Looking for the connection of Yetzer and the translation as inclanation, I was surprised that almost every Hebrew word derived from the same root had to do with creating.

So how did a word (from a root with a common denominator of creating) begot the meaning of inclination?

Information I found based on etymology:

The word yetzer יצר is related to the verb yatzar יצר which means something like 'to create, fashion, produce or form'.

But within the Etymological Dictionary of Biblical Hebrew by S.R.Hirsch I found a nice reference to the Aramaic word yitzra יצרא which according to Hirsch means inclination.

But other translations of what seems to be the same word (איצרא) in phrases like yitzra d'ervah and yitzra d'avodah zarah translate it as tempter, urge, intent, drive.

Are there any commentaries that show the connection?

  • 3
    כי יצר לב האדם רע מנעוריו – Double AA Oct 23 '16 at 11:50
  • @Double AA: A inclination is often being described as a feeling to do something, a predisposition, a natural inclination or tendency to think, act, or proceed in a particular way, or the fact that someone prefer or is more likely to do a particular thing. So the connection to the verse you gave is logical and also well known, but how is this connected to the root which seems to revolve around creating? – Levi Oct 23 '16 at 13:40
  • Nachman teaches about the power of imagination. Could I interpret the word yotzer as 'shaping imagination' like a artist imagines something and then creates it, and yetzer as a force of imagination, because both seem to be about actualizing/realising/creating what the mind produces in its imagination. Is this understanding correct? – Levi Oct 24 '16 at 6:18
  • I think that Avot D'Rav Natan explains this on some level. But, before I delve further, are you satisfied with @DoubleAA's comment, above, which, perhaps should become an answer? – DanF Oct 26 '16 at 16:36
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    Possible duplicate of How to define yetzer – DanF Nov 4 '16 at 13:03

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