by Claudia J. Nahson
Marriage is one of the most important mitzvot (commandments) in Judaism and the Scriptures are replete with verses encouraging the union of man and woman. One essential element of a Jewish wedding ceremony is the writing and transfer of a contract or ketubbah (plural form: ketubbot). Originally formulated to protect a woman's rights in marriage, the ketubbah established the financial obligations of the groom toward his bride in cases of divorce or death.
This book presents 40 ketubbot dating from 1614 to 1989. Originating in Italy, Persia, the Ottoman Empire, the Sephardi communities of Germany and Holland and the United States, and drawing upon the collection of The Jewish Museum, these intricately illuminated marriage contracts are unique historical documents, as well as beautiful.