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Papercut Ketubah
Jewish Papercuts by Archie Granot
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Archie Granot
Jerusalem - Israel
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Jerusalem artist Archie Granot is one of the leading paper cut artists in the world. His creative papercuts - the ketubah, mizrach, mezuzah, birkat habayit (blessing for the Jewish home) and more - both revive and continue a traditional Jewish art form while innovating against it. Distinguished by multiple layers of paper, Granot produces creative and beautiful papercuts - complex and impressive works, each cut with surgical scalpel, require a lengthy and intuitive process of creation, a process often hidden beneath the multiple layers of paper. Curves and links are interwoven creating incredible depth, texture and movement to which limited and careful use of gold leaf and woven papers only adds. Archie Granot use of Hebrew inscriptions, handcut in astonishingly precise calligraphic letters in his papercuts, is an integral part of his work.

Many of the texts relate to Jerusalem, Judaica, Judaism, Israel, and Jewish weddings (Ketubah). Many of his paper cuts carry a reminder of the holy...
phone: 866-475-7697
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What is a Ketubah?
The Ketubah, or Jewish marriage contract, is a legal document believed to have originated more than 2000 years ago. Outlining a husband's obligations in marriage to his wife, the ketubah was created to confer legal and financial rights to her and marked a turning point in the rights of Jewish women.

References to these historic Judaic obligations can be found in Exodus (21:10,11) although no mention is made of a Jewish wedding document. The Apocrypha, however, contains mention of a scroll that was brought to the Jewish marriage ceremony of Tobias and Sarah, an early form of the ketubah. During the Babylonian Exile, 586-536 B.C.E., the need arose to protect Jewish women regarding property that was held in her husband's name. Many Jewish men migrated to Egypt and left wives and families behind. The Babylonian predilection for written legal contracts was a firm basis for the start of the ketubah. Papyrus records dating from around 440 B.C.E. in Aramaic clearly outline the Jewish marriage wedding principle of securing the wife's property. Included in this ketubah is the sum of the bridal price paid to the father of the bride, as well as the sum of the bride and bridegroom's dower contribution. In addition, the wife is named as the beneficiary of the estate should the husband die.

Nearly four hundred years later, the ketubah introduced a sum to be paid by the Jewish husband to his bride upon his death or dissolution of the marriage. The ketubah became a Jewish wedding contract signed by the Jewish groom and two witnesses and was presented to the Jewish bride under the chuppah (wedding canopy). The earliest actual ketubah formula is set down in the Talmud and exists today in the Orthodox text.

Ketubah as Jewish Art
The practice of illuminating manuscripts and of decorating ritual objects goes back many hundreds of years. The concept of Hiddur Mitzvah, or the beautification of a mitzvah, has led to the creation of a legacy of Jewish ritual art objects. Richly decorated ketubahs (including papercuts) can be found in the great museums of the world from Persia, Italy, Turkey, Israel and even the United States. The design of ketubahs (ketubot) would often reflect the style of the times, and could include symbols of the country such as flags or crowns. Jewish symbols were also prevalent - the lion of Judah can often be seen in historical ketubahs as well as Hebrew calligraphy in stylized forms.

Today, the ketubah is one of the predominant forms of Jewish art and is usually hung prominently in the home by the married couple as a daily reminder of their love, marriage vows and responsibilities to each other. Often the first piece of art that a couple buys, a ketubah becomes an heirloom to be passed down to generations to come.

See my custom Papercut Ketubah Galleries at


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