The Art of The Ketubah

November 11, 2014 at 4:26 PM

The ketubah (plural ketubot) is a traditional marriage contract that Jewish law requires a groom to provide for his bride on their wedding day. Historically, 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 clauses, the text of the ketubah outlines other obligations undertaken by the groom, including traditional conjugal rights such as food, clothing and shelter. Ketubot became a central part of the Jewish marriage ceremony in Talmudic times (70-500 C.E.). It has been in the home of every married couple no matter what their social status and no matter what the geographical location.

The rabbinic authorities considered it so basic to Jewish marriage, that a couple was prohibited from living together without one. Traditionally it must be signed by two witnesses and then read out-loud in Aramaic during the marriage ceremony. It is a public document to which the entire community is witness.

I have been creating Jewish scribal arts and Ketubot since 1976. I consult with the couple and develop sketches just as we do with design projects at NeigerDesign. My ketubot incorporate the ancient art of paper cutting and watercolor. To learn more about the art of the Ketubah go to





Written by

Carol Neiger


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