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Jordan Dotan Design Studio Graphics Logos Illustration Photography Concept
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Monday, March 17, 2008
by Batya Salzman Levy
You just never know what will do the trick, cause the click, that will turn a special event into something almost magical. In weddings, the focus is always, of course, on the couple making their vows. Changing their lives in a fundamental way, their view grows from me to us, from mine to ours. But at this wedding, it was the groom’s parents who changed their point of view – and all because of the ketubah.
The bride was Israeli, the groom Dutch. They had been married in a small ceremony in Holland, and had come to live in Israel. The wedding party was held in a lovely garden in a northern kibbutz, where the bride’s parents live. The groom’s parents were seated at the same table as myself and ketubah artist Dorit Jordan Dotan, who had gifted the couple with a fabulous ketubah.
Dorit and I explained what a ketubah is, where this one’s design came from, and about the traditional signing ceremony. We checked with the bride, who told us that although her and her husband’s name had been entered by Dorit previously, there had been no specific time or place set for a public witnessing or signing of the ketubah.
Immediately, whispered plans were made with the bride’s parents. Quickly, tables were moved, and the bride brought out her new ketubah, laying it down on our table before her new in-laws. Quiet was asked from the gathered guests. A few words were said about the role of ketubah witnesses, who avow publicly that the couple’s pledges to each other are of their free will and made in love. A pen was produced, whereupon the groom’s parents added their names to the ketubah. Applause and cheers came from the guests, and the parents received many “mazel tovs”, hugs and blessings from those around them.
It all took about 15 minutes, but their glow lasted well into the night. Untraditional, yes; not the “regular” way, but the simple matter of their inclusion in ritual, their participation in ceremony, had brought them more meaning and sense of connectedness than all of the toasts and fine food. The ketubah became the vehicle for their fresh focus toward the new couple. Something had clicked.