Understanding- Binah - בינה

P'shat / Simple definition: The power of comprehending; sympathetically aware of other people’s feelings.

- From jewishcamp.org/making-menches/

בְּ֭חׇכְמָה יִבָּ֣נֶה בָּ֑יִת וּ֝בִתְבוּנָ֗ה יִתְכּוֹנָֽן׃
A house is built by wisdom,
And is established by understanding;

Jewish sources often pair wisdom or knowledge with understanding. What is the difference between wisdom/knowledge and understanding? How does the metaphor of building a house relate to Sullys call to see the humanity in the situation?

כִּי הֲווֹ מִפַּטְרִי רַבָּנַן מִבֵּי רַבִּי אַמֵּי, וְאָמְרִי לַהּ מִבֵּי רַבִּי חֲנִינָא, אָמְרִי לֵיהּ הָכִי: ... לִבְּךָ יֶהְגֶּה תְּבוּנָה, פִּיךָ יְדַבֵּר חָכְמוֹת וּלְשׁוֹנְךָ יַרְחִישׁ רְנָנוֹת

When the Sages took leave of the study hall of Rabbi Ami, and some say it was the study hall of Rabbi Ḥanina, they would say to him the following blessing:...
May your heart meditate understanding,
your mouth speak wisdom, and your tongue whisper with praise.

Where do you locate understanding in your body? Where do traditional Jewish sources like this one locate it? How does this resonate with your definition of binah?

וְעַתָּה֙ יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹהָ֔י אַתָּה֙ הִמְלַ֣כְתָּ אֶֽת־עַבְדְּךָ֔ תַּ֖חַת דָּוִ֣ד אָבִ֑י וְאָֽנֹכִי֙ נַ֣עַר קָטֹ֔ן לֹ֥א אֵדַ֖ע צֵ֥את וָבֹֽא׃ וְעַ֨בְדְּךָ֔ בְּת֥וֹךְ עַמְּךָ֖ אֲשֶׁ֣ר בָּחָ֑רְתָּ עַם־רָ֕ב אֲשֶׁ֧ר לֹֽא־יִמָּנֶ֛ה וְלֹ֥א יִסָּפֵ֖ר מֵרֹֽב׃ וְנָתַתָּ֨ לְעַבְדְּךָ֜ לֵ֤ב שֹׁמֵ֙עַ֙ לִשְׁפֹּ֣ט אֶֽת־עַמְּךָ֔ לְהָבִ֖ין בֵּֽין־ט֣וֹב לְרָ֑ע כִּ֣י מִ֤י יוּכַל֙ לִשְׁפֹּ֔ט אֶת־עַמְּךָ֥ הַכָּבֵ֖ד הַזֶּֽה׃ וַיִּיטַ֥ב הַדָּבָ֖ר בְּעֵינֵ֣י אֲדֹנָ֑י כִּ֚י שָׁאַ֣ל שְׁלֹמֹ֔ה אֶת־הַדָּבָ֖ר הַזֶּֽה׃ וַיֹּ֨אמֶר אֱלֹהִ֜ים אֵלָ֗יו יַ֩עַן֩ אֲשֶׁ֨ר שָׁאַ֜לְתָּ אֶת־הַדָּבָ֣ר הַזֶּ֗ה וְלֹא־שָׁאַ֨לְתָּ לְּךָ֜ יָמִ֣ים רַבִּ֗ים וְלֹֽא־שָׁאַ֤לְתָּ לְּךָ֙ עֹ֔שֶׁר וְלֹ֥א שָׁאַ֖לְתָּ נֶ֣פֶשׁ אֹיְבֶ֑יךָ וְשָׁאַ֧לְתָּ לְּךָ֛ הָבִ֖ין לִשְׁמֹ֥עַ מִשְׁפָּֽט׃ הִנֵּ֥ה עָשִׂ֖יתִי כִּדְבָרֶ֑יךָ הִנֵּ֣ה ׀ נָתַ֣תִּֽי לְךָ֗ לֵ֚ב חָכָ֣ם וְנָב֔וֹן אֲשֶׁ֤ר כָּמ֙וֹךָ֙ לֹא־הָיָ֣ה לְפָנֶ֔יךָ וְאַחֲרֶ֖יךָ לֹא־יָק֥וּם כָּמֽוֹךָ׃
And now, O LORD my God, You have made Your servant king in place of my father David; but I am a young lad, with no experience in leadership.-a Your servant finds himself in the midst of the people You have chosen, a people too numerous to be numbered or counted. Grant, then, Your servant an understanding mind to judge Your people, to distinguish between good and bad; for who can judge this vast people of Yours?” The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. And God said to him, “Because you asked for this—you did not ask for long life, you did not ask for riches, you did not ask for the life of your enemies, but you asked for discernment in dispensing justice— I now do as you have spoken. I grant you a wise and discerning mind; there has never been anyone like you before, nor will anyone like you arise again.

What can we take from this story of Solomon and God? What is the lesson for us? How has understanding helped us as leaders?

אַשְׁרֵ֣י אָ֭דָם מָצָ֣א חׇכְמָ֑ה וְ֝אָדָ֗ם יָפִ֥יק תְּבוּנָֽה׃

Happy is the one who finds wisdom,
The one who attains understanding.

Does understanding lead to happiness? What are the benefits of this middah?

Mahatma Gandhi “Relationships are based on four principles: respect, understanding, acceptance and appreciation"

The receptive mode is at the heart of human existence. By ‘existence’ or ‘existing,’ I mean more than merely living or subsisting. When existentialist philosophers refer to ‘existence,’ they mean to include an awareness of and commitment to what we are doing, what we are living… Existence involves, then, living with heightened awareness.” (p. 35 Nel Noddings, Caring: A Feminine Approach to Ethics and Moral Education)

How do Gandhi and Noddings suggest that cultivating binah will enhance your life?

“If I had an hour to solve a problem I'd spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions.”

Albert Einstein

How does understanding affect our relationships with those in our community?

How does understanding affect our relationships with those in our community? Our responses?