On __________ [day of the week], the __________ day of the month __________ in the year __________ since creation of the world, the era according to which we are accustomed to reckon here in the city of __________ how __________ son of __________ said to this virgin __________ daughter of __________ 'Be thou my wife according to the law of Moses and Israel, and I will work for thee, honor, support, and maintain thee in accordance with the custom of Jewish husbands who work for their wives, honor, support, and maintain them in truth. And I will set aside for thee 200 zuz [traditional money], in lieu of thy virginity, which belong to thee (according to the law of Moses), and thy food, clothing, and necessaries, and live with thee in conjugal relations according to universal custom.' And __________ this virgin consented and became his wife. The dowry that she brought from her father's house, in silver, gold, valuables, dresses and bedclothes, amounts to __________ [100 silver pieces], and the bridegroom consented to increase this amount from his own property with the sum of __________ [100 silver pieces], making in all __________ [200 silver pieces]. And thus said __________ the bridegroom, 'I take upon myself and my heirs after me the responsibility of this marriage contract, of the dowry, and of the additional sum, so that all this shall be paid from the best part of my property, real and personal, that I now possess or may hereafter acquire. All my property, even the mantle on my shoulders, shall be mortgaged for the security of the contract and of the dowry and of the addition made thereto.' __________ the bridegroom has taken upon himself the responsibility for all the obligations of this ketubah, as is customary with other ketubot made for the daughters of Israel in accordance with the institution of our sagesmay their memory be for a blessing! It is not to be regarded as an illusory obligation or as a mere symbolical delivery between __________ son of __________ the bridegroom, and __________ daughter of __________ the virgin, and they have employed an instrument legally fit for the purpose to strengthen all that is stated above, and everything is valid and established.
How romantic, right?
Although the ketubah is sort of like the original prenuptual agreement and is designed to protect a married woman from abandonment by her husband, it's not really a very egalitarian or progressive document by today's standards. It seems more than a little inappropriate to Mr. Spaniel and I with this language, given our actual religious backgrounds. Luckily, there is a whole world of texts out there, from "Conservative" to "Secular Humanistic," and most ketubot sellers have an option for completely custom text as well, which appeals to us a lot! It's like writing your own vows, for people who are terrified of speaking their own vows aloud!
Anyway, I believe we've narrowed our ketubah search down to two beautiful ketubot.
|Embracing Trees by Ruth Stern Warzecha, $200||Papercut-Ivory by Ardyn Halter, $245|
* Mr. Spaniel's favorite
* Lower cost
* Custom text ($135) and different sizes available
* My favorite
* Traditional papercut design
* Custom text available ($375-450)
Objectively, Embracing Trees, which I showed you earlier, is the better choice. It has a wider variety of texts available, and if we want to write our own text, it's still relatively affordable. Mr. Spaniel also likes it better because of the natural imagerywhat can I say; the man likes trees. But I cannot get the papercut ketubah out of my head! There are a few reasons for my preoccupation:
- Look at how intricate the cut work is!
- You could change the design any time you wanted by simply changing the color of the mat behind it
- Deer are common decorations in both Jewish and Scandinavian artwork, which brings both of our heritages together into one beautiful and meaningful document
- Did I mention how gorgeous that papercutting is?
What do you think? Should we splurge?