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The Ketubah: The Standard Text
An Orthodox Perspective by Rivka C. Berman

The Traditional Aramaic ketubah text is the only text accepted by the Traditional Orthodox Ashkenazic Jewish community. The text was conceived approximately 2,000 years ago, with the primary purpose of protecting the finances of a Jewish wife.  The ketubah stipulates wife’s right to support, clothing and sexual satisfaction. A husband’s obligation to pay for his wife’s medical and burial costs were included as well. A general statement in the ketubah. The ketubah further assured a woman would leave a marriage with the dowry she brought to it, and the interest it earned.

A ketubah handed from a husband to the wife is symbolic of the covenant Moses wrote as the Jewish people accepted God at Mount Sinai.

Translation of the Text
On the __day of the week, the __day of the month__in the year five thousand ___hundred and ___since the creation of the world, according to the reckoning which we are accustomed to employ here in the city of _____how ____son of _____(father's name) said to _____daughter of _____"Be my wife according to the law of Moses and Israel. I will do work, honor, feed and support you in accordance with the custom of Jewish husbands who faithfully do work, honor, feed and support their wives. I herewith set aside for you the portion of _____silver zuzim, which accrues to you according to ____law, together with your food, clothing and necessities, and undertake to live with you as husband and wife according to universal custom." And ____ consented and became his wife. Her belongings that she brought unto him (from her ___(usually, father’s) house), in silver, gold, valuables, wearing apparel, house furnishings, and bedclothes, all this _____, the said bridegroom, accepted in the sum of _____silver pieces, with _____, the bridegroom adding from his own property the sum of _____silver pieces, making in all_____silver pieces. And thus said ____the bridegroom: "The responsibility of this marriage contract, this wedding dowry, and this additional sum, I take upon myself and my heirs after me, so that they shall be paid from the best part of my property and possessions that I have beneath the whole heaven, that which I now possess or may hereafter acquire. All my property, real and personal, even the mantle on my shoulders, shall be mortgaged to secure the payment of this marriage contract, the wedding dowry, and the addition made thereto, during my lifetime and after my lifetime, from the present day and forever." ____the bridegroom, has taken upon himself the responsibility of this marriage contract, of the wedding dowry and the addition made thereto, according to the restrictive usage of all marriage contracts and the additions thereto made for the daughters of Israel, in accordance with the institution of our sages of blessed memory. It is not to be regarded as an indecisive contractual obligation or as a stereotyped form. We have effected the legal formality of binding agreement (kinyan) ____ between ____, the son of ____the bridegroom, and ____the daughter of ____this ____(virgin, widow, divorcee), by an instrument that is legally appropriate for establishing a transaction,

Attested to ____________________(witness)     Attested to_____________________(witness)


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