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What does Kabbalah say about marital intimacy?

by Rabbi Baruch Emanuel Erdstein

  

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Kabbalah teaches that our primary mission in life is to actively unite the physicality of Creation with the Unfathomable Creator. This entails drawing down the most lofty consciousness possible into a fitting worldly context, herby transforming the most mundane acts into chariots of spirituality.

The study of the mystical aspects of Torah inspires our proper intentions, while Jewish Law (Halachah) provides the appropriate earthly framework into which we infuse our holy mental approach. By doing this, we actually play an active part in uniting Heaven and Earth.

While mystical meditations abound, the main Kabbalistic guidelines for marital relations are channeled through the Jewish Laws for intimacy. From meditations on the woman's preparations and ensuing immersion in the Mikvah – to the requirements regarding the sacred conditions in which relations should take place – the couple is encouraged to infuse the physical act with holy intentions. In order to do this properly, we are encouraged to follow - and then explore the deep spiritual meanings behind - the details of Jewish Law.

To explore some of these meditations see articles on this topic from Inner.org, Mikvah.org, Kabalahonline.com, and Chabad.org.

For a more in depth perspective read "Doesn't Anyone Blush Anymore?" by Manis Friedman, and for even deeper mystical insight study Reishit Chachma vol. 2 chapter 16.


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Torah
Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
Halachah
Jewish Law. All halachah which is applicable today is found in the Code of Jewish Law.
Mikvah
A ritual bath where one immerses to become spiritually pure. After her menstrual cycle, a woman must immerse in the Mikvah before resuming marital relations.
Kabbalah
Jewish mysticism. The word Kaballah means "reception," for we cannot physically perceive the Divine, we merely study the mystical truths which were transmitted to us by G-d Himself through His righteous servants.
Kabbalistic
(adj.) Pertaining to Kabbalah—Jewish mysticism.