Proper Thoughts During Relations
What is the reason that with regards to relations with one’s wife, one is allowed to have thoughts of Torah? Seemingly, he isn’t in a modest state?
According to Halacha, thinking about words of Torah is not the same as speaking, and is permitted in most circumstances, marital relations included. The exception is in bathrooms and similar places where filth is present, where even thinking words of Torah is forbidden.
In addition, what specific Torah thoughts should one have; Kabbalistic, maybe more Talmudic…?
The idea is to have spiritual and holy concepts in mind, especially those that will help one concentrate and create a sacred environment during relations (and not the opposite, G-d forbid).
Following are some general things that one should have in mind: 1) to fulfill the commandment of “pru urvu” – the Mitzvah to be fruitful and multiply; 2) to accomplish the obligation of satisfying and rejoicing one’s wife; 3) to have decent children who will follow the ways of Torah and Mitzvos; and 4) in the last 6 months of pregnancy, to also have Kavanah for the development of the fetus.
In regards to ‘Torah thoughts’ to think about: 1) the image of a Tzaddik and to have in mind that the child should be similar to him and follow his ways in the proper conduct; 2) the formats/images of 22 letters of the Alef Beis; and 3) some write to contemplate on the verse “venikdashti besoch Bnei Yisroel” – “and I will be sanctified in the midst of Bnei Yisroel” and to visualize as if one throws himself into a fiery furnace in an act of Kiddush Hashem.
I should note that every one of the above is considered as a proper thought and ‘sanctification’, and thus, it suffices to have only one at each time one has relations.
Finally, someone who struggles to have such a thought in mind during the entire time of having relations, should at least strive to do so right before and during ejaculation. If even that proves to be hard to accomplish practically, it is enough (and recommended) to (also) have these thoughts before starting (and close to) the relations.
Also, we do find places in the Torah which mention the concept of enjoyment, such as on Shabbos. It seems as if that the Torah approach to marital relations is that the enjoyment aspect should be disregard, and instead think of other things. I was just wondering if you could help me understand.
As explained above, the purpose is to create a holy atmosphere and mindset, and reduce any ‘animalistic’ behavior etc. as much as possible. It does not mean to diminish or suppress one’s physical pleasure. This applies especially nowadays, when to most people it is almost impossible to totally keep away from feeling corporeal satisfaction.