As a legal document,
the ketubah dates from at least the time of the Babylonian exile,
about 2000 years ago. It outlines the financial obligations of the
groom toward the bride and protects the bride in the case of a divorce.
All Jewish marriages require that a ketubah - one
that uses a text that is recognized by either the Conservative or
- be witnessed, or signed, by two people. Depending on your rabbi,
it may or may not be OK to sign just the custom designed ketubah
(even if it does use a traditional text). Most rabbis will have
a preprinted ketubah which they will prefer your witnesses sign.
That's OK, you can have both ketubot signed.
So, if the rabbi
is going to give you one for free, why have a one designed for you?
One reason has ancient roots. Like all Jewish ritual objects, a
hand-crafted ketubah fulfills an old tradition, called hiddur
using the best, most beautiful objects to intensify, or glorify
the fulfillment of the mitzvah (commandment).
can take advantage of this tradition to make your ketubah more meaningful
Over the years the
ketubah has come to be much more than a legal document. It's a symbol
love for, and commitment to each other. As such, it's fitting that
it reflect something of your taste. Two ways of doing this you can
do this two ways:
Since the ketubah is a legal and not a religious document, its
design isn't affected by religious restrictions: it can be written
by anyone, with anything, on anything, in any style. more...
If you want to stay with a traditional text, most rabbis will
allow you to include an additional text in another language.