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Jewish Weddings

Cloth for Ketubah?

Hello!

I met with one of my officiants the other day (a cantor), and she mentioned that I needed a cloth or a handkerchief to lay over the ketubah?  My Rabbi didn't list this in my "things I need for the ceremony" paperwork.  Can someone please explain this to me? What's it for? Does it need to be big enough to cover the whole thing?  Does it have to be pretty, or do I just need something functional?

Thanks!
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Re: Cloth for Ketubah?

  • RachiemooRachiemoo member
    Tenth Anniversary 500 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    i haven't heard of this....
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  • edited December 2011
    Neither have I... sorry!
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  • silversparkssilversparks member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    The groom takes an object (usually a handkerchief) from the rabbi (or officiant) when he signs the ketubah indicating that he is accepting the responsibilities that have been defined in the document  - this is the "kinyan" or a symbolic acquisition
    So my best bet is that when your officiant said you need a cloth to put over  the ketubah, she intends that you need a cloth to use for the kinyan when you sign the ketubah (and your FI would pick it up from on top of the ketubah, thereby signifying the "kinyan")
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  • Musicheals71Musicheals71 member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    I never heard of this either, is it really necessary?
  • edited December 2011
    Thanks for the explanation, I've never heard of this either and am still not sure I totally understand.

    I have to say, now that I'm getting into the details, I'm a bit surprised at how much my cousin is sticking to all the traditions.  Way moreso than my conservative Rabbi.  I guess now I understand why she was so horrified when I said I didn't think I was doing a bedecken and not circling.
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  • Musicheals71Musicheals71 member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    But, Cara, you need to remind her that circling is not required to have a Jewish wedding.  If you don't want to do it, she cannot force you.
  • edited December 2011
    I know, I just hate disappointing her.  She was SO excited when we asked her to do our wedding, I feel bad stomping all over her traditions.
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  • silversparkssilversparks member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Because the kinyan has an impact on the legal process of the marriage, yes I would say it is required (unlike circling which looks pretty but is otherwise just a nice tradition). Honestly it took me a few minutes to figure out what on earth the cloth had to do with the ketubah - but picking up the handkershief for kinyan takes approximately 5 seconds and there's way more interesting stuff going on at the same time (it gets overshadowed in the signing of hte ketubah) i doubt that anyone other than the officiant will notice what you do.
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  • edited December 2011
    Thanks! So does it have to be a special cloth?
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  • edited December 2011
    No; I've seen many just use a napkin at the venue they were getting married.  But it would probably be nice to get something that maybe can be used and passed down, or just a keepsake for yourself that you can look to on anniversaries...
  • edited December 2011
    Thanks!!
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  • silversparkssilversparks member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I don't think it has to be a special cloth (I've mostly seen a napkin or the groom's handkerchief used). My MIL gave me a handkerchief, which if I had been thinking about it, would have been nice to use, but this is definitely an opportunity for an easy check.
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  • edited December 2011
    Thanks! I spoke with my mother about this and she told me she had been planning to create a handkerchief for me out of her wedding dress as my "something old" to carry. I hope we can use this and it can become an heirloom!
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  • edited December 2011
    By the way, while the circling is NOT halachically necessary, the bedekin is more important.  A lot of the elements of the Jewish wedding are actually ways of fulfulling different halachic opinions as to what act is the actual act of marriage.  Bedekin fulfills two possible opinions: One is that it's the husband's first act of giving his wife clothing, which is one of his marital obligations.  The other is that the veil is actually the true chuppah, and that is the fabric covering meant by the term.  So there is reason to think that the bedekin is an integral part of the ceremony.
  • edited December 2011
    Thanks! We are working on a modified bedecken, one that is completed in private after the ketubah signing and not part of the ceremony.  I know our Rabbi does one, I just have to figure out how it works, as the Cantor will be doing the ketubah signing.
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