Introduction to Kesuba

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Three parts to the Kesubah

  1. The First part of the Kesubah is known as the Ikar Kesubah and is a T'nai Bais Din. It is 200 Zuz for a Besulah and 100 for an Almanah. [1]
  2. The Second part is added on by the husband of his own free will, it's known as the Tosefes Kesubah. The Minhag today is to add on 100 Zekukin Cesef, fromthe times of the Maharil.(This Hischaivus from the Husband is effected through a Kinyan Sudar, were the Wife gives him for example a handkerchief, or the Mesadeir Kidushin or Eidim could also based off Zachin [Tosfos says that even though the handkerchief doesn't belong to her it's okay because it works through the din of Eved K'naani[2]
  3. The Third part of the Kesubah is known as the Nedunya. To explain this we first need a little background. When a woman gets married there are two types of property he can bring into the marriage, Nichsei Melug and Nicsei Tzon Barzel. Nichsei Melug is when she owns the property and the husband has the right to eat the Peiros. Nichsei Tzon Barzel is propert that when she got married the value of it was written into her Kesubah. She may collect this even many years after the wedding (the value might have depreciated). [3]

Is Kesubah Deoraisa or Derabanan

  1. Sephardim have the text of the ketubah “כסף זוזי מאתן דחזי ליכי” whereas Ashkenazim have “דחזי ליכי מדאורייתא”. This is based on a major dispute in the rishonim and if a Sephardi uses an Ashkenazic ketubah it might be pasul.[4]

The Value of the Ketubah

  1. Ashkenazim commonly include in the ketubah a total of 200 zekukin of silver for the Tosefet Ketubah and the Nidonya. There is a dispute as to the amount of 200 zakukim. Some say that it is 45.5 kilograms of silver and some say that it is 57 kilograms of silver. [5]

Printed Ketubah

  1. Some poskim recommend to fill in the blanks of a ketubah with the same script as the rest of the ketubah was written[6], however, the minhag isn't careful about this.[7]

Signing the Ketubah

  1. Many have the practice to sign the Ketubah before the kiddushin at the Chosson's tisch. However, some sign it underneath the chuppah. [8]
  2. It is proper to have the ketubah dated the same date as the chuppah occurs, however, after the fact if it was predated and there was a kinyan at the time of the signing on the earlier day, some allow such a ketubah[9], while others reject such a ketubah.[10]
  3. If the ketubah was predated, that is, it was dated for a day prior to the actual wedding and prior to the actual kinyan for the ketubah, the ketubah is invalid.[11]
  4. Initially it isn't proper to date a Ketubah for the night if it is signed during the day, though if one did so, it is kosher.[12]

Further Reading

  1. Dinei Ishut (vol. 1, vol. 2) by Rabbi Ezra Batzri, Former Dayan in the Beit Din HaRabbani HaGadol and Av Beit Din in Yerushalayim.
  2. The Chief Rabbi of Bat Yam, HaRav Eliyahu Bar Shalom, has an encyclopedic, nine volume masterpiece entitled Mishpat HaKetubah, in which he addresses every aspect of Hilchot Ketubot.


  1. This ENTIRE Article is basedoff a Shiur Given By R' Hershel Schachter
  2. f
  3. Replace with desired reference
  4. * Rabbenu Tam (Tosfot Ketubot 10a) holds that Ketubah is deoritta. The possibility that a Kesubah would be Deoraisa is based on the fact that the Torah describes the concept of a gift for marrying a betulah. (Ketubot 10a, Ketubot 110b)
    • But the Rambam (Ishut 10:7), Rif (Ketubot 65b), and Shulchan Aruch (EH 66:6) hold it is only derabbanan.
    • The Rosh (Ketubot 1:19) explains that even if ketubah is derabbanan the text of the ketubah simply means that the chatan indebts himself to an obligation of 200 coins of which the Torah speaks about in regards to ones and mefateh. However, in reality the obligation of ketubah is rabbinic but the amount paid is according to the Tzurei coins, which is the type of coin used to pay for biblical obligations. The Rama 66:6 writes that the Ashkenazic minhag is to write “דחזי ליכי מדאורייתא” and the Chelkat Mechokek 66:26 explains the he is following the Rosh.
    • Yabia Omer EH 3:12 quotes tens of rishonim and achronim who hold that for Sephardim the text should not say דאורייתא. Nonetheless, if a Sephardic couple has an Ashkenazic ketubah with those words it is valid and the Bet Yosef holds that she is nonetheless only entitled to Medina coins, which are the currency usually used to pay rabbinic obligations.
  5. citing Rav Moshe (Igrot Moshe 4:91-92) and Chazon Ish (EH 66:21)
  6. Rav Hershel Schachter in a shiur on "Overview of Ketubah" (min 23-25) says that there's no issue with the ketubah not being written lishma but there's a concern that since the names are filled in with script and the rest is in block print that the two parts of the shtar aren't connected.
  7. Nitai Gavriel (Nesuin vol. 1, p. 172, 21:5)
  8. Rav Ovadia Yosef (Sova Semachot 1:5:12)
  9. Nefesh HaRav (p. 260) records Rav Soloveitchik's practice later in life to allow a predated ketubah if they did a kinyan at the time of the signing. Ketubah K'hilchata (p. 21, 4:12) allows writing the daytime date if they also do the kinyan at that time.
  10. Igrot Moshe EH 4:100, EH 4:105, OC 5:9 was opposed because the ketubah is only collectable after the couple is married and the date in the ketubah doesn't reflect the date of the marriage. Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach in a teshuva writes that it is signing a lie to sign a ketubah that was predated even if they did the kinyan since they didn't actually get married then and the ketubah states that they got married. Ketubah K'hilchata 4:10 cites both opinions and sides with stringent opinion.
  11. Rosh Hashana 2a, Ketubah K'hilchata (p. 20, 4:10)
  12. Ketubah K'hilchata 4:13