The ketubbot digitization project aims to create a worldwide registry of ketubbot in public and private collections throughout the world. Based on the collection of the Jewish National and University Library with over 1200 items, the project contains ketubbot originating from dozens of different countries, and covering a time period of over 900 years. It is a major resource for research in Jewish history, law and art.
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The Ketubah is a Jewish marriage contract that is being used for thousands years. It was and it still is a very important document of the Jewish marriage. It is important not only as a social statement but also as a legal document. It serves as a legal protection for a wife in case of being widowed or in the case the marriage is annulled. The document describes the financial situation of the woman and her legal claims to a part of her husbands property. It is recorded in the ketubah even in the present days, with the sum of money specified to be paid by the groom to his wife following his death or in case of a divorce. A minimum sum is the amount of money which can support a divorced woman for a year or one third of her husbands property.
Later on the marriage contract was widened for other important measures concerning the common life in marriage ( the man has to care for the woman, feed her, dress her, buy her out in the case of kidnapping, provide medical help etc.). During the wedding ceremony the husband signs the contract and after the two witnesses co-sign it, the marriage document is passed to the bride. Ketubah is therefore a legal document protecting the woman and in the marriage it is a womans private property.
In case the husband breaks the contract, his wife is entitled to appeal to the Jewish court named beyt din. In the case that bejt din concludes that the woman is right, the marriage be disolved.
The text of the ketubah has been developing through ages, new protective articles being added continuously.