the English writing around the Ketubah (and the Hebrew within it) indicate, this Ketubah is a "collage" of scenes and elements from that most beautiful and sensual love poetry, the Song of Songs. What I tried to do is visualize and then paint the images and metaphors that the text evokes for me, focusing mostly on the landscapes, the fauna, and the flora of Israel, my beloved home country. Below, I quote most of the verses I referred to in my painting, so that if you like, you can use them in your ceremony. The translations are from the 1917 edition of the Jewish Publication Society, with slight modifications of my own, to fit my understanding of the original Hebrew text.
Text Options & Explanations
Our ketubot are available in a variety of texts and the options are listed with each ketubah listing. You should choose the one that best reflects your own beliefs and worldview. It would be wise to get your rabbi's or officiant's approval before ordering your ketubah.
This text is a prenuptial agreement between the groom and the bride wherein the husband undertakes to honor, support and maintain his wife. In the document he states that she will receive a certain sum of money in the event of divorce or of his death. It is a very formal contract written in Aramaic over 2000 years ago. There is no English on this text.
Traditional Aramaic with English
This text is the same Aramaic document as above. The traditional English portion is NOT a translation of the Aramaic, rather a brief paraphrase.
Lieberman Clause with English (Conservative)
This text is almost the same text as the Traditional Aramaic. A new clause was added essentially stating that in the case of a civil divorce, either the husband or wife can appear before the conservative Bet Din (rabbinic court) to request a "Get" (a Jewish divorce document). According to Jewish law, without this document, a woman is still legally married to her husband. Some Conservative Rabbis require the Lieberman Clause text to protect the woman in the unlikely event that a man refuses to grant her a "Get". The English portion is NOT a translation of the Aramaic, but rather a contemporary text.
Egalitarian with English
This text is suitable for reform and conservative marriages. The text reflects an egalitarian view of marriage and the equal roles of a husband and wife in our contemporary Jewish society.
This text is designed for couples from different heritages. The language is gender neutral, so as to accommodate both Judaism and the other religion. It contains the specific information as to names, place and date of wedding, etc. and contains mutual vows of love and commitment.
This text is designed for couples celebrating an anniversary from 2 years to 70 or more years. It records the bride and groom's original wedding and does not need to be signed. Since the tradition of using an illuminated ketubah has been re-introduced into the ceremony only 10 to 15 years ago, many couples who have been married for more than 10 years never had a beautiful ketubah. They are now either deciding to purchase a ketubah for themselves in order to renew their vows, or they can receive one as a gift (often from their children).
Alternative Egalitarian (Gender Neutral)
This text is suitable for reform, humanistic, different heritages and special partnerships. The Hebrew is a direct translation of the English. The signature lines have been left off because we fill in this portion of the ketubah when we personalize it according to the specifications of the couple. Most couples opt for the standard signature lines (2 Witnesses, Bride, Groom, and Rabbi), but some people want the word "beloved" instead of bride and groom, or the word "Officiant" or "Cantor" instead of Rabbi.
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