Print Page

Ketuba History

Interestingly, there are no mentions of written documents associated with marriage in the Old Testament. Some scholars trace the first mention of marriage writs to around the third century B.C.E.

Pre-talmudic instances of marriage contracts are rare, but there is some agreement that ketubot arose out of marriage deeds used in the fifth and sixth century B.C.E. in Egypt.

Talmudic Rabbis regarded the ketuba as a very important document and spent quite a bit of time devising exact wording and requirements.

What does the ketuba say?
Traditionally, ketubot specify the obligations of a man to his wife. Modern ketubot are often egalitarian, allowing both the bride and the groom to promise to honor, love and respect each other.

As you might imagine, the legal language of ketubot has changed dramatically in the last 1500 years to better reflect contemporary needs. The Rabbi who marries the couple generally determines the specific text that will be used. Modern, egalitarian texts are used by many congregations today.

I will work with you and your Rabbi (or other officiant) so that you can have a personalized ketuba of your own.