At the 1997 Ajzenberg Family Reunion in Connecticut I came upon a hand written document in the possession of Alice Mileikowsky. What a discovery! Or so I thought. I believed it was the original ketubah of Dov Berel and Elka’s marriage. Rather, as you will see upon reading it, it is a duplicate document dated July 10, 1921. The original marriage date referred to is January 30, 1879, forty-two years earlier.
Why the need for a duplicate document? The new ketubah states that it is to replace the original one, lost by Elka because ‘it is forbidden for a daughter of Israel to live with a man without a ketubah.' Why after 42 years of marriage and seven children did they need a new ketubah at this time? You will figure it out yourself later in the text, but just in case you miss it…. note the year of the duplicate ketubah, 1921. That is the year that Dov Berel and Elka left Poland for the United States. In March of 1921 Dov Berel applied for and received his passport. Then there is a four-month gap before any other passports and visas are obtained. Ten days after the new ketubah was signed Elka obtained her passport. One week later in, rapid succession, both Dov Berel and Elka obtained their visas. I believe that the new ketubah was required to complete their application process to obtain passports and visas.
The next page is a copy of the ketubah, followed by the complete translation to English. Just reading it is an education.
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