Ketubah -Jewish Marriage Contracts

The size of all Kesubos of the A series are all  13 by 19 inches , the B series are all from 15 by 20 to 18 by 24 inches.. The C series are all from 16 x 16 to 24 x 24 inches.  The prices vary from $100 to $150, all including personalizion. Click on the images below for the details of each.  


The Illuminated Ketubah

Although the kesubah (or ketubah-Sefardic pronunciation) is  a legal document deliniating the financial and conjugal obligations of the husand to his wife and is perfectly valid on any piece of paper, nonetheless, the ketubah has often and for many centuries been illuminated  reflecting the importance and significance of what the ketubah stands for. Many of these illumnated ketubos of earlier centuries are on display in museums throught the world. 

More about the Ketubah

The History of the Ketubah

There is a debate in the Talmud as to whether the ketubah is of Biblical or Rabbinical law.   If it is of biblical law, then the ketubah law is over three thousand three hundred years old.   If it is of rabbinic law, it would be somewhat more recent, the exact year of the enactment is not known but certainly older than two thousand years..  

Besides putting  into writing the primary obligation that a husband has to his wife to support her and honor her, the primary reason for enacting a lump sum of a significant amount to be paid to the wife in the case of a divorce was, as stated in the Talmud, to ensure that divorce would not be taken lightly. by the husband. The minimum amount demanded even of the poorest was 50 shekalim which was enough to sustain a person for one year.  Of course, the negotiated  amount was ordinarily much higher if the husband was above the poverty level, and was negotiated between the husband's family and the bride's family based on the husband's family's wealth.

The same lump sum amount  would be paid to a widow from the deceased husband estate. However, in the case of widowhood, the wife had the option to continue living in the house of the deceased, and be supported by the estate until she remarries.  

The Text of the Ketubah

Many of the phrases that were incorporated in the original ketubah as stated in the Talmud no longer appear in the present day ketubah.  This has been the case for many centuries.  The present text common in all Ashkenazic lands is taken from the authoritative work "Nachlas Shiva" written in the seventeenth century. by Rabbi Shmuel Segal (1667).  (The text of present day Sefardic ketubos, although a bit more wordy than Ashkenazic ones, is basically the same. ) The omissions include the obligation to pay ransom in case the wife is kidnapped, and to pay for her funeral if she dies before the husband.  These obligations need not be stated explicitly in the ketubah, because these are mandatory marriage obligations and their documentation is unnecessary.

The original purpose of the ketubah is no longer material, since the present halacha prohibits divorce without mutual consent except in rare circumstances, (and all other obligation are enforceable with our without a written document).  In case of a divorce, the monetary considerations are therefore negotiated between the two parties, and prior agreements are no longer needed.  In our times, the most important phrase in the Ketubah is the husband's written promise stating  " I will work for you, honor you, and support and provide for all your needs, and live together with you as is the way of all Jewish husbands who work, honor, and support their wives with honesty"..