Daat, Daat Everywhere and Not a Drop of Truth

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Fake ice
cream. Fake money. Fake friends. Fake free markets. Fake free speech. Fake
education. Fake elections. Fake news. Even fake spirituality. Everything seems
fake these days Why is this so? What happened to the real stuff? The truth is
that what we are seeing in our world today is merely the revelation of the
essence of our world from its foundation. Fakeness has always been at the root
of our world. It is just that now, the fakeness has become so blatant and
obvious that more people are starting to realize that things are not quite

So why is
fakeness such a hallmark of our world?

In the
beginning, Adam ha-Rishon [Primordial Man] was given a choice. He was
told that he could eat from every tree in the garden including עֵץ הַחַיִּים
(Tree of Life), with the exception of a single tree, עֵץ הַדַּעַת טוֹב וָרָע
(Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil). What was so terrible about eating from
this tree?

To answer
that question, we need to understand daat. What exactly is daat? It
is usually translated as ‘knowledge’, but that’s not really what it is. Daat
is the state or moment of intimacy [יחוד, yichud] between chochmah [חכמה] and binah
[בינה]. Chochmah
is supernal wisdom or knowledge which resides in the right side of the brain,
whereas binah may be perceived as the heart or emotional understanding
of that knowledge which resides in the left side of the brain. Chochmah
deals with ‘information’ and is somewhat similar to a database of spiritual
knowledge, whereas binah is the projection of that knowledge in order to
make useful predictions of the future. Binah is associated with
‘intuition’ whereas chochmah is associated with ‘data.’ These are not all-encompassing
definitions, but they do convey some of the fundamentals in simple terms. That
being said, daat can be thought of as the moment of integration between
right and left brains. Also, if chochmah deals with the past and binah
with the future, then daat deals with the present, the here and now, the
immediate. Further, all good character traits [מידות, middot] emerge out of daat.
Without daat, there are no good middot. That is why daat
is the ultimate treasure because if we ‘have it’ then we are equipped to handle
the experiences of life and to respond effectively and properly to whatever
happens; and if we don’t ‘have it’ we will end up ill-equipped for life and
fall flat on our face the moment anything happens out of the ordinary or
different from what we ‘wanted to happen.’ This is why we pray three times a
day (Nusach Sefard): חָנֵּנוּ מֵאִתְּךָ חָכְמָה בִּינָה
וָדָּעַת (Graciously give us
from Yourself chochmah, binah and daat). We really need
all three, but the key, the most valuable is daat which is why the
prayer concludes: בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ חוֹנֵן הַדָּעַת (Blessed are You Hashem, the Giver of daat).

Now that we can
appreciate some of the basics about the nature of daat—its origins, its
essence, and what emerges from it—then what is meant by the tree of daat tov
? We just learned that daat is the moment of yichud between
chochmah and binah. If daat is defined in this tree as a combination
of good and evil, then it’s not really daat, is it? But the Torah calls
it daat. So what is it? Simply put, it is fake daat. It’s a daat
that masquerades as true daat, so much so that it even appears to
integrate two apparently opposite ideas—good and evil—similar to how true daat
integrates chochmah and binah.

was not just a historical figure that lived long ago, but rather
the collective us who continues to live today. Therefore, it is
insufficient to think of Adam ha-Rishon as ‘him’, as someone distinct
from us. We are him. Therefore, to get closer to reality, let’s say the
following: When we (you and I) were given the choice between eating from
the eitz chaim (where true daat resides) and the eitz daat tov
(where fake daat resides), why did you and I
choose the fake version? Why would we make such a ‘ridiculous’ choice? Why did
we choice fiction over reality?

We chose it
because it was easy. The choice to eat from the eitz daat tov v’ra
required no spiritual work, no submission to the will of our Creator, no
acknowledgment that Hashem alone rules, no humility and no self-nullification. After
Adam ha-Rishon ate from the forbidden fruit, Hashem asked him where he
was. Let us read his response (Bereshit 3:10):  וַיֹּאמֶר אֶת־קֹלְךָ שָׁמַעְתִּי בַּגָּן
וָאִירָא כִּי־עֵירֹם אָנֹכִי וָאֵחָבֵא (And he said, I heard the sound of Your voice in the garden and
I was afraid because I [anochi] was naked and I hid). He realized that
there was absolutely nothing to him. He was completely void of mitzvot,
with nothing to his credit or merit. His anochi
was naked; the “I” or self of keter [crown] was empty. It wasn’t that he
took off his keter voluntarily and gave it to Hashem in submission to
His will. No, he held onto his keter and did nothing with it except to
rebel against his Creator. In other words, he had acquired no chochmah
and no binah. He did nothing to develop his mochin [מוחין, spiritual
brains]. His mochin were non-existent. This is the deeper meaning of his

So if the
fake daat has no chochmah or binah behind it, then what
does the Torah mean by saying it is a tree of daat tov v’ra? Where do
the good and the evil come from that make up this daat? The prophet
Yeshaya was given revelations that if understood properly would decimate the
theological foundations of many religious systems. For example, he wrote (45:7):
יוֹצֵר אוֹר וּבוֹרֵא חֹשֶׁךְ עֹשֶׂה שָׁלוֹם וּבוֹרֵא רָע
אֲנִי יְיָ עֹשֶׂה כׇל־אֵלֶּה
(I form light and create darkness. I make peace and create evil. I, Hashem, do
all these). These words are so ‘disturbing’ that many English translations do
not translate them properly, i.e. that Hashem creates evil. Instead they
finesse the translation in one way or another to avoid the uncomfortable
implications. Nevertheless, the fact is that Hashem takes credit for creating
both light and darkness, good and bad. From Hashem’s point of view, everything
is one. The distinction of deciding that one event is ‘good’ and another event is
‘evil’ or ‘bad’ is purely subjective, fictitious and artifactual. It only
happens in our minds. There is no substance to it. It is just because we have
been making these arbitrary distinctions since the garden that we think it must
be right. And for the most part, we have been continuing in this same mode of
confusion ever since.

It is well
illustrated in the story of the Chinese farmer whose horse ran away. That very evening,
all of his neighbors came around to commiserate. They said, “We are so sorry to
hear your horse has run away. This is most unfortunate.” He said, “Maybe.” The
next day the horse came back bringing seven wild horses with it, and in the
evening everybody came back and said, “Oh, isn’t that lucky. What a great turn
of events!” Again he said, “Maybe.” The following day his son tried to break
one of the horses, and while riding it, he was thrown and broke his leg. The
neighbors said, “Oh dear, that’s too bad,” and the farmer responded, “Maybe.”
The next day the conscription officers came around to conscript people into the
army, and they rejected his son because he had a broken leg. Again all the
neighbors came around and said, “Isn’t that great!” Again, he simply said,

So even
though the halachah requires that when something ‘good’ happens we make
the berachah בָּרוּךְ הַטּוֹב וְהַמֵּטִיב (Blessed is the One Who is good and Who
does good) and when something ‘bad’ happens, we make the berachah בָּרוּךְ דַּיַּין הָאֱמֶת (Blessed is the True Judge), in the future during the Messianic
Age, we will make the berachah בָּרוּךְ הַטּוֹב
וְהַמֵּטִיב on the so-called
‘good’ and on the so-called ‘bad.’ Why? Because in reality, there is no such
thing as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ events—they are both just subjective perceptions in
our heads. When we will have access to the Hidden Light and our minds will have
been purged of the poison from the Primordial Snake [נחש, Nachash], we will clearly see that
everything is from Hashem and that everything is good.

This explains
why the entire world is founded on an illusion. It’s built on a fake premise,
i.e. that it is right and proper to label every event or situation, etc. as
either ‘good’ or ‘bad.’ But really, all of it is just one big mirage that has
produced nothing by misery, an image of reality as we think it to be. But be
grateful for all the fakeness we are seeing, because the more obvious the
fakeness becomes, the closer we are to experiencing the revelation of truth—chochmah,
binah and real daat. But you don’t need to wait. You can make it
your reality even now. It’s your decision.

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