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.
Lit. "Opening of the Womb." As an alternative to pidyon haben, a creative way to celebrate the birth of a first child in which family and friends of the firstborn recite blessings, make pledges of tzedakah (righteous giving) in honor of the firstborn child, and celebrate with a s'udat mitzvah (celebratory meal). See kiddush peter rechem.
"Happiness." Refers to any happy occasion.
Lit. "Set table." Refers to the 16th century code of law codified by Rabbi Joseph Caro in Safed, Israel. Includes a Gloss by Rabbi Moses Isserles from Germany writing his own law code simultaneously with Joseph Caro. Together, the Shulchan Aruch and Gloss unify Sephardic and Ashkenazic Jewry.
A genre of Jewish literature developed from the period of the exile in Babylonia to the present. In the typical format, a legal question is posed and a legal response is offered. There are thousands of responsa addressing virtually every aspect of Jewish ritual and ethical life. Singular: responsum.