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Birth

Sandek

Individual given the honor of holding the baby during the b’rit milah; sometimes translated as “godfather,” although there is no such role in Judaism; Often a grandfather or older relative but need not be.

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Elijah’s chair

A symbolic seat set aside for Elijah the Prophet during a b'rit milah; represents the hope that the Messiah will arrive during the child’s lifetime and that perhaps this child will be the one that brings about messianic change. 

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wimple

A decorative garment in the form of a long sash made from the baby's swaddling cloth. In pre-Shoah (pre-Holocasut) Eastern Europe, fabric from the clothing that swaddled an infant at his b'rit milah was made into a wimple that could be used as a Torah binder. The wimple was used to wrap the Torah at the child's consecration and at his bar mitzvah, and was included in the fabric to make the wedding chuppah. Almost extinguished during the Shoah, the tradition of the wimple has been revived in contemporary Jewish culture. Now, Jewish parents and grandparents make wimples for both boys and girls. Sometimes the wimple is still made from the swaddling cloth. More commonly now, the baby is swaddled in the wimple itself.

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