The blessing said after leaving the rest room begins:

אשר יצר את האדם בחכמה

Who created man with wisdom

Does "with wisdom" mean:

1 - G-d used His wisdom when creating man? or

2 - G-d creating man to have wisdom?

  • the way it is used in Tehillim and Mishlei favors the first meaning, but the way it is in Shmot favors the second.
    – rosends
    Aug 1, 2019 at 20:16
  • 2
    Why not both meanings?
    – LN6595
    Aug 1, 2019 at 20:42

4 Answers 4


"1 - G-d used His wisdom when creating man"

Tosfos Berachos 60b

אשר יצר את האדם בחכמה - בתנחומא ויברא אלהים את האדם א"ר בון בחכמה שהתקין מזונותיו ואח"כ בראו היינו דאמר בסנהדרין בס"פ אחד דיני ממונות (סנהדרין דף לח.) לכך נברא בערב שבת כדי שיכנס לסעודה מיד וע"כ יסדו אשר יצר את האדם בחכמה:

WHO FORMED MAN IN WISDOM. What is this wisdom that the text of the b’rochoh refers to? In Midrosh Tanchuma: And G-d created the man: R’ Bun said, He created man, with wisdom. What was the wisdom? That he provided his food supply and then created him. This is what the Gemara refers to in Sanhedrin at the end of perek Echod Dinay Momonos (38a): For this reason he was created the day before Shabos, when everything was complete, so that he should enter into a banquet1 immediately. And therefore they, the Sages, instituted that we say “that he fashioned the man with wisdom”.

  • Tough competition so far, between you and other answer. Both good. Tough to decide whose I can accept first...
    – DanF
    Aug 1, 2019 at 21:33

You have to read on:

וברא בו נקבים נקבים

The prayer says God created man using wisdom, and then goes on and enumerates what type of wisdom.

I learned this out of Rashi s.v. Umafli, in Berachos 60b. But Maharaha posits that it may refer to wisdom man has over beast. Beis Yosef (OH 6 s.v. ועל) notes this difference and seems to display initial gravitation towards Rashi’s interpretation.

  • Tough competition so far, between you and other answer. Both good. Tough to decide whose I can accept first...
    – DanF
    Aug 1, 2019 at 21:34

Shulchan Aruch, beginning of OC 6:1:

כשיצא מבית הכסא יברך אשר יצר את האדם בחכמה שבריאת האדם היא בחכמה נפלאה

When one leaves the bathroom, he blesses, “Who formed man with wisdom,” for the creation of man is with wondrous wisdom.

The Mechaber proceeds to demonstrate how, exactly, the creation of man necessitates “wondrous wisdom,” but the point for your question is that “with wisdom” goes back on the creation, not on man.


It is clear from the rest of the bracha that the intended meaning is that Hashem used His wisdom to create man, as the bracha goes on to describe the intricacy and the cruciality of the human digestive system, which, if even one tube were blocked, would kill you. (או אם יפתח אחד מהם, אי אפשר להתקיים אפילו שעה אחת) Perhaps this is a simple explanation but simple does not mean incorrect.

  • 1
    This unsourced answer seems to echo this sourced one. Am I missing something?
    – DonielF
    Aug 11, 2019 at 3:20

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