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Torah-Or different roots yet a lot of similarity?


Rabbi Ari Shvat

Cheshvan 21, 5778
Dear Rabbi, I noticed looking up the root for the word תּוֹרָה‎ that some of your fellow rabbi’s teach it comes from “הוֹרָה,” which means teaching and connected it with “אורה,” which means light. Others teach it’s derived from the root ירה, the verb meaning to ’teach’ is הורה. It’s cognates include תורה and מורה ..The word הורה written with a kamats to form ’horah’ can also be written with a segol to form horeh (parent). Again others like Rabbi Hirsch teach that the word תורת does not come from the root ירה , like הוליך from הלך , but from הרה: to receive a seed within oneself, in the Hifil הורה: to plant a seed in someone else, hence to implant the seeds of truth and goodness, of spirituality and morality in others; ’to teach’. I also found some teaching that מורה is from the root ירה : מורה derives from the root ירה - "to teach", which is also the root of the word תורה - torah. Horeh comes from the root הרה: What I’m trying to show in these comments is that I find it confusing that people seem to perpose two different roots for words like Torah, Moreh, Horeh and Orah, namely הרה or it’s ירה. My Question is: what are the exact roots for each of these words: Torah, Moreh, Horeh and Orah. And are their roots somehow related etymologically or as a homophone or homohraph, homonym or connected in any other way?!
You are touching on a very famous argument whether 2 similar letters in a Hebrew root have significance and are conceptually related [Dunash ben Levrat, and more recently, R. Shimshon Rephael Hirsch, and this is obviously the kabbalistic direction as well, for they refer to the deeper meaning of each letter, so even 2 similar letters have significant messages] or not (the more widely accepted opinion). You may have heard rabbis who go the “liberal” (first) way, for it enables room for more innovative drashot, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that even they really believe it grammatically. In short, the root of Torah and Hora’ah (=teaching) is YRH (=to shoot or send forth); the root of Harah (=pregnant) or Horeh (=parent) is HRH (=pregnant); the root of Ora (=light) is OUR (aleph, vav, reish), and are (according to most opinions) 3 totally different verbs. (thanks to Dr. Yosef Peretz)
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