Binah comes “after” Chokmah/Wisdom in the process/order of Creation (also in the Matrix). Consider this a ‘top-down’ view. Conversely, Binah comes before Chokmah when viewing from ‘bottom-up,’ i.e., the perspective of the “path of the One,” returning to the Source.

Terms that Binah is associated with are: Understanding, Intellect, Teshuvah, reason, the Temple, womb, upper Mother, Jerusalem above, freedom, Jubilee/Yovel, the future, “YHWH pronounced as ELOHIM.”

Binah is associated with the power of conceptual analysis and reasoning and is described as, “hameivin davar mi toch davar” — “understanding one thing from another.” What is contained within singular concept in Chochma/Wisdom (the Architect), is expanded into an entire conceptual framework of inter-related ideas in Binah (the Oracle).

Binah, being the Sefirah just beyond the middot (the lower seven we primarily deal with) is considered “mother” to everything. It is also connected to the level of the soul called Neshama and the concept of “teshuvah,” the return to our true self, made in the Image of G-d.


Although the father (Architect/Chokmah/Wisdom) brings forth the ‘seed,’ it cannot grow independent of the ‘womb’ of the mother (Oracle/Binah/Understanding).

Reviewing how the Architect described the Oracle in the process of creating a function Matrix world:

“…The first matrix I designed was quite naturally perfect, it was a work of art, flawless, sublime. A triumph equaled only by its monumental failure. The inevitability of its doom is as apparent to me now as a consequence of the imperfection inherent in every human being, thus I redesigned it based on your history to more accurately reflect the varying grotesqueries of your nature. However, I was again frustrated by failure. I have since come to understand that the answer eluded me because it required a lesser mind, or perhaps a mind less bound by the parameters of perfection. Thus, the answer was stumbled upon by another, an intuitive program, initially created to investigate certain aspects of the human psyche. If I am the father of the matrix, she would undoubtedly be its mother.”

The Architect’s comments reveal:

  1. The “singularity’ of the Architect does not ‘connect’ directly to the complexity of human action. (His “seed” does not “take.”)
  2. The Oracle has a relationship “back” to the Architect. (Which he calls a “lesser” mind, but in reality is his inseparable counterpart.)
  3. The Oracle has a relationship ‘forward’ to the humans, relating to their “complexity.”

Representing the concept of differentiation in Binah, the Oracle relates to the idea of individuality and purpose. The Oracle and Binah are also associated with the future aspect of “time,” just as the Architect and Chokmah are with the past:

Oracle: We are all here to do what we are all here to do. I’m interested in one thing, Neo, the future. And believe me, I know: the only way to get there is together.

As there is but one past, there are many possible futures, all dependent on our choices:

Neo: So is this the same Oracle who made the prophecy? … And she knows what? Everything?

Morpheus: She would say she knows enough.

Neo: And she’s never wrong?

Morpheus: Try not to think in terms of right or wrong. She is a guide, Neo. She can help you to find the path.

The key role the Oracle plays in her relationship to the humans is summed up in this exchange:

Neo: You know the Oracle?
Rama Kandra: Everyone knows the Oracle.

There’s that word “know” (da’at) again. Indeed, the Oracle is the one entity that all the main characters in the movie have some connection to. Even the ‘antagonists’ (Agent Smith, the Merovingian as well as the Architect) all have interaction with her at some point.

With regard to the humans, the process of ‘redemption’ they go through begins as they first pass through the ‘watery’ exit from their pods in the machine world (the soul level of nefesh, the basic soul needed to exist).  They then go through the next world of connection, gaining knowledge of the Matrix (the soul level of ruach/spirit) and at some point, they end up meeting with the Oracle – at the soul level of neshama.

The Matrix movie is really about the ‘path of the one’ through the matrix. This being the case, every journey has a beginning, middle and end, and only one of the movie characters is involved with all three stages of “the One” – that being the Oracle.

We know she was there though his journey and at the very end – but the ‘beginning?’ Where was the Oracle at the beginning of Neo’s journey? She is a force working behind the scenes, to effect change:

Keeping all that in mind for the moment, let’s look at another Brief Dialogue:

Oracle: That’s his (Architect’s) purpose: to balance an equation.
Neo: What’s your purpose?
Oracle: To unbalance it.

Neo is described by the Architect character as an ‘anomaly’ – something that occurs in the matrix every so often (he’s the sixth) when the ‘equation’ becomes ‘imbalanced.’

There seems to be a culprit with regard to causing this to happen – the one who said she ‘unbalances the equation’ – the Oracle.

What is her ‘purpose’ in doing so?

In kabbalah, the emanation of Binah/Understanding is the ‘head of the left pillar of restriction.’ As discussed in another part of this study, ‘restriction’ in this context is called “tsimtsum,” where a thing has to be restricted in some manner in order for a new thing to be introduced and accepted. This is always prerequisite to new growth and repair (tikkun).

This is part of the concept of teshuvah, which is really return to an original and correct form, ‘free’ from those things that have gotten in the way of this. (Freedom being another aspect of Binah.)

In the case of the Matrix, the tikkun and teshuvah are related to the way things once were, the desire of the Oracle:

Oracle: I want the same thing you want, Neo. And I am willing to go as far as you are to get it.
Neo: The end of the war.

Recall the character Tank’s word to Neo:

“If the war was over tomorrow, Zion (i.e., having achieved the state of tikkun) is where the party would be.”

The Oracle represents the concept of being ‘born of water and spirit,’ and as the ‘mother of the Matrix’ (as the Architect called her) she is at the level of Binah/Understanding which is associated with “Heavenly Jerusalem” and the “freedom” of the Jubilee/Yovel (the 50th).

As we read:

Galatians 4:26 – Jerusalem above (Binah) is free (Binah), which is the mother of us all (Binah).


Teshuvah, Tefilla and Tzedakah by By Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

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