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Ketubah 42

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Maya and Daniel's Ketubah.

From the wedding program: "In celebration of this special day, we commissioned Israeli artist Archie Granot to prepare a unique papercut that integrates two separate Jewish documents, a ketubah (marriage contract) and a shtar ha'tanoim (a declaration of the couple's intentions).These documents reflect our commitment to embracing tradition while simultaneously making the tradition personally relevant and meaningful to us.

The papercut has been divided into two halves, with the texts of this document comprising half of a circle that will eventually be joined and hung together, forming a complete circle.The two central texts are surrounded by a latticework of circles and squares interspersed with Hebrew verses that have been incorporated into the papercut. These verses are Hebrew passages written by Dan as modifications to the Eshet Chayil poem, Proverbs 31:10-31, which Dan sang to Maya when he asked her to marry him. The translated passages are: She seeks paint and brush, and works with her hands willingly. She dedicates her heart to her friends, and her ears are always open. She brings beauty to the world, and she organizes her home. A woman with a broad heart shall be praised.

The first document is a traditional ketubah written in Aramaic (the language of Israel in the Second Temple period) and widely used in Orthodox Jewish ceremonies. The ketubah is an ancient legal document with roots that stretch back more than 2000 years. Historically, the ketubah was a one-sided document that exclusively spelled out the duty of a husband to his wife to "work for, honor, support and maintain" her. While the document was progressive for its time in securing the bride's legal rights within the marriage, it is certainly evocative of a different era. Nonetheless, the document memorializes the commitment that Maya and Dan are making today to live together as husband and wife in a home committed to the celebration of Jewish tradition.

The second document is the shtar, which we wrote together as a declaration of our mutual intentions and which Dan translated into Hebrew. The shtar reflects our shared commitment to each other, and our intention to build our lives by immersing ourselves in Jewish tradition and adapting it to modernity. In doing so, we demonstrate our love and respect for ancient traditions while actively contributing to their evolution. While we honor our past and our commitment to Jewish tradition, our shtar is reflective of our modern Jewish egalitarian values".

The middle image below shows the rewritten text that Daniel sang.

Size: 18" x 18"
7 layers of paper, hand cut with surgical scalpel
Year: 2009
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