Ketubah (Marriage Contract) Information
Below is information about the Ketubah and other traditional and alternative partnership documents
1. Ketubah – Most common wedding document. Most Ketubah websites have many options for texts and also the option to write your own. They range in artistic style, text, and price. Here are a few websites that have sample texts available to view. Some websites like www.ketubah.com allow you to buy a plain ketubah with just the text if you want to have another artist decorate it. Before your order is complete, Rabbi Sarah can help you complete the information form on Ketubah Wizard with your Hebrew names or Hebrew transliteration of your names, the Hebrew date and location of the wedding.
Most sites and artists will either have many options of texts to choose from or allow you to write your own text.
After you have completed ordering/checking out, you will be prompted to enter your information (names, location etc..) in order to personalize your Ketubah. This may be a form or an online platform that you can give me access to so I can assist you if needed.
Please send your digital proof to Rabbi Sarah before you have your Ketubah printed to confirm all of the information is correct.
2. Brit Ahuvim – Egalitarian Lovers Covenant / Partnership Document
Brit Ahuvim is an ancient egalitarian Jewish partnership ritual which has seen a modern comeback thanks to Rachel Adler, a professor at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. This ritual involves places significant objects in a bag (which you describe) and then both lifting the bag to show you are acquiring the relationship (rather than the other person, as you do in a traditional Jewish wedding ceremony). There is also a Brit Ahuvim document that serves as wedding contract (similar to the ketubah). This can be used for same gender couples or any couple.
3. Te’naim – Conditions/Intentions for the marriage
A separate document from the ketubah, the Te’naim document states the intentions and values for the marriage, often including quotes and verses. It is read and signed before the wedding, and the ceremony included the breaking of the plate by the mothers of the wedding couple. The Te’naim document allows couples more creativity and personalization not always included in traditional ketubot. Nowadays there are many more options for the Ketubah texts, including alternative texts that contain the Te’naim sentiments, eliminating a need for second document. If you’re interested in having a Te’naim document or ceremony as an engagement ritual prior to the wedding in addition to a ketubah signing, please let Rabbi Sarah know.
1. When should we order the Ketubah?
I recommend ordering it at least a month in advance of the wedding so you don't have to worry about a rush order. If shipping is delayed because of Covid19 you may want to order it further in advance. If you need it sooner, check with the company or artist if they can do a rush order.
2. One of us doesn't have a Hebrew name or we don't know a parents Hebrew name. What do we put on the Ketubah?
For anyone that doesn't have a Hebrew name, we will transliterated their English name into Hebrew letters.
3. We don't know how to spell our Hebrew names. Can you help us?
Let me know if you need assistance when ordering. Sometimes there is variation in spelling depending on if a parents name is Hebrew or Yiddish and I can try to help. You might also see if your parents have a Ketubah that you could take a photo of so we can see how the name was spelled originally.
4. What about getting the Ketubah frames?
Ketubah can be matted or put in a temporary frame (e.g. from Michaels or Target if it's a standard size) but be sure that the glass/plastic is removable for signing. If Ketubah arrives rolled in a tube, be sure to unroll and lay flat weeks prior to the wedding. After the ceremony, if you want to get it professionally framed, you can do so.
5. Anything special we need to use to sign it?
Some Ketubot come with a pen, or you can use a fine tip sharpie. It can be any color you like.
6. Can we write our own text?
Some websites/Ketubah artists allow you to provide your own text for the Ketubah if you would like to write your own. Please know that if you want to write your own Ketubah and have it translated into Hebrew there may be an additional charge to hire a translator.
7. Once we've ordered the Ketubah, will we get a digital proof?
Most artists and companies will provide you a digital proof after you have ordered it to make sure your names, date and location are all correct. Please make sure to forward this to me so I can take a look at it before it's ordered to confirm all information is correct!