Marriage contracts, 1813-1843



Marriage contracts, 1813-1843



Digital Identifier



Marriage contracts between members of Congregation Mikveh Israel, from 1813 to 1843. The names of bride and groom have been penciled in at the top of the page for most entries.

The Jewish marriage contract is called a ketubah, and is traditionally written in Aramaic. Ketubot (plural) are fairly standardized and usually read like this:

In Good Augury
On the... [day] in the week, in the... month, the year... from the creation of the world, according to the count that we are counting here... , ... the son of... said to this... the daughter of..., "Be my wife, according to the law of Moses and Israel. And I will work to honor , feed, and support you, according to the laws of Jewish men, who faithfully work to honor, feed and support their wives. And I will give you... silver zuz... , which is due to you...; and your food, clothing and needs and to live with you in the manner of the whole world." And Miss ... here agreed and became his wife. And this dowry that she brought in to him from the house of... - whether in silver, in gold, in jewelry, in clothing apparel, in houseware or in bedclothes - our groom has assumed upon himself for... pieces of refined silver. And our groom... agreed and added another... pieces of refined silver from his own corresponding to them - all in all... pieces of refined silver. And our groom... said as follows, "I accept responsibility upon myself and upon my inheritors after me for this marriage contract, for this dowry and for this addition (to the dowry), to be paid from all the best of my properties and possessions under all the skies, that I have acquired or that I will acquire in the future. Whether they are properties that are liened or are not liened, they are all liable and guarantee payment of this marriage contract, this dowry and this addition from me - and even from the cloak on my shoulder. [This holds] during my lifetime and after my lifetime, from today and forever." And our groom... has accepted responsibility and the stringencies of this marriage contract, this dowry and this addition, in accordance with the stringencies of all marriage contracts, dowries and additions customary with regards to the daughters of Israel that are made according to the ordinance of our Sages, may their memory be blessed. This is not like a conjectural agreement nor like a contract template. And it has been validated by our groom... the son of... towards... the daughter of... here about everything that is written and specified above with an object fit to make such a validation (kinyan). It is all binding and established.




Congregation Mikveh Israel, Philadelphia, PA

Holding Institution

Congregation Mikveh Israel, Philadelphia, PA


115 pages

Format (Original)

Format (Digital)








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