A Jewish Wedding in Mogador;
The Illuminated Ketuba from Mogador

by Knafo, Asher and David Bensoussan. Bimat Kedem, 2004.

Compiled by Mathilde A.Tagger
tagger @ actcom.co.il

For many years, Asher Knafo and David Bensoussan have collected Ketubot that were illustrated in Mogador (now called Essaouira), Morocco. Mogador Jews had a rich tradition of illuminated Ketubot, the Jewish Wedding contracts, that is still alive in our days. The book includes articles on: Ketuba art in the Jewish world in general and in Mogador in particular; the history of the Mogador Jewish community; and on traditional wedding customs.

The first chapter of the book is dedicated to a poem written by Asher Knafo describing the old wedding customs preserved in Mogador, from the couple's first encounter, their engagement, the "henna" ceremony, the wedding and ending with the numerous festivities following the marriage. The chapter dealing with Ketubot includes the history of the illuminated Ketuba in Mogador, along with biographies of the most famous illustrators who passed the art of illumination on to their descendants.

Then comes the beautiful collection of 83 ketubot with explanations in three languages; Hebrew, French and English. The oldest ketuba dates from 1789 and the most recent is from 2003.


The alphabetical index includes the wedding year and all the names mentioned in each ketuba: the names of the bride and groom, their fathers, grandfathers, great grandfathers and sometimes, even their great-great grandfathers and their great-great-great grandfathers, the witnesses, the ketuba designers, the scribes, the rabbis and the persons who bear out the signatures, resulting in a total of more than 600 indexed names.

The book can be ordered through one of its authors - Asher Knafo at:
knafoasher @ hotmail.com



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