For many years, Asher Knafo and David Bensoussan have collected Ketubot that were illustrated in Mogador (now called
Essaouira), Morocco. Mogador is a seaport on the south of the Atlantic coast. 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 traditional
The first chapter of this magnificent and trilingual 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 often followed by those of their fathers, grandfathers, great grandfathers and sometimes, even their great-great
grandfathers and their great-great-great grandfathers, the witnesses, the ketuba designers, resulting in a total of more
than 500 indexed names. For many of the ketubot, the index also points out the origin of the groom: if he is a descendent
of the "Toshavim" (inhabitants in Hebrew) - those who already lived in Morocco when the expelled Jews from Spain landed in
Morocco, and "Megorashim" (Expelled in Hebrew) those who, expelled from Spain, found refuge in Morocco. That unique
tradition lasted till 1950 when a decision of the Rabbinical Court decided that the origin will not anymore be mentioned
in a ketuba.
The only abbreviation used is b.=ben or bat= son of or daughter of.
Search the Database
(may use one or more search fields)
(See FAQ button for additional tips):
Consider alternative or partial spellings of names