The Ketubah is a Jewish legal document confirming the religious bond of your union. It does not replace a standard civil marriage license which the officiating Rabbi will need in order to perform the ceremony. A marriage license can be obtained by applying to the County Clerk’s Office and should be arranged for within thirty days prior to the marriage.
The traditional Ketubah has been used by Jews for more than two thousand years and is written in Aramaic, the language of the Talmud. The great innovation of the Jewish marriage document is the recognition that not only love but also responsibility is necessary for a Jewish marriage. The husband’s primary obligations are listed in the Ketubah, declaring that he must cherish and honor his wife, provide for her support and sexual fulfillment. In pre-modern times, his financial obligations in case of death or divorce were also spelled out to ensure the woman’s welfare.
The Ketubah can be a beautiful work of art. Should you decide to have a Ketubah especially designed, be sure to commission an artist well in advance so it will be ready in time for your wedding day. The artist must also confer with the officiating Rabbi to ensure the exact wording and spellings of the Hebrew names and places in your Ketubah.