Dowry Payments in Bessarabia


I’m doing historical research and found many records of Jewish marriages from the region historically known as Bessarabia. Where there is a record of a dowry amount, it’s always either 48 roubles or 24 roubles if a woman was previously married. This is from what was a large and diverse region and the records mentioning this span from mid 1800s to early 1900s. So it’s unlikely to have been just a local custom. What is the significance or origin of this number and/or custom?



  1. This sounds like it is part of what is known as a “Ketuva” contract, which guarantees a certain specified amount of the husband’s estate to go to his wife in the event of a divorce or his death.

    I am sorry but I am not familiar with the historical customs in Bessarabia. I would suggest that try contacting Rabbi Berel Wein. Rabbi Wein is one of the foremost experts in Jewish history. Rabbi Wein can be contacted at:

    Best wishes from the Team

  2. Thank you for the answer. I tried reaching out to Rabbi Wein, but the email you provided doesn’t work. If you prefer to keep his contact information private, please email me at the address I used to register here. Thanks again.

  3. I apologize! I am not sure that I have another personal email for Rabbi Wein. I think that you should try sending an email to Rabbi Wein’s “Dynasty Foundation” ( to ask them for his email address.

    Best wishes from the Team