Ketubot of the Sephardic Diaspora

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Bombay, India, 1911

Bride: Rivkah bat Binyamin
Groom: Shalom bar Aharon
Scribe: Naim ben Avraham ben Mashiah
Monday, 20 Menahem (Av) 5671 (August 14, 1911)
On paper

This magnificent ketubah was probably created for a Jewish couple of Baghdadi descent. Many Iraqi Jews came to India for purposes of commerce and trade when it was under British rule. The document is divided into two sections placed one above the other. The upper section in the shape of an oval contains traditional blessings for the bride and groom. The lower section contains the text of the ketubah proper. Dominating the decorations are two peacocks painted in a striking blue. Peacocks are a favorite motif in ketubot from Iran and India. They are both beautiful and regal. The crown would appear to stand for the ruling British empire. The outer border consists of verses from Psalm 137: "If I forget you, Jerusalem, may my right hand wither." and Psalm 128: "Happy is the person who fears God and walks in God's ways."

A full size, readable image of this Ketubah is available by following this link to the Beinecke's Digital Image Collection

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