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How would you explain the sefirot of Chochmah and Binah?

by Rabbi Yossi Marcus

  

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Say you have a problem that you’re working on. You think about it again and again but you remain without a solution. Suddenly as you’re walking through the supermarket not even thinking about the issue, a flash of insight comes to you.

You say, “Aha! I got it.” Got what? If you would be asked at that moment to explain what you’ve just figured out, you won’t be able to. The insight that you received is still in nebulous, seminal form. It has not yet been articulated. If you don’t develop the idea you may very well lose it. This is Chochmah.

Without Chochmah, Binah has nothing to work with. Without Binah, Chochmah is too obscure.
Binah is when you take that seminal point and develop it, build it up and flesh it out.

Chochmah is called Father (abba) in Zohar, while Binah is called Mother (imma). Just as the father in the physical sense provides the seminal drop, which the mother then takes and develops for nine months in the womb, so it is with Chochmah and Binah.

Without Chochmah, Binah has nothing to work with. Without Binah, Chochmah is too obscure.

Sefer Yetzirah (a Kabbalistic work whose ideas are attributed to Abraham) says that Chochmah and Binah must be permeated with each other. As the Zohar says, they are two friends that never part.

The Zohar also compares Chochmah and Binah to a to a point within a palace (nikuda bihechal), since Chochmah is like a tiny point which becomes expansive and “palatial” in Binah.

TAGS: Chochmah, Binah

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Chochmah and Binah

Posted by: x ben x on Jan 15, 2006

Binah is the storehouse of the Light of the Creator. The three upper sfirot are not directly influencing your life, as opposed to Zeir Anpin, which you connect to on a weekly basis. However, that being said, according to Arich Anpin, Chesed would be nothing without Binah, and so on. Also, these upper sfirot are what enable the powers of Sitrei Torah.
Zohar
The most basic work of Jewish mysticism. Authored by Rabbi Shimeon bar Yochai in the 2nd century.
Abraham
First Jew, and first of our three Patriarchs. Born into a pagan society in Mesepotamia in 1812 BCE, he discovered monethieism on his own. He was told by G-d to journey to the Land of Canaan where he and his wife Sarah would give birth to the Jewish People.
Kabbalistic
(adj.) Pertaining to Kabbalah—Jewish mysticism.