the first known ketubah is one of the oldest legal documents in existence, dating back two-thousand years. in its traditional sense, it is a jewish legal contract stating that a man has taken a woman to be his wife, the details of the dowry, & that if the husband should die or in the case of a divorce, the wife is to be the beneficiary. being the product of an ancient civilization, the ketubah is thought by many to have been incredibly feminist for its time.
in a more contemporary sense, a ketubah can be a totally egalitarian agreement between two individuals of any gender or sexual identity joining in jewish marriage. what once was a purely financial agreement has now been transformed into a declaration of mutual affection imagining what a marriage can & should hold. jews of varying backgrounds now view this practice & tradition as having the freedom to say much more than the old legalities of the ancient jewish unions of our ancestors.
d o i n e e d o n e ?
if you are having a jewish wedding, in all likelihood you will need a ketubah. it can be as simple or ornate, as thrifty or high-end as you desire. though, we suggest checking with your officiant first as to whether they have strong feelings or opinions on the details of what the ketubah can or should state.
w h a t a r e d i f f e r e n t v e r s i o n s o f k e t u b a h t e x t s ?
there are many different versions of ketubah texts that have evolved over the years, including: traditional aramaic, modern/open orthodox, traditional conservative (sometimes with the lieberman clause added), pluralistic conservative, reform, same sex, even interfaith, the list is endless...
you can find many ketubah texts simply by searching the internet or from flipping through jewish wedding books. you'll want to ensure that the text is not copy-written. or, if it is, that you get specific permission from its author to use the text in your ketubah (sometimes for a small fee). this is typically easy to do. we will even work with you to create and translate your very own TNK ketubah text, as well! inquire for more info about these poetic texts.
w h y a r e k e t u b o t t r a d i t i o n a l l y i l l u m i n a t e d ( d e c o r a t e d ) w i t h a r t w o r k ?
illuminating manuscripts & textual documents is a tradition that has existed for thousands of years. the tradition of illuminating ketubot -- often adorning a ketubah with beautiful artwork that depicts images & cultural trends that reflect the time & place in which the couple live -- dates back many centuries. including traditional colors, architectural details, flowers & even animals typical of the world the couple comes into contact with each day, illuminated hebrew manuscripts reached their height in the 13th century & include styles such as: 'islamic oriental, spanish, germanic, french, & italian.' the tradition has lasted & is finding new meaning in america & other parts of the world where many new ways of "doing jewish" are continuing to evolve & flourish.
d o i n e e d t o t a l k t o m y r a b b i o r o f f i c i a n t a b o u t m y k e t u b a h ?
absolutely. we suggest having a specific discussion with the officiant who is marrying you. if you are using a rabbi or cantor to officiate your marriage, they will most likely have their own individual opinions as to what they require of your ketubah. some won't have any particular guidelines or restrictions at all; others may care greatly about both content & style, so let's make sure everything is kosher before we get too far along in our process together.
d o y o u c r e a t e c e r t i f i c a t e s / d o c u m e n t s f o r i n t e r f a i t h o r n o n - j e w i s h w e d d i n g s ?
yes, of course! there is a current trend & practice of illuminated marriage documents for all sorts of weddings -- jewish & otherwise. if you are interested in a beautiful marriage document (perhaps your vows, the lyrics from the song you used for your first dance, an interfaith text, or even a creative non-jewish ceremony). THE NEW KETUBAH is interested in making marriage documents for all people. drop us a message with a bit more about what you're interested in creating & we'd be happy to help you dream up the perfect artwork to commemorate your unique celebration.
w h y u s e THE NEW KETUBAH t o c r e a t e m y j e w i s h w e d d i n g d o c u m e n t ?
we're young. we're contemporary. we want to create something new & beautiful. something sophisticated that will be personal, as well. but also something that holds a deep love & respect for keeping with this beautiful ancient tradition.
exactly what you want. totally YOU & totally unique. entirely custom. no reproduction & no mass-production.
if you're not sure of what you want, if you know what you want but can't seem to find it . . . then, THE NEW KETUBAH is here for YOU.