Which Version of Honen HaDa’at is Correct?

After the Kedusha of the Amida, the blessing of Da’at is recited. The Zohar (Pekude) explains that once one has sanctified oneself during the Kedusha, the first thing one asks for from Hashem is Da’at, the type of knowledge needed to discern between different things. Incidentally the special Havdala prayer is inserted here on Motzaei Shabbat, because it is this type of knowledge needed to distinguish between the holiness of Shabbat versus the weekdays. The HIDA (Birke Yosef, Siman 115) explains that the reason Da’at is the first thing one prays for in the Amida is based on the teaching in the Gemara (Berachot 33a) that one who is not graced with knowledge is not worthy of mercy. Therefore, we beseech Hashem for Da’at so that we may be worthy of His mercy, and by extension, we can ask Him for all our other requests in the following blessings.

There are two versions of this blessing. The version originally accepted by the Moroccan community and recorded in Tefilat HaHodesh and the Avudraham, is “Honenu Meitecha De’a Bina VeHaskel”.  Rabbi David Ovadia explains that certain parts of Morocco eventually accepted the other version of “Honenu Meitecha Hochma Bina VaDa’at”. According to the Arizal, the latter version alludes to one of Hashem’s Names, spelled Het-Bet-Vav. There is scriptural for both wordings of this blessing and therefore one can follow whichever version one is accustomed to.

Summary: Both “De’a Bina VeHaskel” and “Hochma Bina VaDa’at” are acceptable versions of the blessing of Da’at.



      Honen HaDaat