The Haggadah says:

וַאֲפִילוּ כֻּלָּנוּ חֲכָמִים, כֻּלָּנוּ נְבוֹנִים, כֻּלָנוּ זְקֵנִים, כֻּלָנוּ יוֹדְעִים אֶת הַתּוֹרָה

Listing 4 different qualities means that each one is not sufficient, and those are not overlapping, but it sound weird, for example, זקן we know that stands for זה קנה חכמה, and includes two others.

What are those 4 distinctive qualities and why being חכם or זקן is just not enough?

  • As far as I am able to discern, zkn seems to refer to (the wisdom that comes with) old age, or, in other words, (intellectual) maturity, whereas nbwn, on the other hand, refers to being book-smart, and ywdo to possessing (intimate) knowledge of something, as in Bereshit 4:1, all three notions representing the various aspects of the more generic hkm, meaning simply wisdom. – Lucian Apr 23 '19 at 0:44
  • @Lucian OK, a nice move, do you see other places where such a differentiation takes place? When we call some חכמים only נבונים or חכם, but not יודע את כל התורה כולה. – Al Berko Apr 23 '19 at 12:10
  • If you are asking me for examples of specific rabbinic usage, I'm afraid I cannot provide them; but if you are looking for banal theoretical examples, a Gentile, for instance, can (and usually does) gain the intellectual maturity that naturally comes with the increased life experience afforded by old age, even were he to live on a remote island untouched by the rest of human civilization, Jewish or otherwise, which would automatically preclude him from access to most Torah-specific insights; or, on the other hand, an avid Gentile book reader, equally unaware of most of Judaism's teachings. – Lucian Apr 23 '19 at 14:32

These are 4 independent and orthogonal traits. Chochma symbolises our abilities to learn, bina is the capability of induction, daea is accumulation of knowledge and zikna is the perspective of time. Certainly all 4 are required traits for highly effective learning that is both meaningful and developmental.

It is symbolic in a sense, that mi yodea is a community in a meta-community of programmers.

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  • Why חכמים does not include יודעים את התורה? You post a piece of wisdom that does not address the actual question. – Al Berko Apr 21 '19 at 19:06
  • דעה שקולה לדעת תורה – Danny Lieberman Apr 22 '19 at 5:56
  • Exactly, why חכמה does not include knowing Torah? – Al Berko Apr 22 '19 at 8:29

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