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Art of the Ketubah: Decorated Jewish Marriage Contracts In Israel

Tuesday, October 12th, 2021

The ketubah (plural ketubot) is the standard marriage contract that Jewish law requires a groom to provide for his bride on their wedding day. It is intended to protect the woman, primarily by establishing the man’s financial obligations to her in case of divorce or widowhood.

In addition to the financial clause, the ketubah text outlines other obligations of the groom, including traditional marriage rights such as food, clothing and shelter. To know more about Ketubah art, you can also check out the papercut ketubah collection online.

The exact date on which the ketubah became a major part of the Jewish wedding ceremony is unknown.

Rabbinical authorities believe that this is so fundamental to Jewish marriage that it is forbidden for a couple to live together without marriage. Traditionally, it had to be signed by two witnesses and then read out in Aramaic during the wedding ceremony. It is a public document that is witnessed by the whole community.

Since the ketubata is read during wedding ceremonies and displayed in public, the tradition of adorning it developed in many Jewish communities in various parts of the world.

The ornate Ketubah not only adds beauty and meaning to somewhat dry legal documents, but also gives something about the individuals and communities for whom they are made.

The Italian ketubot reflects Italian Judaism's openness to the rich artistic heritage of the surrounding culture. The scope of the marriage contracts of Muslim countries reflects their cultural and religious norms.