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(I am aware of this question, however, my question focus specifically about why Torah is called sweet).

In Koheles 11:7, Torah is described as וּמָת֖וֹק הָא֑וֹר (u'Matok HaOhr), a sweet light.

וּמָת֖וֹק הָא֑וֹר Truly the light is sweet

Rashi on this posuk links to a posuk in Tehillim, where Dovid HaMelech describes Torah as "sweeter than honey and drippings from the combs"

My question is: why is the Torah compared to 1) Honey, and why is the Torah described as a sweet light, a וּמָת֖וֹק הָא֑וֹר?

The Aramaic Targum translates the posuk in Koheles as follows:

And sweet is the light of the Torah, and it is good to light up dim eyes that they may see the glory of the face of the Shecina

So, according to the Targum, the Torah can light up dim eyes, in order that they may see the glory of the face of the shechina. This makes sense. However the "sweet" part, is what I have trouble with. Why sweet? Why honey?

Are there any sources that explain this?

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  • Why do you ask about oil in the title, but not in the body?
    – Lo ani
    Feb 5 at 21:46
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    @Loani Idk, thanks for pointing it out, must have been a typo.
    – Shmuel
    Feb 5 at 22:15

1 Answer 1

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We find in the book of Shmuel that honey can light up a person's eyes:

But Yonatan heard not when his father charged the people with the oath: and he put out the end of the rod that was in his hand, and dipped it in a honeycomb, and put his hand to his mouth; and his eyes were brightened.

Similarly, the sweetness (enjoyableness) of Torah brightens one's eyes in a spiritual sense.

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  • Thank you for pointing out that posuk. However, why honey?
    – Shmuel
    Sep 6, 2022 at 11:24
  • Honey is the classic case of something sweet.
    – N.T.
    Sep 6, 2022 at 15:48
  • Thank you, now I'm still looking for the last part of my question, namely "Are there any mefarshim who explain this?"
    – Shmuel
    Sep 6, 2022 at 16:43
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    TBH, I think this is pretty basic. I'm not sure they felt the need to explain it.
    – N.T.
    Sep 7, 2022 at 2:09
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    B'H I found a Chasam Sofer Al HaTorah that describes the properties of honey. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but the Chasam Sofer says that honey can transform anything bitter, into anything sweet - See: tablet.otzar.org/#/book/155872/p/25/t/0.463846495335914041234/… ---- beginning with the words כתיב נופת תטופנה שפתותיך
    – Shmuel
    Oct 12, 2022 at 11:31

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