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The ketubah, the ketuboth, equivalent in Hebrew for "text" or "documents" are in practice Jewish marriage contracts. Invariably, they are written in a local vehicular language -Judeo-Aramaic-, and list the duties of the husband, guarantees to the women a share of her husband's property in case of widowhood, stipulates the amount of the compensation to the wife upon divorce. The formulation may vary depending on families, places or origins ...
The husband puts a ketubah during the wedding ceremony to the woman, who is the recipient: It's "his" ketubah ...
Although there are preprinted ketuboth, traditionally they are richly ornamented with calligraphy and symbolic designs.
The ketubah is a real act of authentication of the couple. Indeed, the religious law allows in principle the couple to require the quality of Jews for newborns that it generate and keeps under its protection only if it can produce this ketubah.
Jews who keep the Jewishness from generation to generation - in express terms from the mother to the children - the ketubah has many genealogical information such as date and place of marriage, names of bride and groom and their parents, name of husband's witness and name of woman's witness.
Of course, depending on the circumstances, events, places and times, the ketubah can be lost and a duplicate may have to be produced, which justifies the maintenance and retention by the rabbis of ketubot copies, essentially of same interest as personnal parts. Among the places where you can find these ketubot records include in France the archives of the Paris Consistory. Registers and ketubot are also in first place among objects kept by the Jewish museums around the world. The Israel Museum in Jerusalem has one of the finest collections.
According to different times and places, in each case, find a ketubah requires long experience, like that of some members of the CGJ.
|PUBLICATIONS of the CGJ
|Relevé des Ketoubot au Consistoire de Paris, Tome III : 1896-1902 Véronique Cahen.|