If you know some Hebrew, you more than likely know the word for light – אוֹר (ohr) – especially if you’ve been following Ktzat Ivrit for the last couple of weeks.
Using the three-letter word אור as a verbal root, א.ו.ר (a.w.r), the word for to light up or to illuminate is created: לְהָאִיר (le-hah-EER). This beautiful word has been used in Hebrew prayer and in Jewish names since Mishnaic times, even in the Bible itself, in the conjugation מֵאִיר (meh-EER, but more commonly pronounced MEH-eer) – illuminating or one who illuminates. The name is used in the feminine as well – מְאִירָה (meh-ee-RAH, but more commonly pronounced meh-EE-rah).
To give an example… נֵרוֹת חֲנֻכָּה מְאִירִים אֶת הַבָּיִת וְאֶת הָעוֹלָם (neh-ROHT khah-noo-KAH meh-ee-REEM et hah-BAH-yeet ve-ET hah-oh-LAHM) – Hanukkah candles light up the home and the world.