Reclaiming the Ketubah as a Symbol of Equality and Women’s Independence

The evolution of the Ketubah in the Jewish tradition has taken an interesting turn in recent times. Once a vehicle to protect women from financial devastation in the case of divorce or death of a husband, it is now considered for many a traditional prerequisite for marriage as well as an archival work of art, and is often created and sold by women as part of their own businesses.

The traditional Ketubah was written in the ancient Aramaic language and outlined the rights and responsibilities of the husband to the wife. It was meant to protect the woman and serve as a deterrent for divorce. The Ketubah was a replacement for the money paid by the groom to the bride for marriage. Since many men could not afford this sum, the Ketubah allowed them to delay the time in which the money would be payable. If the marriage was broken this sum would have to be paid, creating the disincentive for divorce.


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