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Custom Ketubah – David and Sarah Tel Aviv, Israel

Design and symbolism: This Ketubah was a created for a couple, originally from France, who got married in Tel Aviv. The couple had a relatively clear idea in mind of the elements and design they wished to incorporate in their Ketubah. Their wish was for something summery and light, filled with joy and celebration.

 

  • Trees and heart: The trees are a recurring theme in traditional Ketubot, representing the tree of life as well as a connection to roots, growth and the life cycle.  These specific trees appeared as two trees connected at the top by the quote and birds. The couple wanted two of the tree branches to look like a heart, and colorful flowers decorate both tree-trunks, around the text, as a joyful decoration.

 

  • Doves: The couple requested to have doves in their Ketubah, representing peace and pureness, and holding up their romantic quote of choice.
  • Jerusalem: The city of Jerusalem is another recurring theme in the historic tradition of Ketubah design, a reminder of the couples personal connection the the city and a link to the mentioning of Jerusalem in the Jewish ceremony itself. At the end of the ceremony the groom traditionally says the words from Psalms: "If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning...". This Jerusalem is specifically and deliberately bright colored to add to the general joyfulness.

 

  • Small Chuppah with bride and groom: The couple requested to have a small image of a bride and groom under the Chuppah at the bottom of the Ketubah – this is both a traditional theme appearing in many historic Ketubot, as well as a way to remember their own personal moment as bride and groom under the Chuppah. They requested for the bride and groom to be painted in a style similar to a Jewish artist they love – Marc Chagall – reminiscent of his famous painting of a floating bride depicted in the skies of the Russian Jewish shtetl he remembered from childhood.

 

Quotes, text and words: The quote held up above by the doves is taken from is taken from Song of Songs (Song of Solomon):

״אני לדודי ודודי לי״ שיר השירים ו׳, ג

״I am my beloved and my beloved is mine״ Song of Songs 6:3

  • The sketch: Based on the couple's requests, after discussing imagery and ideas, an initial sketch was prepared, and sent to the couple for approval and/ or for any possible edits or remarks.

 

  • Materials and techniques: The final Ketubah was created on high quality Arches® watercolor paper, initially writing the text in calligraphy and illustrating the first word of the text. The text was hand written in calligraphy, in a Yerushalmi font, using black Chinese black ink. The Ketubah was then painted in tempera, Gouache and colorful ink.

 

  • Reaching its final destination: Finally, the finished Ketubah was carefully transported handed to the couple in Tel Aviv.

The Ketubah's text in calligraphy (the personal details are deliberately concealed

The Ketubah at the wedding:

© All rights reserved to Nehama Grenimann Bauch 2016

E-Mail: nehamaketubah@gmail.com