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The Laws of Marital Relations

By Tzvi Fishman
8/9/2009, 12:00 AM

Every Motzei Shabbat, I go to the Kotel to read Tehillim with the revered Kabbalist, Rabbi Leon Levi, and students. At the end of the recital, Rabbi Leon speaks about the Torah portion.

Rabbi Leon Levi

According to the secrets of Torah, the opening verse of the Torah portion, “Ekev,” is talking about sexual transgression. G-d promises the Jewish People that if we guard ourselves from sexual transgression, He will guard over his side of the Brit, or Covenant, that he made with our Forefathers, and grant a unique, Divine kindness to us, blessing us in the Land of Israel with a life filled with material bounty, health, and victory over our enemies (Devarim, 7:12-16).

As usual, a large gathering crowded around to hear Rabbi Leon speak. He reminded everyone that the organ of the Brit, which is graced with the “stamp of the King” upon circumcision, possesses a special holiness. He said it had the holiness of a Torah scroll, and reminded us that both Avraham and Yaacov had made Eliezer and Yosef takes oaths by placing their hands under this sacred place. He said that the dream of Yaacov of a ladder reaching up to heaven symbolized the exalted holiness of the place of the Brit, and the spiritual sefirah (channel) of “Yesod” which is associated with it, as it says:

“How awesome is this place! This is no other than the house of G-d, and this is the gateway to Heaven! (Bereshit, 28:17).

Rabbi Leon said that the measure of a man’s holiness, and the determination of a “Tzaddik,” is the purity of his sexual life, as exemplified by Yosef, who is known as “Yosef the Tzaddik” for having overcome the temptations of Potifar’s wife.

A person’s attachment to G-d, he said, depends on the measure that he safeguards the Brit. If a man conducts his married life in a modest and holy fashion, then the blessings of health, livelihood, and security, stated in the Torah, will be granted to him. But if he falls into sexual transgression and wastes the holy, Divine energy contained in seminal seed, which is infused with holy souls, and radiates with the precious power of the Divine source of life, than the opposite will be his portion – sicknesses, hardships with children, and other painful sufferings, G-d forbid.

Because of the great importance of this fundamental matter to every person, and to the Jewish Nation as a whole, we are undertaking to translate the Laws of Marital Relations, from the book, “Darkei Taharah,” by the saintly Rabbi Mordechai Eliahu, former Chief Rabbi of Israel. The first chapters have been posted on our website, jewishsexuality.com, and, with G-d’s help, we will endeavor to post additional chapters in the coming weeks. Like all aspects of Torah learning, these matters should be reviewed to strengthen our observance of the proper Torah conduct and in the many details involved. Especially in a matter where the evil inclination is so great and temptations abound, it is wise for all people to go over these laws, along with the guidelines that Rabbi Leon has set forth in his writings to help people achieve enhanced health and blessing in their lives.