Hitbonenut – Contemplation and Analysis – 1:35

As mentioned above, Chochmah is the flash of intuitive insight.  Using the analogy of the river, it is clear that the only way to achieve the intuitive flash of insight is by swimming the length and width of the river.  This is to say that through contemplation and analysis on the given explanations, one may have a flash of insight into the concept and consequently develop it into an innovation.  This is clearly apparent from the following famous story of Archimedes.  The king commissioned Archimedes to weigh the royal throne in order to determine whether its builders had pilfered gold while constructing it. Archimedes, who was the greatest mathematician of his time, analyzed the problem over and over again without success. One day, he was about to bathe. As he sat in the tub he noticed the displacement of water and suddenly the solution flashed into his mind. It all came together for him in a sudden intuitive flash. He jumped out of the tub and ran down the streets of Athens, stark naked, yelling Eureka! Eureka! I found it! I found it!  This was a flash of Chochmah. People had been taking baths for thousands of years. Why didn’t this principle occur to them?  It is for the simple reason that they did not do the analysis and contemplation, called Hitbonenut.

What is Hitbonenut?  Hitbonenut means contemplation or analysis.  It is the act of trying to understand.  Therefore, if Binah is the understanding itself, then Binah of Binah is Hitbonenut which is the act of trying to understand.  In normal English this would be called, ‘learning’ or ‘study’.  Now, there are two different types of study.  One can study in a general way, going over the given material in a passing fashion, just to get the general idea. Then there is analytical study, in which one reviews the given material over and over again, seeking to understand the inner and outer workings of it.

(The Hebrew word Hitbonenut contains two ‘nuns’ (N).  It would have been no less grammatically correct to spell this word using a single nun – Hitbonut.  The reason it is written with two, is to signify that in order to gain understanding, one must go over the revealed explanations again and again.)

We see from the above story that only those that do the analysis on the subject – Hitbonenut, will discover novel ideas and innovations into it.  It is simple to understand that only a physicist will have flashes of wisdom in the field of physics, because he has done the analysis into it.  It is only a doctor who will have flashes of wisdom in the field of medicine, because he has spent many years analyzing the known body of knowledge of medicine. Therefore, he will have the flash of insight and discover that which is not yet known.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *