The concept for this Ketubah was inspired by the pairing of the initials of this couple “אש – aish”, translating from Hebrew as Fire and expressing the fire of their love. Furthermore, the grooms name (Ilan) means tree in Hebrew whilst the brides name (Shira) means song – and accordingly trees were painted with a kinetic rhythm and tempo that pulsates through their fiery forms.
This Ketubah thematically alludes to the Medrashic story of Rabbi Akiva’s epiphany, which descended from observing a flowing river. Here he realised that if water can carve through solid stone; then the fire of Torah can make a significantly greater impression upon the tender human heart. The two trees, representations of husband and wife create an elaborate lattice that frames the Ketubah text, foreshadowing the home to be created from this union.
The iridescent gold painted trees from which the initials grow signify the radiance of a life of Torah and the light created through observance of its mitzvot as man and woman build a life and family together, illuminated by its wisdom.
Here, an elliptical text configuration echoed the curvature of the enclosing trees in the design.
Detail of watercolour background and textured branch lattice.
Images of the Ketubah signing courtesy of Nadine Saacks Photography