|Ketubah (wedding contract)
In Jewish tradition there is a Marriage contract, called a Ketubah, that defines the relationship in terms of commitment and financial aspects. Many couples today prefer to write their own contract reflecting their own joint perspective of their commitment, one to the other: The word ketubah literally means "that which is written." It is a contract that a man makes with a woman, obligating the chatan (the groom) to serve, cherish, sustain, and support the kallah (the bride) in truth. Traditionally, It is interesting to note that although the entire ketubah is written in Aramaic, the language of the Babylonian Jews, the date is written in Hebrew. In particular, the Hebrew word for month, chodesh, is used. The word chodesh is derived from the word chadash, meaning "new," and it therefore denotes renewal. Every wedding may be seen as the beginning of a new world.
Here is an example of a modern day Ketubah this couple has chosen to write:
"On the 17th of Iyar, in the year 5756, the 6th of May 1996, in the presence of our families and our communities, Ariela, daughter of Sondra and Bernard Krakower and Evon Krakower (RIP) and Alon, son of Trudy and Harry Fellerman entered this shared life covenant saying...
"We come together in a desire and commitment to create a relationship based upon love, trust, and mutual respect. We aim to be a source of positive reinforcement for each other with patience and understanding in difficult times. We will build our lives together, drawing on the inspiration and resources of our heritages' and of Mother Earth ...
"In the earth we acknowledge our duty to nourish each other and provide for each other's physical needs, and will create an atmosphere of security and stability, grounded in deep roots of commitment one to the other.
"Through the air we will learn to share each other's thoughts, wisdom and inspiration on both an intellectual and spiritual level, expanding our self awareness through honest, loving feedback, and a healthy sense of humour.
"With the fire, we will nurture the sparks of each other's creativity and support the transformation of this energy into realising our fullest potential as individuals and in partnership. We will embrace the differences between us and the changes we will go through as catalysts for growth and development.
"From the water we will draw the courage to face our deepest feelings and the ability to flow with our intuition and inner truths, constantly discovering each other through channels of honest communication and true listening. We will strive together along our chosen ways towards healing and harmony.
"The door to our house will be open to give and receive love and support, amongst our families, our friends and our community. Deriving strength from each other and these circles, we will continue to work for equality, together exploring the boundaries beyond the traditional gender roles, pursue justice and peace, and seek a holistic lifestyle that treads lightly upon the earth and positively in the lives of those with whom we connect. No walls or boundaries will surround our house.
"With the signatures of the witnesses and by the presence of the community, we declare the above legitimate and binding. Blessed be."