Category Archives: ketubot

DRBR 16: More concerning the Adlers

Today we have a Shtar Halitza, which we might translate Contract promising release from levirate marriage. If you recall, Torah says that if I marry Reuven and he dies childless, I have to marry his brother Shimon in order to have children in Reuven’s name. If Shimon isn’t keen on that idea, he does halitza […]

DRBR 3: In which a ketubah is pre-printed and passed by the censor

DR4-L5 is a pre-printed ketubah from Russia, 1857, with gaps left for the names and date. We do this today. Nice to know we’ve been doing it for a long time. The ketubah’s in a folder with the passport of its owner, who was a cantor. One supposes he travelled a bunch; you’re supposed to […]

Ketubot when couples don’t have shared artistic visions

I would normally be out at gay square dancing right now, it being Tuesday evening (it’s really nice; they let straights in to dance), but I’m home nursing a cold so it doesn’t have a chance to turn into bronchitis, so I’m going to tell you about ketubot instead. Chum R just called, see. She’s […]


So I did this ketubah recently. It’s round, which is a new thing for me, and it has twelve-fold radial symmetry, and it’s scrumptious (Click the image to see a bigger version). Once it was done, it occurred to me that it would make a pretty awesome clock. You’d scan the ketubah and photoshop out […]

Fun with ketubot – Kells-inspired micrography

(Click to see bigger) Bride and groom, When we started this process, you said “I don’t think it could possibly work out, but I just had to give it a try.” You asked for something you thought was impossible, and it turned into something quite lovely. May your marriage have many similar shots at seemingly-impossible […]

Responsible fonting: scenes from the inbox

A question from someone typesetting a ketubah: “I’m using typefaces that have a hand-done feel to them, but obviously they are mechanical. There are some typefaces (Guttman Stam and Guttman Stam 1) that recreate a sofrut look. One of these uses taggin and one is plain. I have no pretension to be following sofrut laws, […]

Fun with ketubot – a pretty

“We like Rivka,” said my client, “but we’d like something more elaborate.” (Click to see bigger Rivka.) So this is what I did. (Click to see bigger Elaborate!Rivka.) Note particularly the SHINY PAINTS that sparkle in the light! I like this very much.

Fun with ketubot – Fruit of the Spirit

…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control… And the bride and groom took that and turned it into wishes for their marriage. Isn’t that nice? My black-letter script isn’t all it could be, but I’m very happy with how the illumination turned out. As well as […]

Fun with ketubot – 1830s Modena, part 5/5

So the last thing to do is fill in the text. First I learned the script, copying the original quite carefully. Then I used the techniques I talked about last summer, for fitting ketubah texts into given shapes, to fit the text into the available space. Exact text blurred for privacy reasons, but you get […]

Fun with ketubot – 1830s Modena, part 4/5

Faced with the task of copying an image from the internet and scaling it up to ketubah size, how does one go about it? Technique from primary school. Impose a grid onto your original, and copy each square into a scaled-up grid on your target medium. Printing the original picture gave me something on standard […]