Blooming Tree Ketubah
It’s no surprise that we like to have trees decorate our ketubot. Trees symbolize cherished values. Trees relax us and ground us and provide shelter for our families. Trees bloom! In the artwork of the Blooming Tree Ketubah, the two trees hold both beauty and meaning.
On the Blooming Tree Ketubah, the deep and delving roots of the trees are a celebration of the heritage of the bride and groom, and of their connections to family and to tradition. The two trees are similar yet different, each strong and growing on its own with purpose and joy. The two trees grow gracefully upward and around the ketubah text, with flowers galore blooming from every branch. The trees provide a safe haven, from which songbirds delight and bless the world, and the bride and groom, with song. The branches of the trees meet at the top of the design, coming together from separate roots and grow to form a place of united experience and festivity, a canopy, or chuppah, that hangs over the ketubah text. The oval version of the Blooming Tree Ketubah design includes Hebrew text from the Song of Songs along the border. This text is a reminder of our joy on the occasion of your marriage: "Blossoms have appeared in the Land; the time for singing has arrived!"
There is something inherently comforting and grounding about being in the presence of trees. Trees can be huge, and they remind us of our place in this world. They can be small, and they remind us of our potential for growth. Trees provide us with nourishment and materials and beauty. They allow for a walk in the forest; a picnic in the shade; a beautiful view. All are treasured moments to gather with the ones we love.
In Jewish tradition, trees are highly valued. When God shows Adam all of the trees in the Garden of Eden he says, ”Look at all My works, how beautiful they are!” (midrash Kohelet Rabbah 7:13). The rabbis of the Talmud created a special blessing which is recited upon seeing one’s first blooming fruit tree of the season. Trees are important to celebrate! In Jewish artwork, such as a Blooming Tree Ketubah, trees and vines are a reflection of the biblical Tree of Life. Also called Etz Chayim, the Tree of Life is a symbol of wisdom and righteousness. We like to refer to the Torah as the “Tree of Life” – it is a source for values and commandments that we put into place as a way to nourish our world.
A tree is a wonderful symbol of marriage and family. Built on powerful roots, a tree gets larger and stronger with time. Branches reach outward and upward, with balance and care. There is a beautiful progression from seed, to sprout, to seedling, to sapling, to a mature tree which produces its own seeds. Likewise, as we prepare for a wedding we think about the generations that came before us and the generations we hope are yet to come.