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 Home > Jewish Wedding Guide > Reform > Ketubah: Standard Text

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The Ketubah's Standard Reform Text
A Reform Perspective by Rivka C. Berman

 • Egalitarian Ketubot
 • Sample of Reform Ketubah Text
 • Interfaith Ketubah

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.

Traditional ketubah texts fell into disfavor as the modern age dawned because the ketubah set men as masters of the marriage. More egalitarian texts have been written, where the couple pledges support to each other.

Egalitarian Ketubot
Couples pledge to uphold these bonds of love, honor and support to each other in egalitarian versions. In addition, both the bride and groom envelop their beloved with the holiness of marriage with the words “You are consecrated unto me according to the traditions of Moses and Israel.”

Idealistic words of love follow. “We also pledge to establish a home open to the spiritual potential in all life.” Another version continues “We pledge to be sensitive at all times to each other’s needs, to attain mutual intellectual, emotional, physical and spiritual fulfillment.”

Some couple put their hearts on paper and write their own ketubah or add loving addenda to the standard text. Common law marriage is recognized in Judaism, so what a couple includes or leaves out of a ketubah will not change the validity of their marriage.

Sample of Reform Ketubah Text (Short Version)

The Reform ketubah text is written in Modern Hebrew and English. There are several versions of wording to this style, so you may find that different artists may use different wordings in their ketubot designs. In most cases, the English text is a translation of the Hebrew.

On the ___day of the week, the___day of the month of___in the year___corresponding to the ___day of____in the year___here in____ The Groom ___son of___and___promised the Bride___"You are my wife according to the tradition of Moses and Israel.

Interfaith Ketubah
Texts for interfaith ketubot are available. Often the text speaks of the couple as equal partners in the marriage, and thier pledge to live a life that reflects Torah values and respects their distinct heritages. Cherishing each other as friends and lovers “in the spirit of the traditions of Moses and Israel” ends off the ketubah.



 

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• The Bedeking Ceremony: Veiling of the Bride
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• Chuppah: Make Your Own Chuppah
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