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ketubah

formal Jewish marriage contract written in Aramaic and guaranteeing a bride certain future rights before her marriage. Since Jewish religious law permits a man to divorce his wife at any time for any reason, the ketubba was introduced in ancient times to protect a woman's rights and to make divorce a costly matter for the husband. The conditions stipulated in the document also guarantee the woman's right to property when her husband dies. A Jewish wife carefully preserves the ketubba, not as evidence of marriage but for its future value

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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