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Judaism Abraham and Isaac

Ketubah [Marriage Contract]. Bride: Deborah Bianca le-Beit Barukh; Groom: Abraham Jacob Ottolenghi. Nizza Monferrato, 6 Elul AM 5542 (16 August 1782 CE). NYPL, Dorot Jewish Division.

Italian ketubot (Jewish marriage contracts) often included visual references to the name of the bride or groom as part of their decorative program. In this 18th-century contract, the groom's name, Abraham Jacob, is alluded to by two vignettes featuring his biblical namesakes, the Patriarchs Abraham and Jacob.

The scene on the left depicts Abraham and the Binding of Isaac, the climactic and most dramatic episode in the entire Abrahamic story-cycle. Called upon by God to sacrifice his beloved son, Abraham demonstrates his willingness to accede even to this, before God dispatches an angel to stay Abraham’s hand, revealing the entire episode to have been a test of faith.

View more Jewish marriage contracts in the Library's Digital Gallery.

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