Robert Saslow Design:FAQ

  1. Which ketubah text is right for us?
  2. How are the texts different?
  3. How is the ketubah personalized?
  4. What do I write on the personalization form under “Hebrew Name?”
  5. What if I do not know the Hebrew date?
  6. Why do I need to indicate whether the ceremony is occurring before or after sundown?
  7. There is a question on the form about the “regel of the koof”. What is this?
  8. Refund Policy

 

1. Which ketubah text is right for us?
Choosing the correct ketubah text is as important as choosing the right ketubah design. Some wedding officiants may only sign a ketubah with a certain text; others may refuse to sign a ketubah with a certain text. It is recommended that you look over the various text options and print out copies to show to your wedding officiant for approval.
View text choices »

 

2. How are the texts different?
Here is a brief description of the six different texts that are offered:

  • Aramaic Only: This is the traditional ketubah text composed in Aramaic (not Hebrew) over 2000 years ago. It spells out the groom’s contractual obligations to support his bride. Read a translation of the Aramaic text following this section.
  • Aramaic with Modern English: This text pairs the traditional Aramaic text (see above) with a modern, less-contractual English text written by Robert Saslow. Read a translation of the Aramaic text following this section.
  • Conservative with Modern English: The Conservative movement of Judaism modified the traditional Aramaic text with an additional paragraph known as the Lieberman Clause. This is the 1990 version approved by the Rabbinical Assembly. It is paired with a modern, less-contractual English text written by Robert Saslow. Read a translation of the Conservative Aramaic text and the Lieberman Clause following this section.
  • Egalitarian (Modern Hebrew and English): This is a modern egalitarian text written by Robert Saslow. The Hebrew is a direct translation of the English. This text is also appropriate for same-gender couples.
  • Alternative Egalitarian (Interfaith): This modern egalitarian text is appropriate for interfaith couples. The introductory paragraph in Hebrew is a direct translation of the first paragraph of the English text. This text is also appropriate for same-gender couples.
  • Non-Denominational: This modern egalitarian, faith-neutral text is appropriate for interfaith couples. It is also appropriate for same-gender couples.
  • Blank: This ketubah is printed blank for couples wishing to compose their own text. Contact the artist for more information.

Translation of the traditional Aramaic text:

On the _____ day of the week, the _________day of the month ______ in the year five thousand seven hundred and ______ since the creation of the world, the era according to which we reckon here in the city of ________ that ________ son of _________ said to this (bridal status) _________daughter of _____.
”Be my wife according to the practice of Moses and Israel, and I will cherish, honor, support and maintain you in accordance with the custom of Jewish husbands who cherish, honor, support and maintain their wives faithfully. And I here present you with the marriage gift of (bridal status), _______ silver zuzim, which belongs to you, according to the law of Moses and Israel; and I will also give you your food, clothing and necessities, and live with you as husband and wife according to universal custom.” And Miss_____, this (bridal status) consented and became his wife. The trousseau that she brought to him from her (father’s) house in silver, gold, valuables, clothing, furniture and bedclothes, all this ________, the said bridegroom accepted in the sum of ______ silver pieces, and ______ the bridegroom, consented to increase this amount from his own property with the sum of _______ silver pieces, making in all _______ silver pieces. And thus said __________, the bridegroom: “The responsibility of this marriage contract, of this trousseau, and of this additional sum, I take upon myself and my heirs after me, so that they shall be paid from the best part of my property and possession that I have beneath the whole heaven, that which I now possess or may hereafter acquire. All my property, real and personal, even the shirt from my back, shall be mortgaged to secure the payment of this marriage contract, of the trousseau, and of the addition made to it, during my lifetime and after my death, from the present day and forever.” _______, the bridegroom, has taken upon himself the responsibility of this marriage contract, of the trousseau and the addition made to it, according to the restrictive usages of all marriage contracts and the additions to them made for the daughters of Israel, according to the institution of our sages of blessed memory. It is not to be regarded as a mere forfeiture without consideration or as a mere formula of a document. We have followed the legal formality of symbolic delivery (kinyan) between ______the son of _______, the bridegroom and _______ the daughter of _______ this (bridal status), and we have used a garment legally fit for the purpose, to strengthen all that is stated above, and everything is valid and confirmed.

Attested to________________________ Witness

Attested to________________________ Witness

Lieberman Clause: This paragraph, known as the Lieberman Clause, is added near the end of the above Traditional Aramaic text.

And both together agreed that if this marriage shall ever be dissolved under civil law, then either husband or wife may invoke the authority of the Bet Din of the Rabbinical Assembly and the Jewish Theological Seminary of America or its duly authorized representatives, to decide what action by either spouse is then appropriate under Jewish matrimonial law; and if either spouse shall fail to honor the demand of the other or to carry out the decision of the Beth Din or its representative, then the other spouse may invoke any and all remedies available in civil law and equity to enforce compliance with the Bet Din’s decision and this solemn obligation.

 

3. How is the ketubah personalized?
While a couple may occasionally opt to have a family member, friend, or wedding officiant fill-in the ketubah, most choose to have the artist personalize the document with matching calligraphy. The personalization is hand-calligraphed with rich, black, fadeless Japanese sumi ink. Please note that Robert Saslow Design cannot be held responsible for errors made by others filling-in the artwork.

 

4. What do I write on the personalization form under “Hebrew Name” if I (or my partner, or our parents) cannot spell or cannot remember or do not have a Hebrew name?

If you cannot write out the Hebrew names with Hebrew letters, just fill in a transliteration. For example, just write in “Devorah” or “Yitzchak” with English letters. Hebrew names all have standard spellings.

If you cannot remember your Hebrew name, try checking with your parents or other family members, looking at other documents (naming certificates, bar/bat mitzvah certificates, ketubot, etc.), or checking at a synagogue that might have your family’s membership information.

If you do not have a Hebrew name, and if you desire to have one, you can work with a rabbi or clergy person to choose a name.

If you do not have, and do not want a Hebrew name, simply write your everyday name in the blank and it will be transliterated for you into Hebrew letters. For example, the name “Bonnie” or “Richard” will be spelled out using Hebrew letters. It will read the same when pronounced.

 

5. What if I do not know the Hebrew date?
If you provide the secular date, and indicate whether the ceremony is before or after sundown, the Hebrew date can be looked up by the calligrapher.

 

6. Why do I need to indicate whether the ceremony is occurring before or after sundown?

Unlike the dates of our secular calendar, which change to the next calendar date at midnight, the dates of the Hebrew calendar change at sundown. It is necessary to know whether the ceremony is before or after sundown to determine the correct Hebrew date.

If you are marrying on a Saturday evening, before or near sundown, please check with your rabbi, cantor, or officiant if he or she is going to take issue with your ketubah showing you are marrying during the Sabbath! Many rabbis will want the ketubah to read that the ceremony is taking place AFTER the Sabbath, even if your festivities begin prior to sundown. Thus, the ketubah will indicate that the wedding is taking place on the FIRST day of the week, that is, the first day of the Hebrew week, which begins at sundown on Saturday.

 

7. There is a question on the form about the “regel of the koof”. What is this?
This applies to traditional texts only (Orthodox or Conservative). There is a single stroke of a single letter in a single word in the traditional text that is left incomplete by the calligrapher. This final stroke is completed at the ketubah signing, either by the officiant (as a kind of “seal of approval” that everything contained in the document is in order), or by the groom himself (that he might have a hand in writing his own ketubah). Some wedding officiants just ask that the calligrapher fill it in so it matches exactly, others want it left out so they can put the final touch on the ketubah.

 

8. REFUND POLICY
While every effort is made to create a perfect ketubah for each couple, mistakes occasionally occur. Please make sure the personalization form is 100% accurate before you approve it and fax/email it! If necessary, check with your rabbi/cantor/officiant for questions about Hebrew names!

If an error is made on the part of Robert Saslow Design, the ketubah will be replaced at no charge to the couple.

If an error is made as the result of faulty information given to Robert Saslow Design, the physical ketubah will be replaced at 50% of the retail cost, plus any calligraphy and shipping fees at the couple’s expense.

In certain cases, errors can be corrected right on the artwork, and if the ketubah is returned in good condition, and the shipping fees and correction fee is paid, the original ketubah can be salvaged and used.Refunds on UNFILLED ketubot will be made if, and only if, the artwork is returned in RE-SELLABLE condition!