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|Laws of Marital Relations Part 4|
|Written by Rabbi Mordechai Eliahu|
|Thursday, 20 August 2009|
By Rabbi Mordechai Eliahu, Former Chief Rabbi of Israel, excerpted from his book, “Darkei Taharah,” Chapters 19-24.
Laws of Marital Relations (Rabbi M. Eliahu) - Part 1
NINE CASES WHEN MARITAL RELATIONS ARE FORBIDDEN
The nine cases are: when the husband forces his wife against her will; when the wife is hated; when the husband or wife are under a ban; when the husband is thinking about another woman; when the wife wants a divorce; when inebriated; when divorce is planned; when relations are performed in a promiscuous fashion; when the wife demands relation in a brazen manner.
There are those who include “”Bnei Yishanah,” relations when the wife is sleeping. Regarding this, it has been said: There are 10 who are like “mamzarim” (bastards, meaning halachically blemished children), but who are not officially “mamzarim” (Nedarim 20B). Even though the fate of the children who are born from these 10 types of unions has not been decreed that they grow up to be rebels and transgressors, nevertheless, their natures will be inclined to this, and the service of G-d will be a difficult matter for them (See the “Tanya,” Ch.2).
“Bnei Anusah” – A Husband Who Forces His Wife Against Her Will
This is a husband who forces his wife against her will. Not necessarily by force, but also when she is not particularly desirous. Therefore, a man should be sure that his wife is in a loving mood first, then have relations with her (as we learned in the preceding chapter, regarding a rooster who first courts his mate, then has relations).
“Bnei Sinuah” – A Husband Who Has Relations With His Wife When He Hates Her
This is a husband who has relations with his wife when he hates her, even though he generally loves her. On the other hand, if he has loving feelings toward her at the time of marital relations, even though he generally dislikes her, this is permitted. But this is permitted only if he doesn’t have it in mind to divorce her. If he doesn’t love her very much, yet he doesn’t hate her, relations are permitted, as in the case of Yaacov, who “loved Rachel more than Leah” (Bereshit 29:30).
“Bnei Nidui” – When Either The Husband or Wife Has Been Declared Banished By a Jewish Court
A person who has been excommunicated is forbidden to engage in marital relations. Some authorities explain “Bnei Nidui” as “Bnei Niddah” – even though a child born from a Niddah union, when the wife was in her forbidden Niddah period, is not considered a halachic “mamzer,” nonetheless, the child is blemished, and included in the category of rebels and sinners.
“Bnei Temurah” – When a Man Has Two Wives and Thinks of the Other During Marital Relations
When a man has two wives (in cases where this was permitted), and, while having relations with the first, thinks he is with the other. Also, this applies to a husband who has relations with his wife and thinks of another woman. It is an especially grave transgression when he thinks of a non-Jewish woman while having relations with his wife.
“Bnei Moredet” (“Bnei Mireevah”) – When a Man Has Relations With His Wife, When She Doesn’t Want To Be Married To Him
This situation is forbidden even if at the time of their relations, she is desirous of the deed, because this union is not for the purpose of getting closer and making peace, but rather out of harlotry (“znut”). However, if the wife changes her mind and is certain she wants to stay married, due to the relations, then children resulting from this union are not “Bnei Moredet,” and will not be negatively affected.
There are authorities who explain “Bnei Moredet” as “Bnei Mirevah,” referring to a husband who fights with his wife day and night. It is prohibited for such a husband to have relations with his wife, for the act is mere “znut,” and not intimacy out of love. Children who are born from such a union are included in the category of rebels and transgressors.
“Bnei Shichirut” – When the Husband or Wife Are Drunk
This refers to children who are born from unions when the husband or wife are drunk and the intent behind their union lacks love. The forbidden level of intoxication is indicated when their thinking is mixed-up, but if they have only drunken a little and become tipsy, this is not prohibited. For this reason, a groom and bride should not drink intoxicating beverage on their wedding night, so that their thinking will be clear when they come to the mitzvah of their conjugal union.
“Bnei Girushat HaLev – When the Husband Has decided to Divorce His Wife
A man who has decided to divorce his wife is forbidden to have marital relations with her, even though he loves her at the moment and she is in favor. This is when she does not know of his intentions to divorce her, but if she knows and agrees to engage in the act, then this is permitted (if they don’t hate one another).
“Bnei Irbuviyah” – When the Husband Has Relations While Thinking About Another Woman
It is forbidden to have relations when either the husband or the wife is thinking about someone else. In order not to think about others, a husband and wife should not conduct relations at the beginning of the night, nor at the end, or when they hear people speaking. A man who is not certain that he can concentrate his thoughts solely on his wife, should not prolong the duration of marital relations (even though it is usually proper to prolong in order that the wife will reach her climax first). Also, one should not speak of other matters, neither before nor during the marital act, so that one’s thoughts won’t wander to think about other people. However, saying words of love and attraction are proper. And if he is angry with her, it is forbidden to have relations until they have become appeased with one another.
“Bnei Chatzufah” – When a Wife Brazenly Demands Relations
It is forbidden for a husband to have relations with his wife when she openly and brazenly demands it. However, if she hints in a clean and modest fashion, or dresses up, or flirts with him, indicating she would like his attention in this regard, then he is required to please her by performing the mitzvah, and they will have wholesome and outstanding children.
“Bnei Yishanah” – When the Wife is Sleeping
It is forbidden for a man to have relations with his wife when she is sleeping. There are authorities who say this will have just as grave influence on children as the “Bnei Taysha Midot.” This case is prohibited if she is completely asleep, but if she is in a state of intermittent dozing, it is permitted. And when the wife is asleep, the husband should not awaken her to have relations, and thus cause her discomfort, unless he is certain that she will be happy that he did.
All of these cases are forbidden even if the wife is pregnant, nursing, over the age of giving birth, or unable to conceive for whatever reason. Anyone who does such things, in addition to that his children will be inclined toward rebellion and transgression, he also is considered rebellious and a sinner. Therefore, a person should take very great care not to do these things, even if he feels an urgent need for the act, and even if he doesn’t have children, he is not to have relations with his wife in these 10 cases.
All of these laws are not in the realm of extra-saintly behavior (hasidut), but regular laws which obligate everyone.
Laws of Marital Relations (Rabbi M. Eliahu) - Part 1
|Last Updated ( Monday, 07 September 2009 )|
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