An old German word for cloth or veil derived from the word bewimfen, meaning to cover up, or conceal. (‘The Wimpel: Binding the Family to the Torah’ by Dr. Michael Kaniel, JEWISH ACTION, Summer, 5753/1993, Vol.53/No.3, pgs.41-44). The author of this article is an excellent resource for scholarly material collected on the wimpel and can be reached at the following address: Dr. M. Kaniel, PO Box 4075, Chopin St., Jerusalem, Israel. According to research found by Dr. Kaniel (footnote 18. Hamburger, Ibid., 240, p.69.), Reb Yuzpa Shamash (1603-1678), a local functionary in Worms, Germany, states that “it was the mohel’s duty to provide the wimpel for the brit, and after the circumcision, “we write on it the boy’s name as he would be called up to the Torah, and also his birth date and month and the year…and we draw on it the mazel (Zodiak sign) for that month.
Bob Wascou, former president and an active member of the Sacramento Jewish Genealogical Society, forwarded the following article to Bonnie Kaplan. It was written by Carl Alpert in Haifa, Israel. This article is a jewel and reinforces the special value and inherent denouement of the unusual folk custom, the wimpel. It is titled ‘The Strange Story of a Wimpel That Came Home.’