The words דעה and דעת both seem to come from the same root of לדעת, to know. Is there a difference in meaning between them? The only indication I can think of is the נוסח אשכנז version of the ברכה of אתה חונן where we say

אתה חונן לאדם דעת ומלמד לאנוש בינה. חננו מאתך דעה בינה והשכל.

It seems that דעה and דעת correspond, as we reflect our original praises of Hashem which talk about דעת and בינה in the request at the end which includes דעה and בינה.

  • +1 for excellent question. Do you want a general answer, or one specifically related to the bracha that you mentioned?
    – DanF
    Jul 5 '16 at 15:28
  • I've deleted my previous answer. I got one of my rabbinical friends involved in the research, as he has far more spare time than I do. Offhand, he said that דעת is a "gerund", meaning that it needs a noun after it, whereas דעה does not. I showed him the text of the bracha (good thing that you showed Nusach Ashkenaz, b/c Sefard uses דעת ), which seems to disprove his theory. I say "seems" b/c there have been "grammatical" errors in the Siddur that have carried over. Doesn't occur often, but it can. I doubt that this is one of them.
    – DanF
    Jul 6 '16 at 14:51
  • I'm a native Hebrew speaker. דעה in moderm hebrew means opinion, but obviously that isn't the case. I believe there is no difference in meaning in the context quoted above.
    – Nati
    Sep 4 '16 at 15:23
  • Note also the relationship between חכמה and חכמת, where the latter is not in construct - such as in Isaiah 33:6.
    – Shimon bM
    Dec 8 '16 at 5:01
  • Some older Ashkenazi Nuschaot had בינה דעה והשכל for what it's worth. (And all of them had וחננו, though that's not relevant here...)
    – Double AA
    Dec 8 '16 at 5:16

The Siach Yitzchok, found on page 175 of the siddur Ishei Yisroel, writes the following:

ההבדל בין דעה לדעת נראה כי הדיעה היא שם הפעולה, וקאי על העת שעוד לא נגמרה רק משתלמת והולכת... ועל כן הקדים אותה קודם בינה. ודעת נקראה הידיעה שכבר נתבררה...

The difference between de'ah and da'as seems to be that de'ah is the name of the act, and refers to the point at which the process of understanding is not yet finished but is still being completed... and therfore it precedes binah. And da'as is what knowledge which has already been clarified [completely] is called...

He goes on to explain that therefore de'ah comes before binah whereas da'as comes after binah.

However, in the Eitz Yosef commentary to Shemoneh Esrei found in the Otzar Mefarshei HaTefillos, it is clear from his explanation that he sees the two terms as being interchangeable.

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