Some Ketubah Comments from Wikipedia

Wikipedia makes two interesting points about Ketubot, which we will explore in more detail later on. I just want to throw them out for everyone to think about. First:

The ketubah is a significant popular form of Jewish ceremonial art. Ketubot have been made in a wide range of designs, usually following the tastes and styles of the era and region in which they are made. Many couples follow the Jewish tradition of hiddur mitzvah which calls for ceremonial objects such as the ketubah to be made as beautiful as possible.

In other words, it is a Mitvah — hiddur mitvah — to design the Ketubah as beautifully as possible. Many of you probably knew this; I didn’t, I will confess.

Secondly, on displaying the Ketubah in the couple’s house, La Wik says:


Ketubot are often hung prominently in the home by the married couple as a daily reminder of their vows and responsibilities to each other.

However, in some communities, the ketubah is either displayed in a very private section of the home or is not displayed at all. Various reasons given for this include the fact that the details specify personal details, prominent display may invite jealousy or fears of the evil eye.

That is to say: the Ketubah is usually displayed in the house, as my parents and Grandparents did–but they are Ashkenazi. But this custom is weaker among the Sephardim, due to their not wanting to publicize the details of the contract. Luckily, few people today read ancient Aramaic.


The Ketubah: With or Without Trees?

The classic Ketubah has a tree in it: the symbol of nature, of vitality, of life–of the Garden that Began it all.

But must it?

The Ketubah, in its essence, must represent the circle of life: not just the man and woman (as in the American tradition); not just the two families uniting (as in the continental European tradition–think of the opening words of Romeo and Juliet!); but in the full Jewish sense, of the evolutionary cycle of life preparing to reach its height–of nature getting ready to recreate itself, once again in Hashem’s image.

This is not a Ketubah creates Ketubot drawing from a wide array of powerful imagery–ancient and modern. The guitar is a symbol of music, of lust and love, of wordless passion, since long before the ancient lyres existed. The circles represent wheels and the most basic human shapes. The optical illusions recall the rainbow, the bright colors after the storm coming together so perfectly.

The Ketubah, in other words, isn’t just art–it is about the continuation of the ancient tradition, about the culmination of the life cycle. It is about the ever-turning wheels of history.

This is precisely why we must hang a beautiful Ketubah on our wall upon marriage: to constantly humble us, to always remind us of our low position in this world. We will return to where we all came from, dust. So we might as well do it in style.


Combining Tradition and Modernity

We have built This is not a Ketubah around a few of our passions and philosophies. In these blog posts, we are going to discuss and explain them to you.

One of our core beliefs–that we’ll discuss briefly today–is: combining traditions and modernity.

We are dedicated to carving out our own niche brining these together in explosive ways.

Many Jews we know are very into our amazing and cherished traditions: our sacred study of the bible, observing the Sabbath, the many fasts, putting on the Tefillin. We do, too. Many Jews we know and we grew up with who follow closely our traditions, in many ways, shun aspects of the modern world: studying in a Yeshiva rather than a secular school, or only socializing with other Jews.

At the other extreme, most Jews we know who accept the modern world, have also lost the essence of their religion: continuing to be “cultural Jews”, appreciating Woody Allen and telling jokes about the overprotective Jewish mother–yet losing our core rituals that hold us together. Most Jewish Woody Allen fans do not observe the Sabbath, we would guess.

But those who don’t follow the tradition–it’s the fault of the tradition, not the individual. The tradition doesn’t speak to them, it hasn’t updated its language to connect with them. Of course they will be lost.

At This is not a Ketubah, part of our vision is to help young Jews, just embarking on married life, to reconnect with their spirituality in a powerful way. Our way to do that is to keep our tradition–and use the same, sacred Wedding Contract that Jews have used for thousands of years–but to create it in a way that young Jews want to engage with!

My grandparents and parents hang their Ketubot on their wall in their house, respectively. But I wouldn’t want to hang theirs: they scare me off, they are not pretty, they are too Jew-y, too nature-y. They don’t fit in with the awesome, modern look of my apartment.

This is not a Ketubah wants to solve precisely that problem: with a Ketubah as fun, modern–yet very high quality art–we create Ketubot that I, myself, want to hang on my wall. The best way, after all, to create a company is to start by creating a product that you, personally, would want to use. And this is precisely how This is not a Ketubah has begun.


Now Live: A few Awesome Ketubot

Friends, family, and fans —

We have been quietly working away, preparing to put some of our favorite Ketubot on the site. We’re very excited.

Stay tuned. We just wanted to give you a beep to tell you that we’re here, scribbling and drawing away.


PS: The site is now live!!! Look around to see if you want to find some awesome, modern and contemporary Ketubahs!


This is not a Ketubah — it’s a Web site about a Team that makes Ketubahs!

Welcome to This Is Not a Ketubah.

This is, indeed, not a Ketubah. Nor is this a Pipe.

This is a web site about a team of New York and PorteƱo (someone from Buenos Aires) Jews who love creating fun, modern, awesome Ketubot to celebrate Jewish weddings.

Welcome to our site, and welcome to our world.

If you have any questions, or if you want to join our world, or if you want to learn more about making Ketubot — or about the Jewish world of Buenos Aires! — then come drop us a note. We love talking about Ketubot and Jewish weddings and we have a lot to say!

Morgan, Yael & Team Ketubah


Ketubah Couple Zach & Jess: A Beautiful Family Signing

In a stunningly beautiful wedding taking place at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City, Jess and Zach were surrounded by family and friends in a beautiful signing ceremony we wish we could have seen! Led by both a Rabbi and Reverend together, the touching Ketubah signing ceremony made Team Ketubah proud to be part of such a joyous event!

Just wanted to say that Zach and I received the Ketubah last night and we are overjoyed! (It brought a tear to our eyes. :)) It’s really perfect. Thank you and your team for all of your help putting it together”
Jess Gozur & Zach Fass
FassForward Consulting

Rothko-ish Ketubah I

When we first spoke with Jess & Zach, they loved the idea of having a Ketubah at her wedding but she wasn’t sure where to start! After they fell in love with the Rothko-ish Ketubah I, we couldn’t wait to get started on personalizing the text to create something truly special for the wedding day. Mazal Tov!

The wedding was officiated by Rabbi Stuart Paris and Reverend Enid Kessler, who lead beautifully meaningful and personal interfaith ceremonies. Read more about them at Interfaith4You. Thanks to Fred Marcus Photography for the beautiful shots!

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