In a regular Kesuba we give total 200 Zekukim Kesef. What is the value of that currently in US dollars? Also do you pay the value when you got married or the value at either death/divorce?


1 Answer 1


See this article by Rabbis Michael Broyde and Yonah Reiss.

We normally write a Ketubah in terms of "zuz" plus "zekukim."

As a very brief summary, R' Moshe Feinstein puts the total at 100 lbs of silver, which in 2002 (when the article was written) would be about $10,000. The authors then note it's very possible that according to R' Moshe Feinstein, if one year's cost of living is worth more than 100 lbs of silver, then that's required, which could put the value at up to $55,000 in some expensive places.

The Ketubah payment is only due when the marriage ends (divorce, or death of the husband). It takes less than a dollar to enter a marriage! The commitment is "100 lbs of silver", whatever that is worth at the time of divorce. I'd assume the same applies to "1 year's worth of living costs", however it is at the time of divorce.

Today the exact amount is often not enforced. If the husband dies, the widow is entitled to support until she remarries; the amounts described here would only be if she'd rather take a lump-sum now instead.

In the event of divorce, usually the wife will waive her ketubah claim as part of whatever divorce settlement she's receiving (which is often far more than $10,000).

The other case it can come up (YUTorah audio from Rabbi Reiss) is if the couple got married with a prenup saying "neither side will come out of this marriage with anything more than which they came, with the exception of the minimum ketubah payment absolutely required by halacha, as determined by beis din such-and-such." (That minimum would be zuz without zekukim and thus less.)

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    Actually value of silver today is appx $24.50- per ounce or $392 per lb. That would make it $39,200-. Commented Oct 14, 2010 at 21:15
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    Wow, I didn't realize the price of silver had quadrupled since this article was written in 2002! R' Moshe had ruled "100 lbs of silver" when that exceeded a year's cost of living; it's likely that we're at that point again.
    – Shalom
    Commented Oct 15, 2010 at 0:04
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    @GershonGold We're now down to $23,000 to $26,000 Commented Feb 17, 2015 at 6:37
  • hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=46545&pgnum=338 . 1 zakuk = 288 grams
    – hazoriz
    Commented Mar 12, 2020 at 10:54

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