(These ketubah designs (and more) can be ordered from Ketubah.com).
Contact Baruch if you would like a custom design.
The biblical word v’ahavta that means “And you shall love...” is a fitting Hebrew word to adorn a Ketubah. The ketubah is a permanent reminder to the couple to cherish the feelings of love they feel for each other, and the love shared with family and friends under their Huppah, into their home and future married life. The word “v’ahavta” is found in Leviticus: “love your neighbour as yourself.” In addition to romantic love, the Torah commands us to treat each other, our family, our neighbours, even the casual passerby as we ourselves want to be treated. Rabbi Akiva goes so far as to claim that this is the most important verse in the Torah. And, the mezuzah, too, contains the word “v’ahavta” — the first word in the paragraph from the Sh’ma prayer recited daily that commands us to love God, live Jewishly and teach Judaism to our children. Framed and proudly displayed in their home, the Ketubah, like a mezuzah, identifies the home as one that affirms Jewish values.
Since Biblical times, flowers’ beauty and fragrance have been associated with love. The Song of Songs describes the opening of flowers after the winter rain. We still associate the rose with love, but each flower had its unique symbolic meaning. As different flowers and their colours represented different emotions, flower dictionaries that documented this language of flowers (called floriography) became popular. A bouquet was a visual poem that sent an encrypted message that might not be expressed aloud. Even today, children still use the daisy’s petals to discern a playmate's true love: he loves me, he loves me not. This ketubah uses flowers to communicate the word love literally. The ketubah background uses a high quality scan of flower petal paper. This paper (or similar paper) can be ordered for matching invitations.
This Ketubah is whimsically decorated with three simple images that encompass a couple’s married life: the Jewish home the couple is building, a moon that marks the holidays of the Jewish year and measures their time together, and the couple floating in a hot air balloon embarking on the ride of a lifetime! Even if you aren’t planning on travelling around the world for your honeymoon, life is often described as a journey. Instead of attempting to graphically represent a couple’s love or values, this ketubah's illustration focuses on the process of a lifetime of love: like a hot air balloon ride, one hopes the flight will be uplifting, and will have a soft landing. A hot air balloon ride can be romantic, magical, (occasionally bumpy) or even at times a little scary. Unlike most other forms of transportation, the final destination of a hot air balloon is uncertain. The pilot does his/her best to navigate, but the wind cannot be predicted exactly. So too, a couple makes the commitment to share in life’s joys and challenges. Once airborne, one sees the landscape below with a different perspective. And a hot air balloon ride is always best when done with someone you love.
For this Ketubah we wanted to strip away all the unnecessary decoration and ornamentation of traditional Ketubot, while still making a strong statement that would communicate the essence of the marriage contract’s meaning. By combining attractive typesetting with the English word love, simply written in large letters, we have created a modern, minimalist design that elegantly captures a couple’s feelings.