Thursday, August 25, 2011

What is the Ketuba? (Part 2)

The Ketubah is the document that states the duties of the husband toward his wife. The financial duties that would come to be honored in the event of the cessation of marriage (see previous HOTD here) and the marital obligations of the husband towards his wife, while married.

There are three basic marital obligations, based on the Biblical commandment stated in Shemot 21:10, which if the husband fails to fulfill it might be considered a legal ground for divorce.

These three obligations are in fact three categories: 1.Food. 2. Clothing and 3. Marital intimacy.

The first category, 'Food' includes all the basic needs the Jewish husband must grant to his wife. Providing for her shelter and for her health (today: health insurance) is also part of this category.

As an illustration, let us see what the Talmud, written 1500 years ago, describes as the minimum standard provisions a Jewish husband used to give his wife in those times:
*enough bread for at least two meals a day
*sufficient oil for cooking and for lighting purposes
*sufficient wood for cooking
*fruit and vegetables
*three meals consisting of fish and meat, for Shabbat
*a silver coin each week, as pocket money for her discretionary expenses.

It goes without saying that these categories are fulfilled differently according to the time and place where one lives, and especially according to the husbands's affordability.

(To be continued)

Watch, learn and enjoy:
"The four ways to marry the wrong person", by Aish.