Ketubah: Jewish Marriage Contract
A ketubah (Hebrew: כְּתוּבָּה ; “written thing”; pl. ketubot) is a Jewish prenuptial agreement. It is considered an integral part of a traditional Jewish marriage, and outlines the rights and responsibilities of the groom, in relation to the bride.
The following is the text of a traditional Orthodox ketubah. However, most Jewish couples are signing new ketubot that speak directly about their love and commitment.
On the ___ day of the week, the ___ day of ___, in the year five thousand seven hundred and _ _, son of ___, and ___, daughter of ___, join each other in ___, before family and friends to make a mutual covenant as husband and wife, partners in marriage.
The groom, ___, promises ___, the bride: “Be my wife according to the practice of Moses and Israel. I shall cherish you and honor you as is customary among the sons of Israel who have cherished and honored their wives in faithfulness and in integrity.” And I here present you with the marriage gift of virgins, two hundred silver zuzim, which belongs to you, according to the law of Moses and Israel; and I will also give you your food, clothing and necessities, and live with you as husband and wife according to universal custom.” And Miss_____, this virgin consented and become his wife.
The bride, ___, promises ___, the groom: “You are my husband according to the tradition of Moses and Israel. I shall cherish you and honor you as is customary among the daughters of Israel who have cherished and honored their husbands in faithfulness and in integrity.”
“We, as beloveds and friends, promise each other to strive throughout our lives together to achieve an openness which will enable us to share our thoughts, our feelings, and our experiences. We promise to try always to bring out in ourselves and in each other qualities of forgiveness, compassion, and integrity. We, as beloveds and friends, will cherish each other’s uniqueness; comfort and challenge each other through life’s sorrow and joy; share our intuition and insight with one another; and above all do everything within our power to permit each of us to become the persons we are yet to be. All this we take upon ourselves to uphold to the best of our abilities.” All is valid and binding.
Groom ____________ Witness ____________
Interfaith ketubot serves the same purpose expressing love and commitment of the bride and groom, and it is written without mentioning any specific religion and if desired even without mentioning the word “God”.
On the ___ day of the week, the ___ day of ___, in the year ___, a mutual covenant of marriage was entered in ____ [City, State] , between the groom, _____, and the bride, ______.
The groom, _____, son of _____, said to the bride: “I will honor each other’s culture as we link customs to form a trusting relationship. I shall treasure you, nourish you, and respect you as those who have devoted themselves to their wives with love and integrity throughout the generations.”
The bride, ____, daughter of ____, said to the groom: “I will honor each other’s culture as we link customs to form a trusting relationship. I shall treasure you, nourish you, and respect you as those who have devoted themselves to their husbands with love and integrity throughout the generations.”
And ____ and ____ pledged together: “We promise to be ever accepting of one another while treasuring each other’s individuality; to comfort and support each other through life’s disappointments and sorrows; to revel and share in each other’s joys and accomplishments; to share our hopes and dreams; to strive for an intimacy that will allow us to accomplish this promise and permit us to become the persons we are yet to be. We vow to establish a home open to all of life’s potential; a home filled with respect for all people; a home based on love and understanding. May we live each day as the first, the last, the only day we will have with each other. All of this we take upon ourselves as valid and binding.”
Bride ____________ Groom ____________
Witness ____________ Witness ____________
Information taken from:
Celebrating Interfaith Marriage by Rabbi Devon A. Lerner, An Owl Book, 1999
The Everything Jewish Wedding Book by Helen Latner, 1998
Torah for Hindus?,
Bar Mitzvah for Hindus?,
Hindus, Abrahamics and Intolerants,
Idol Worshippers: Who is and Who is Not,
Circumcision: Science or Superstition? ,
Ten Points of Interfaith Dating ,
FAQ on Interfaith Marriage,