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Ketuv

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New Text: Rabbi Gordon Tucker’s Egalitarian Ketubah Text

posted by Arielle Angel on August 22, 2012

Ketuv is proud to announce the addition of a new Egalitarian ketubah text, developed by rabbi and scholar, Gordon Tucker. You can read Rabbi Tucker’s explanation of this text on RitualWell, but we will also give you some brief background here. The traditional ketubah text, as well as the traditional Jewish marriage ceremony (called kiddushin) is very problematic from an egalitarian perspective, as it is essentially a one-way agreement. Through a process called kinyan, the bride is “acquired” by the groom, creating a situation where, technically, the bride belongs exclusively to the groom, but not vice versa. There are many interpretations as to what this means spiritually (take this one, for example, from Chabad), and many reasons why most of the observant Jewish world still uses this model. But it is not right for all couples, and in response, rabbis like Rabbi Tucker and Dr. Rachel Adler have come up with distinctly Jewish egalitarian models of marriage. Rabbi Tucker is a rabbi ordained in the Conservative movement. Though his egalitarian text has no “official status” (i.e. it is not universally accepted by any one movement), it is a thoroughly Jewish text. It has been created with respect to halacha (Jewish law) and takes its precedent, in part, from ancient ketubot called the Palestinian ketubot with more mutuality in their structure (again, see Rabbi Tucker’s notes on RitualWell). This is why rabbis of many different denominational affiliations may suggest this text, or a text like it, to marrying couples within their communities. In fact, the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly just released their Brit Ahuvim ketubah text for same-sex couples with acknowledgement of Rabbi Tucker’s work to create an egalitarian model for Jewish marriage. As always, consult with your rabbi before purchasing your ketubah as to whether an “egalitarian” ketubah text is right for you. Here is Rabbi Tucker’s Egalitarian ketubah text: