Monday, November 14, 2011

Sponsored Post: Ketubahs by Amy Fagin at 20th Century Illuminations

Have you ever had a friend talk about signing a prenuptial agreement before getting married? They aren't always too pretty because of the idea behind them - that somehow this forever commitment that you're entering into will be finite.

The Jewish tradition includes a prenuptial agreement a part of the wedding ceremony, and makes the ketubot (the term for the agreement) actually quite beautiful. The ketubah texts often look like pages from a medieval illuminated manuscript - which makes sense, as the tradition has been followed for a very, very long time, reflecting the rich history of the Jewish people. The text of the contract has been adapted by Jewish communities while remaining in accordance with the ancient customs and traditions of the earliest practices.

'Paeonia Arbor' ketubah by Amy Fagin

But what exactly does it say? Basically, it's an agreement of the husband to the wife that he will provide to his wife three major things: clothing, food and conjugal relations. There are a few derivatives that can be added depending on the branch of Judaism that the couple follows, but that's the gist of it.

Traditionally the ketubah is signed and read aloud at the ceremony, later to be displayed prominently in the home as a reminder to the bride and the groom of the promises they made to each other. The beauty of the text - and the work of many ketubah artists, like Amy Fagin at 20th Century Illuminations - creates such a document to always draw the eye to the promises that have been made and will always be kept.

(Annie's favorite - 'Sweet Shelter')

The Jewish perspective is a bit different than the Western one in terms of what a prenuptial agreement means - it's not a preparation for the worst, but rather a reminder of the best. It's a good outlook, I think.
Amy Fagin at 20th Century Illuminations, as well as creating beautiful marriage contracts, also has a series of illuminated manuscripts called Beyond Genocide that "examines regions of the world where large scale episodes of genocide and mass annihilation have been perpetrated."

About the author: Nikki Farnsworth is a freelance writer who loves beautiful things, whether its a wedding blog, ketubot, technology or love. And sometimes it's just sitting down with a romantic movie and some good chocolate.

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