I recently became engaged and my fiancée said we need to get a ketubah. Can you explain what a ketubah is?

Answered by
Rabbi Victor S. Appell

Ketubah means “written” and has come to refer to the Jewish marriage contract. An ancient document, the ketubah represented an advancement in women’s status by protecting the rights of the bride. In its original form and written in Aramaic, the ketubah specified such things as the bride price, the dowry, and the groom’s responsibility to support his wife. The ketubah is read just prior to the wedding ceremony or during the ceremony. Today, the ketubah is usually written in Hebrew and English, and rather than financial obligations, the ketubah often includes the spiritual and religious aspirations of the couple and the household they are forming by their union. Many wording options are available and couples sometimes write their own ketubah text, creating a personal and egalitarian document. Ketubot (plural of ketubah) have become works of art and many couples hang their ketubah in their home.

Learn more about the Ketubah from the Bimbam video below: