A ketubah is a Jewish marriage contract. In ancient days, it was used to describe a husband’s responsibilities to his wife–including his financial commitments if the marriage ever ended in divorce. These days, the ketubah usually plays a largely symbolic role, a written and visual representation of the vows that both parties are taking.
In recent years, artists have used the ketubah as a jumping-off point to create original pieces of art. This “wedding” (so to speak) of religious ritual and art can be meaningful on a spiritual level, and personally meaningful to the new couple as well. These new ketubot are as varied as CoolKetubah‘s ultra-modern art, with Andy Warhol-like prints of trees or Hebrew letters, or the retro feel of Mat Tonti’s hand-calligraphed ketubot–some looking like an illuminated manuscript, others almost comic book-like.
There’s no requirement for how a ketubah should look. In some way, it’s a curse, one more choice that has to be made by the couple-to-be. But it also means the design and creativity is unlimited–as limitless, and as full of potential, as the marriage itself.
February 3, 2011