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The article presents ketubah, an institute of Jewish law that is unknown in the current Czech academic literature; it describes its evolution and content, and the manner in which secular countries with large Jewish communities deal with it. Throughout the centuries ketubah achieved a standardized format that has been adjusted to local customs. Additionally, there are attempts to use ketubah to solve the problem of agunah – the problem of parties who have obtained a secular divorce but not a divorce under Jewish law because the other party prevented it. Some legal systems, such as those of the State of New York and of England and Wales, have addressed the problem by adopting legislation that conditions secular divorce upon the granting of a religious divorce. In some instances ketubot have been accepted as regular civil law contracts enforceable by a secular court, including the clauses that designate religious arbitration for divorce matters. In the Czech Republic the question of enforceability of obligations stemming from ketubot is only a matter of academic interest; the size and the character of the local Jewish community influences a tendency towards informal resolutions of potential conflicts in the area of marriage law.

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41 Revue Cirkevniho Prava 181 (2008) (in Czech).