Rabbi Sessler D’Var Torah



Three Types of Intelligence

Bezalel Ben Uri was the architect of the tabernacle in desert-times. HaShem tells Moses that Bezalel is imbued with Hochma (wisdom), Bina (intelligence), and Da’at (supreme knowledge).

These three intellectual modes are distinct, and yet inter-related. Hochma (wisdom), is the intuitive creative spark of genius, a conceptual breakthrough.

Bina (intelligence), is the ability to then go into the minutiae of the project and hone in, detail by detail, in order to bring it into fruition in actuality.

Lastly, Da’at is a spiritually supreme mode of knowledge, in which a person grasps an intellectual concept in the very core of his being.

Take for example prayer. A person wants to grow in soul, and has the Hochma (wisdom) to understand that prayer will elevate him. That’s Hochma, the conceptual breakthrough. Next, a person sets out to learn the Hebrew letters and vowels systematically. That’s Bina/intelligence. Finally, when a person actually prays and achieves unity with G-d in consciousness through prayer – that is Da’at/ knowledge.

Da’at is thus a supra-intellectual capacity to experience existentially, in the very core of your being, and with burning vitality, the truth and eternity of a value and concept.

We teach our children to be creative (Hochma), and we also teach them to think analytically (Bina), but do we also teach them to experience overarching sanctity (Da’at)?

There is a paucity of Da’at in our culture, a culture which sanctifies the concrete over the abstract, the practical over the sublime, and the fleeting and the temporal, over the Eternal and the everlasting.

Shabbat Shalom,

Rabbi Sessler

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