Ketubot of the Sephardic Diaspora

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Jerusalem, Israel, 1888

Bride: Rahel [?] bat [?]
Groom: Nisim Gershon ben [?]
Wednesday, 3 Kislev 5649 (November 7, 1888)
On paper

This ketubah demonstrates the distinctive stylistic features that characterized ketubot from Jerusalem and the three other holy cities of the Holy Land (Hebron, Tiberius, and Safed) in the 19th century when it was part of the Ottoman Empire. It is divided into two sections. The upper register is shaped with a knob at the top and contains a large vase filled with branches in the center. The lower register contains the text in an arched, floral frame. The script is in a Sephardic cursive hand. The names of the bride and groom are written in enlarged block letters. The text is flanked on either side with statements relating to the blessings of a wife written in Hebrew block letters. On the left is a quote from Ecclesiastes 9:9a "Enjoy life with a wife you love." On the right one finds a saying that appears on many ketubot and begins with "He who has found a wife has found goodness."

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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