Binah: Understanding

7 years ago Archive 0

Picture yourself separated from your friends, family, and even strangers by a glass wall. You can see them, and they can see you, yet the wall comes between you. You can bang and yell and shriek, but nothing breaks the glass wall. Nothing you do brings you and your loved one together. The wall is strong, and it appears to be stronger than you.

You wonder why the wall exists in the first place. What did you do wrong? But, it isn’t what you did, it’s what you didn’t do. The cause of this alienation and isolation is a lack of understanding. The differences between two friends shouldn’t create the wall, but they often do. No two people are exactly the same. Your political beliefs, likes, and personalities may be different but don’t let them develop the strength to come between you.

The only way to break down the wall is to reach out and try to understand. Try to imagine yourself from their point of view. It’s not easy, but chances are they have some basis for their belief, and the simple act of trying to understand can go a long way.

While we like to think we’re always right, that’s not usually true. There’s always another side to an issue we hadn’t thought about, or a hidden underlying reason, and often times through our journey to compromise, we learn about ourselves, and our loved ones. A middle ground has no limitations or restrictions. It may seem like it is, but the wall is not stronger than you. Binah, the Sefira also known as Understanding, plays a role in understanding the wall and how to break it down. When you cultivate an awareness about the people around you, be it your friends, family, or peers, you can learn to better understand them, which breaks down the wall that stands between you.

What is it about understanding that is so difficult? Perhaps the answer lies in the question. Do we understand what it means to understand. We think we know. Usually, when we communicate with other people, we understand based on how our minds perceive their thoughts, feelings, and emotions. But, Binah is more than that. A full awareness and understanding comes about from hearing the person and listening for the things that are important to them. The class of misunderstanding and miscommunications that stand between us is the glass that separates our minds from those of others. When we put ourselves in our friends shoes, and really listen, we can cultivate a better awareness with which to understand them.