The website of Rabbi Moshe Pitchon

The Ketubah

A document of loving commitment

The rabbinic “ketubah” was a marriage contract drawn by witnesses following Jewish civil law. Written originally in Aramaic- the language of the Talmud-it was for all intended purposes a Jewish “pre-nuptial agreement.”


The text spelled the rights and responsibilities of the husband to the wife.

It meant to protect the woman and serve as a deterrent to divorce. Its effectiveness as a document of rights and guarantees was actual. The Ketubah provided a woman with a legal document that secured her status and provided her security if the husband should die or divorce her.


The traditional Ketubah’s functionality is now fundamentally exceeded by modern society’s legal and economic instruments and efficient forms of social protection. These evolutions in life have transformed the traditional Ketubah’s function to being no more than the perpetuation of an ancient tradition.

Many rabbis and feminist thinkers point to several severe and discomforting additional problems inherent in the traditional ketubah text: (1) given the dramatically changed social and economic circumstances of women today, its lack of mutuality, (2) the reference in the document to the woman’s previous marital status- and specifically to the everyday use of the term betultah, or “virgin,” as it is commonly translated, to refer to a previously unmarried woman- with no mention made of the man’s marital or sexual history; and finally, (3) the one-sided focus on financial issues. [1]

[1] GORDIS, DANIEL, H.: “Judaism “Other” Covenantal Relationship,” in GEFFEN, RELA, M: Celebration and Renewal Rites of Passage in Judaism, p. 103


In Judaism, there is an idea of “Hiddur Mitzvah,” which means that we should beautify our ritual items as it elevates and enhances the mitzvot (the Commandments). This idea is relevant to ketubot as well.” [1]

“Ketubot may be traditional and modest or artistic and colorful, with designs in-between. Most important for the couple is to find a ketubah that represents them and their love, and one that is present in their home as a daily reminder of the commitment they made to each other on their wedding day.” [2]


[1]A Modern Jewish Wedding Ceremony Guide: Rituals, History, And Jewish Traditions.https://www.artandsouleventsla.com/blog/2018/11/17/traditional-modern-jewish-wedding-ceremony-guide-outline, April 30, 2019


[2]A Modern Jewish Wedding Ceremony Guide: Rituals, History, And Jewish Traditions.https://www.artandsouleventsla.com/blog/2018/11/17/traditional-modern-jewish-wedding-ceremony-guide-outline, April 30, 2019

Having evolved into a document of loving commitment and often a work of art to commemorate the marriage. The modern Ketubah may today include elements of the wedding ceremony, vows, and other texts.

Some Internet Sites that offer Custom Made Ketubot


Choosing your ketubah text can be difficult, and
Ketubah.com is here to dissect and make the selection
process easy by answering the most commonly asked
text-related questions


Choosing your ketubah is a wonderful journey of self -exploration and defining yourselves as a couple. 

The Brit Ahuvim, or Lovers’ Covenant, written by Rachel Adler, a prominent Jewish feminist thinker, draws on biblical verses about covenant, calling marriage a covenant of distinction; a covenant of devotion; a covenant of mutual lovingkindness (full text here).


Once you know your Rabbi’s preferences, you have a number of options. You can select from one of the many Hebrew texts below, you can write your own ketubah text in English for our team to translate into Hebrew


These modern-era ketubah texts are both egalitarian and steeped in Jewish tradition. For couples seeking engagement with Jewish text and tradition as adapted to contemporary values.

We speak your language! In addition to Hebrew and English, we’ve prepared ketubahs with Spanish, Italian, Chinese, Korean, and Arabic texts. 


We also offer the option to compose your own text and have us calligraph it.


As we weave our two lives together into one, we promise to love, respect, encourage, and inspire one another. We will always endeavor to be open and honest, understanding and accepting, loving and forgiving, trusting of and loyal to one another. We promise to do the most that we can to bring out the best in the other. We will strive to bring to fruition both our shared and our individual hopes and dreams, always evolving together. Through life’s sorrows and challenges we will comfort and support one another, through life’s joys and pleasures we will laugh and celebrate together. For many years to come, may we maintain a relationship that fosters intimacy, honesty, and communication. Let us build a home that emanates warmth, generosity, and love, and may it be filled with the joyful voices of our family and friends. May our lives be blessed with harmony, health, and happiness. With our dearest family and friends as witnesses, we commit all this to each other. All this is valid and binding.

There’s no requirement that your ketubah be a beautiful work of art, in fact from a Jewish legal perspective it can be written on a paper napkin. But especially when you are giving real thought to the text of your ketubah, it can be meaningful to choose a ketubah design that you’ll want to frame and hang in your home–a testament to your shared values and a memento from your wedding day.