I was perusing a a Mishna, as one is wont to do, when I came across a slightly unnerving phrase in Nedarim 7:8:
he may not eat
Well, that was a bit disconcerting. I happen to eat quite frequently, so if that happens to be forbidden, I'm in a bit of a pickle (and I wouldn't even be able to eat my way out of it!).
But at this point, I wasn't too worried. I mean, I know that the Mishna is the basis for Jewish law and practice, however it is not the final word on our heritage. It gets defined and interpreted through the lens of the later codes and commentaries. So I figured it would be best if I dug a little deeper.
And this is where the trouble began. I checked to see what the Gemara had to say about this, and lo and behold, Berachos 42a also says "אסור מלאכול - he is forbidden to eat". And to make things worse, this is brought down through the codes as well, with the Rambam in the laws of Leavened and Unleavened Bread 6:12 writing " וְכֵן אָסוּר לֶאֱכֹל " as the Halacha! This goes all the way through the Shulchan Aruch (in O"C 476:2), Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (10:16), and even contemporary works like the Mishnah Berurah (568:18)!
How in the world is one supposed to explain all these sources saying it's forbidden to eat? If it was one or two places, I could understand if you said that maybe in context it means something else, but 5 or 6 examples? There must be some sort of deep, spiritual message behind this! It's not like you can just plug the words אסור לאכל into Sefaria search and come up with hundreds of quotes out of context!
What am I supposed to do? It's almost lunchtime and I'm getting hungry. Please help!