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A ketubah (Hebrew word; plural ketubot) is a Jewish prenuptial agreement (contract entered into by two people prior to marriage or civil union). It is considered an integral part of a traditional Jewish marriage. It states that the husband commits to provide food, clothing and marital relations to his wife, and that he will pay a specified sum of money if he divorces her. If he dies, leaving her a widow, the ketubah amount is the first charge on his estate.

The rabbis in ancient times insisted on the marriage couple entering into the ketubah as a protection for the wife. It acted as a replacement of the biblical dower or bride-price, which was payable at the time of the marriage by the groom to the bride or her parents ("When a man seduces a virgin who is not engaged to be married, and lies with her, he shall give the bride-price for her and make her his wife. But if her father refuses to give her to him, he shall pay an amount equal to the bride-price for virgins" Exodus 22:16-17). The ketubah became a mechanism whereby the amount due to the wife (the dower) came to be paid in the event of the cessation of marriage, either by the death of the husband or divorce.

The ketubah is not part of the actual Jewish marriage ceremony, however, the groom and bride may not engage in marital relations, although the marriage has been completed, unless two valid witnesses have signed a ketubah.