I love the idea of ketubahs–they strike me as the best souvenirs on the planet. Not only will Suzie and I get to have a really wonderful smushy public moment, but we’ll get to take something home and hang it on the wall afterwards! I love that there will be an aesthetically beautiful document that is symbolic of our love and commitment hanging framed in our home for all to see for the rest of our lives.
I don’t really care what’s in it. It could be a symbolic chinese take-out menu for all I care, so long as it’s framed and pretty and has some kind of meaning to us.
What I do care about is what it looks like. Though this sounds horribly superficial, in my mind the aesthetic appearance of the ketubah is about the transcendent nature of art. One doesn’t have to understand Hebrew or English or even words at all to be deeply moved by a beautiful work of art, the same way that sometimes I can look into Suzie’s eyes and she doesn’t have to say anything at all for me to understand her. I love the fact that when you see a ketubah in someone’s home, you can tell just by looking at it that it’s a document about love. They’re always so beautiful…
However, despite the fact that I only value the aesthetics, Suzie cares deeply about what’s in the text of the ketubah. That’s why we’re not technically having a ketubah; we’re having a “shtar shtutafut” (I would worry about spelling, but it’s transliteration anyway). Apparently, a ketubah usually says something about one partner acquiring the other, and it also has some relatively boring Jewish legalese. We’re going to have a document wherein we pledge our love and commitment to each other, so technically it’s a shtar. Great!
I still don’t really care that much about the distinction between a shtar and a ketubah, but I’m glad that we’ll have something meaningful to take home with us.
Lag B Blog, day 5.
P.S. Suzie and I are making the art for our shtar ourselves… more about that later.