I've seen many blogs and other modern day books write that men have more Chochmah than women. Some examples:

A man’s forte is chochma, and a woman’s is binah.

Kabbalah teaches that men have more Chochma (wisdom) and women a greater measure of Bina (understanding).

Men are from Chochmah; Women are from Binah

The first of the properties is that of chochmah, translated loosely as “wisdom,” which is a male principle.

Men's brains with their superior Chochmah mode...

Women are more attuned to binah and malchut. Men are more inclined to chochma and tiferet.

Is there a valid source for this? The closest thing I'm aware of is Yomah 66b

אין חכמה לאשה אלא בפלך וכן הוא אומר (שמות לה, כה) וכל אשה חכמת לב בידיה טוו

but I don't think that's a valid Mekor at all. See the end of this article for example. Also see there for a number of sources that women are referred to as having significant amounts of Chochmah (although there's no implication there who has more- men or women).

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    In Kabbala, חכמה and בינה are called אבא ואימא respectively. I don't know where these names first appear, but maybe this is the source for the idea.
    – b a
    Jan 21, 2018 at 8:21
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    How are we defining Chochmah and Binah?
    – DonielF
    Jan 21, 2018 at 10:44
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    @DonielF I don't feel that that's relevant if we're just looking for a source... So long as any source acceptable to Eliyahu would say "Men have more chochma than women", no matter what the definition, it would answer the question. Jan 21, 2018 at 15:16
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    What sort of source are you looking for? You yourself linked a half-dozen articles that quote this, are those considered 'sources'? I only looked at the first two articles (so far), and they both seem to have have sources behind them (for example, Niddah 45b in the first article and Sichos of the Rebbe for the second one). Are those sources valid? Jan 21, 2018 at 15:59
  • The Gemara in Nidda only says that women have more Binah. I'm looking for an early source that men have more Chochma (preferably Rishonim or earlier but I'd accept a little later as well)
    – Eliyahu
    Jan 21, 2018 at 16:23

2 Answers 2


Daf al Hadaf to Niddah 45b says clearly that men have more Chochmah than women. He bases this on the contradiction between Shabbos 33b (נשים דעתן קלות) and Niddah 45b (בינה יתירה באשה יותר מבאיש) and explains this to be the distinction between the two Gemaras. He also quotes Yoma 66b as support, despite your issues with this.

He quotes 2 sources for his claim:

  • the Sefer Chasam Sofer quoted earlier on that page in Daf al Hadaf (Seder Avodas Hayom, which I have been unable to find), which makes some comments which I will not explain here in English והמעיין יעיין.
  • The Maharal in Chiddushei Agados here, who makes this distinction openly. He discusses the difference between men and women as שכל הנבדל vs. שכל היולאני, and associates the שכל הנבדל with Chochma, and the שכל היולאני with Binah.
  • I also didn't find the Chassam Sofer but the Maharal in Chiddushei Aggados was perfect. Thank you so much.
    – Eliyahu
    Jan 22, 2018 at 6:36
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    @Eliyahu Np. Happy to help, keep on asking good questions! Jan 22, 2018 at 6:38
  • What do sechel Hanivdal and sechel Hyolani translate to? Jul 5, 2021 at 17:50
  • @YaakovPinchas see jewishvirtuallibrary.org/intellect and see maharal there Jul 5, 2021 at 18:47
  • So you're saying that men have more chochma and women more binah, however blurry these terms may be?
    – Bach
    Jul 5, 2021 at 20:30

HaRav Tzadok HaKohen of Lublin זצ"ל writes in דובר צדק (last paragraph on page) that binah is a female trait that is rooted in the heart, whilst חכמה, wisdom, belongs to the male consciousness and stems from the brain. Quoting the זוהר he writes, "חכמה ובינה הם אבא ואימא" – “Wisdom and understanding – they are the father (i.e. wisdom) and the mother (i.e. understanding)”.


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