The Knowledge Of G-D – 2:11

From the above, we understand that there are different depths within the intellect, such as the depth and source of Chochmah (Insight) and the depth and source of Binah (Comprehension).

This clarifies the statement in Sefer Yetzirah, “Be understanding in wisdom, and wise in understanding.”  This statement refers to Binah of Chochmah and Chochmah of Binah.

Be wise in understanding, refers to Chochmah of Binah (Insight of Comprehension). This is the innovative insight into the subject of one’s study.  As explained above, this is the automatic result of the analysis into the particulars of the subject matter in which he clarifies in his mind the explanation of each particular.  (The analysis is the aspect of Binah of BinahChochmah of Binah is the flash of intuitive understanding into the subject matter which results from it.)

Nonetheless, this Chochmah, the flash of insight, is only into the specific subject under analysis, and not into any different subject. He sees a whole new angle and innovative insight, but only into the particular subject he is studying. “Be wise in understanding”, means that it is an insight, but in that subject alone.  It is a Chochmah, but only of that particular Binah.  One who has attained this level can only bring out new insights and innovations into his particular field of study. Such a person is called a Chacham (a wise man).

On the other hand, “Be understanding in wisdom”, refers to Binah of Chochmah (Comprehension of Insight).  This is the power of comprehension and explanation within the faculty of Chochmah itself.  Now, Chochmah of Chochmah is the wisdom of all understandings, therefore, the Binah of Chochmah is the ability to explain all concepts. It is how all concepts are unified at their source.  One who has attained this level is capable of understanding one subject from another. Such a person is called a Navon (A man of understanding).

(Actually, Chochmah of Binah, which is the flash of intuition into a particular subject, ultimately is also rooted in Binah of Chochmah.  However, in Chochmah of Binah, Binah of Chochmah (which is the ability to explain all things), remains hidden and only the insight into the specific matter under examination becomes revealed.)

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