Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Reading a Ketubah

One of the more bittersweet moments of a wedding is the reading of the ketubah, essentially a marriage contract. For everyone in attendance, its a happy time. What's sad is how the ketubah is read.

Pauses and breaths are taken at the wrong places. Mumbled and jumbled words make you wonder what the chosson really agreed to, which is obviously different than what's being read. Let's not even mention obvious mispronunciations. Or the monotonous voice. Reading the ketubah has turned into a contest. Who can do it in the most boring manner, in as quick a time as possible. Double points for jumbling easy words without flushing from embarassment.

Read in ashkenazis, with commas and periods at appropriate places, along with vocal inflections and meaning, hearing the ketubah at last night's wedding (see here) was really a pleasure. Like a proper laining of Megillas Esther, a good reading of the ketubah is pleasing to the ear.

If we're going to read the ketubah out loud at the chupah, we should at least do it right. Then again, if it gets dubbed over on the video with standard wedding music, does it really matter?