Song of Songs Ketubah
The Song of Songs Ketubah
The Song of Songs Ketubah employs glowing color, Moorish geometry and papercutting to symbolize the complexity and beauty of the love between husband and wife and the importance of Jewish culture and tradition in the home they create. The full text of The Song of Songs is woven through the design in micrography. Printed in brilliant color, with hand-applied gold color on fine heavy-weight paper, the ketubah is available in several text versions, detailed below. Your ketubah will be accompanied by a decoratively printed copy of the following About the Ketubah description.
About the Ketubah The ketubah, or Jewish marriage contract, is part of a tradition stretching back to the days of the Mishnah, the early compilation of Jewish law accomplished by the third century of the Common Era. The traditional Aramaic text used today is the formula codified by the sage, Rabbi Gershom the Light of the Exile, in the eleventh century Rhineland. In the American Jewish community it has become frequent practice to include a modern egalitarian English text, expressing the couple’s ethical and romantic pledges to one another. In the Reform movement, such egalitarian texts, presented in modern Hebrew and English, altogether replace the traditional formulation. The egalitarian texts used here were composed for me by Dr. Arnold Band, the eminent scholar of Hebrew literature. I designed the artwork to express the complexity and beauty of the love between husband and wife and the importance of Jewish culture and tradition in the home they create together. Woven throughout the composition is the entire text of the book of The Song of Songs, traditionally ascribed to King Solomon, which contains much of the most beloved love poetry not only in Jewish culture, but in all of Western civilization. The micrography, or tiny writing, in which the Song is inscribed is a uniquely Jewish art-form, and has been a part of the Hebrew scribal arts since early medieval years. The painted and papercut elements of the artwork are reminiscent of the Moorish visual vocabulary within which the Jews of the Sephardic Golden Age lived, learned, composed poetry and created extraordinary Hebrew manuscript art. The eighteen petals of the floral form of the artwork allude to the Hebrew word “chai,” meaning “life.” The thirty six painted areas and hand-applied gold stars indicate that two souls are joined for life. The papercut roses in the corners are associated with beauty in the text of the Song, and are shown in bud, open flower and fruit, symbolizing the full life cycle. The Magen David-shaped miniature painting in the center reminds us of Jerusalem’s significance as the cultural and spiritual center of Judaism, and is surrounded by the beloved phrase, “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine,” drawn from The Song of Songs 6:3. Please note that the papercuts on the lithograph are printed. Availability and Prices The Song of Songs Ketubah has been printed in an edition limited to a total of 300, available in the following text variants:
- Traditional Aramaic text with my egalitarian English
- Traditional Aramaic only, with no English text
- Reform Egalitarian Hebrew and English. Suitable also for interfaith weddings
- No text, available for your own text (length permitting)
The price for any of the above versions is $250 US. Personalization is available for any of the with-text versions for $50 US . Please allow 2-4 weeks for receipt of the ketubah, although faster service and express shipping are available for a rush fee. The fee for adding a complete customized text to the no-text version will be determined by me upon reviewing the customer’s desired text. The cost of shipping within the continental US is $15. Please contact me for further ordering information. Payment may be made by personal check or credit card, at your convenience.