Aug 24, 2015

Words for Food

I may have heard this idea in a shiur many years ago.  It's been so long, I don't remember.  Here is a list of roots and words related both to food as well as to war and destruction:

1) ochel - food אוכֶל 
 consume "והסנה איננה אֻכָּל" - and the burning bush was not consumed

2) milchama - war, bread מלחמה, לחם

3) טרף - sustenance and tearing
Tehillim: "טרף נתן ליראיו"
"טרף טרף יוסף" - like an animal that is treif

4) mazon - sustenance מזון
klei zayin - weapons כּלי זַייִן

5) shever - שבר referring to food and breaking
food: Yaakov said, "יש שבר במצרים"

6) michyeh - food, for it  provides life chai מחיה
and to eradicate, as in the mitzvah of destroying Amalek: מחיית עמלק

So why do eating and destruction share roots? We do consume our food and we are called consumers, so the concept exists in English too.  But how come in Lashon Ha'Kodesh, there are many roots that mean both food and destruction?

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