York, at the prompting of Leisel's father, a then recent immigrant to America from Germany. This wimpel includes the beautifully lettered traditional blessing to "study Torah, marry under the Chuppah and do good deeds." It is colorfully designed with a variety of symbols of the times, holidays and family interests. On the 2nd day of Pesach, 1949, it was presented to Congregation Ha Bonem, when Peter accompanied his father to shul for the first time. It remained there until they changed congregations some time later.
Mark and Dianne Cohn, presented a very fine wimpel for their son, Nelson, on the occasion of his Bar Mitzvah. It was designed and created by his mother, Diane. Many loving hands shared in the effort to embroider the embellished letters of white floss on white fabric.
Monica Cheron and Scott Shapiro, who had become recently engaged to be married, created their wimpel as a symbol for their upcoming marriage. In the traditional prayer, the words, Ha Shem (quite profoundly and to the joy of the family members involved with this wimpel) set in the exact center of their wimpel fabric length. This central word placement portrays the beliefs of this special couple.
Steven and Yvette Fishbein and children first bound their family wimpel around the Torah scroll, in honor of their wedding anniversary and of their growing family. (This family has since added the births and accomplishments of their four children, Leila, Jacob, Aaron and Maya, including the recent marriage of their eldest daughter, Leila to Ovadia Noam Jacob).
Fishbein 1st Wimpel
It is with great pleasure, that we salute this tradition of symbolically binding ones essense to the Torah scroll in celebration of each simcha.
If you have a wimpel tucked away in a remote corner of your family history, please share it with us so this tradition may continue to sprout out of the past, while it joyously blossoms into the future.