Thursday, September 3, 2015
All You Ever Wanted to Know about Lilith!
by Judy Weinberg (from the premier issue of LILITH Magazine, Fall 1976) If we were able to trust all the rabbinic and kabbalistic sources available to us concerning Eve's alleged predecessor, Lilith, we would be forced to believe that she is a "fiery female spirit" who, although frigid, passionately seduces men in their sleep, and who, although sterile and childless, kills one hundred of her demon children daily. Dozens of conflicting Lilith traditions exist. If we are to discover and establish a meaningful image of Lilith, these different traditions must be disentangled strand by strand. While this entire task is not possible within the limited scope of this brief overview, we can begin it. The first available version of the Creation story which associates the name Lilith with a "first Eve" is included in the Alphabet of Ben‑Sira , a work probably written sometime in the Gaonic period (600‑1000 C.E.). This account merges into two separate and distinct traditions‑that of the Lilith of the Talmud and that of the "first Eve" of the midrash (legends). Lilith in the Talmud: The personality called "Lilith" in the Talmud shows no connection with Adam at all. From the four specific references to
Lilith in the Babylonian Talmud, we learn only that she is a wild‑haired and winged creature with nymphomaniac tendencies (Erubin 100b, Niddah 24b, Shabbat 151b); and the mother of demons (Bava Batra 73a ). Such a characterization of Lilith may have been drawn from the single Biblical mention of "lilith" (Isaiah 34:14): The wild creatures of the desert shall meet with the jackals , the goat demon shall call to his fellow, the lilith shall also repose there and find for herself a place of rest. Commentators have often translated "lilith" as "night‑monster," associating the name with layil, the Hebrew word for night; thus, Rabbi Hanina forbids men to sleep alone in a house at night lest they fall prey to her (Shabbat 151b). (The Akadian "lilitu," a female spirit wind, is probably a more accurate etymology, however.) "First Eve": The midrash (legends) of Genesis Rabbah discusses a "first Eve" but does not mention Lilith. According to Rabbi Hiya, she "returned to dust" (22:7). Judah, son of Rabbi Hiya, states that in the beginning God created Eve for Adam, but when Adam saw her being made with sinews and blood, he grew disgusted and became alienated from her. Thereupon God caused this first Eve to return to nothingness and proceeded to create a second Eve for Adam (18.4). Two separate and distinct beings‑Lilith of the Talmud and Eve 1 of the midrash‑came together into one, to become Lilith, Adam's first mate. We can see this process of integration in the Alphabet itself. In the beginning of this account, Lilith is characterized as a woman (ishah). By the end of the story, however, her children are called demons (sheydim) and she herself has powers that can only be warded off by the mystical means of an amulet. Thus, having equated his protagonist with Lilith of the Talmud, the author was forced to assign her the characteristics attributed to her by that work.
Lilith in Kabbala:
The various and often contradictory accounts found in subsequent kabbalistic literature of different periods seem to interweave the scant references of earlier Jewish sources with later myths culled from outside influences. Lilith's image depicted in medieval kabbalist literature is complex and evil. Let us first examine the kabbalistic myths of Lilith's creation. The Alphabet account is the only version of the story in which Lilith is an independent being, for she was created out of materials similar to The Zohar (the central work of Jewish mysticism) develops a theory that Adam originally comprised both male and female elements. This is based on Talmudic and midrashic statements that "Adam, who was the first man, had two full faces" (Brachot 61a, Erubin 18b).
Rabbi Samuel ben Nachman said: "When the Holy One, blessed be He, created the first man, he created him as a hermaphrodite." Rabbi Levi said the same thing: When man was created, he was created with two body fronts, and He sawed him in two, so that two bodies resulted, one for the male and one for the female (Lev. Rab. 14:1). The Zohar picks up on this theme of Adam's bisexuality but now draws the connection with Lilith: The female was attached to the side of the male until God cast him into a deep slumber... God then sawed her off from him and adorned her like a bride and brought her to him, as it is written, "And He took one of his sides and closed up the place with flesh. " I have found it stated in an old book that the word "one" here means "one woman" to wit the original Lilith, who was with him and conceived from him. Up to that time, however, she was not a help to him, as it is written, "but for Adam there was not found a help mate for him." (134b).
Other references in the Zohar describe Lilith as a competitor to "the female affixed to his side."(see III 19a, II 276b, I 19b). Yalkut Re'uveni, a seventeenth‑ century collection, mostly of kabbalistic legends, no longer allows the first woman equal origins with Adam, as did the Alphabet of Ben Sira. A commentary on Gen. 2:21 states: "In the beginning when the Holy One, blessed be He, created [the first] Eve, he did not create her out of flesh, but rather of the filth of the earth and the sediment." Adam, however, was only made from the earth. Kabbalistic tradition has numerous portrayals of Lilith as a demon, often linking her to other such female spirits as Naamah, Machlah and Agrat. In fact, Lilith is often confused with them. Yaalkut Re'uveni claims, for instance, that both Lilith and Naamah had intercourse with Adam and brought forth "plagues to the world." However, elsewhere the Zohar identifies Naamah as "the mother of demons" while Lilith, it seems, only functions as their governess: Naamah "goes forth and makes sport with men and conceives from them through their lustful dreams."...[The offspring] all go to the ancient Lilith who brings them up. She goes out into the world and seeks her little ones and when she sees little children she cleaves to them in order to kill them and insinuate herself into their spirits (Zohar III, 76b). The implication from this and other sources is that Lilith has no children of her own. On this point, Gershom Scholem cites Torat HaSheydim (15th ‑16th century) which states that of the four demon queens, only Lilith is unable to give birth; because she is frigid she blots the face of the earth. These revelations are quite astonishing when one recalls all of the literature on Lilith's children. Lilith the Child Slayer: The tradition of Lilith as a slayer of children is seen in the midrash in Numbers Rabbah: "...like Lilith, who, when she can find no strange children, slays her own" (16:25). This Lilith seems to resemble the Babylonian demon Labartu or Lamashtu, for the child‑slayer image has no foundation in the Talmud and certainly no connection with the first Eve. Since scholars differ widely as to the dating of Numbers Rabbah, it is difficult to determine whether the author of the Alphabet based his portrayal of Lilith as the evil spirit who harms babies on this source, or whether both drew from a common antecedent. In any case, the unity of the motifs of promiscuity and child‑slaying does not occur until the time of the Zohar (see Zohar 119b) Lilith's character, then, is a maze of contradictions, interweaving a variety of legends and traditions.
If we isolate all the strands of demonology, separating the various interpolations of Lilitu, the wind spirit; Labartu, the child‑slayer; Lamashtu, the Greek Lamia; Lilith, the night ‑demon; we are left with the story of the first Eve, who may or may not have claim to the name Lilith in the first place. Stripped of the overlay of medieval mysticism and demonology this Lilith emerges as an independent spirit. Had she succeeded in her battle with Adam for equal rights, Lilith might today represent that spark of original creativity in whose image women could retrace and recreate their history. Instead history plunged her into the depths of demonhood. Only in the twentieth century, which has no use for sheydim, may the Lilith, who has been obscured by the mists of demonology these thousands of years, be revealed today as the first woman on earth, equal to man and a free spirit. Nude Female Jesus I have a great idea. Why not do a masterpiece with a couple of Jewish Homo Rabbi's humping each other with dog tails and ears. And a big sign over top saying the words "Cultural similarities link ancient Land of Canaan to Jewville New York
Subject: Nude Female Jesus Photo Stirs Furor Nude Female Jesus Photo Stirs Furor
By VERENA DOBNIK
.c The Associated Press NEW YORK (AP) ‑
Mayor Rudolph Giuliani began assembling a task force to monitor ``decency'' in tax‑sponsored art exhibits Friday, as a museum opened a show including a photograph depicting Jesus as a naked woman. ``If you want to display viciousness, hatred, ignorance, and you want to display anti‑Catholicism, racism or anti‑Semitism, then you go find a private museum that wants to pay for this or a private sponsor that wants to pay for this,'' the mayor said in a radio interview Friday morning. ``But you cannot use taxpayers' dollars!'' Giuliani also threatened to go to federal court to challenge taxpayer support of art he says defiles ``decency and respect for religion.'' The mayor's ire was prompted by Renee Cox's photograph ``Yo Mama's Last Supper,'' one of 188 works in a new show at the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Cox, who posed nude for a Last Supper image, is surrounded by 12 black apostles in the five‑panel image. Cox, a Jamaican‑born artist who was raised Catholic, has said the image highlights legitimate criticisms of the church, including its refusal to ordain women as priests.
The work is ``beautiful!'' said Tammy Hindle, who viewed the exhibit, including the work of 94 contemporary black photographers. ``She's celebrating the part of God that is woman.'' Everton McIntyre, a Pentecostal Christian and a middle school art teacher, disagreed. ``The Lord's Supper means a lot to me. And her being nude bothers me. Jesus was never nude,'' he said.] Museum director Arnold Lehman did not respond directly to the mayor, but said in a statement that the work serves an important purpose. ``Throughout history, the artist's responsibility has been to make us think,'' he said. ``The best artists walk blindfolded on a high wire every time they go to work. We owe them no less than our unwavering commitment.'' The same museum was at the center of a similar debate in 1999 when an exhibit including a dung‑decorated painting of the Virgin Mary sparked a heated six‑month legal battle. The mayor froze the museum's annual $7.2 million city subsidy ‑ about a third of its annual budget ‑ then sued in state court to evict the museum. The museum filed a countersuit in federal court, where a judge ruled that the city had violated the First Amendment and restored the funding. AP‑NY‑02‑16‑01 1953EST Between the number of homosexuals who are Jews and this lilith feminist garbage and Jewish reputation for bring communism and economic disaster everywhere they go is there any doubt in a Christians mind that the Jews are Edomite Canaanite in descent and not in any way shape or form Hebrew. And their Talmudism religion is also an Edomite/ Canaanite origin. And further more is their any doubt as to whose religion is influencing everything from education to politics etc in this country. Not just influencing politics but actually stealing our own money from us to pay for it. The Evil Slime. I have a great Idea. I want to do a master piece for the museum of ancient cultures and societies. It will have two homo rabbi's and a dog. One rabbi will be humping the dog and the other homo will be humping him. And the words written on top will say ‑‑‑ Cultural similarities link the ancient land of Canaan to Jewville New York... Then I will ask the city to sponsor the project.. And in return for that last painting of a Bible covered with sh*t. I think I will do a master piece of a syngogue covered with fetus remains and blood. With the words above it in yiddish "New Yorks sacrifice of love". And in return for the movies and books they have written portraying Christ as a homosexual I think I will make a master piece of Herod with six fingers and six toes sitting on his throne with all his little playboy bunnies around and lusting after a 3 year old.. and the words king of JewVille New York... Lilith comes from the word layil meaning night or midnight. "Lilith", name of a female goddess known as a night demon who haunts the desolate places of Edom. Isaiah 34:14 This prophecy is about Edom. Yes Lilith is definitely an Edomite goddess. Clearly shows the association between modern Jews and their Edomite back ground. Edom is also a He goat or Satyre.. And thorns shall come up in her palaces, nettles and brambles in the fortresses thereof: and it shall be an habitation of dragons (sea serpent ‑ tannyin), [and] a court for owls (daughters) The wild beasts of the desert ( wilderness, a yelper, crier) shall also meet with the wild beasts of the island (a jackal a beast that makes a doleful howling), and the satyr (He goat) shall cry to his fellow; the screech owl (lilith) also shall rest there, and find for herself a place of rest. There shall the great owl (arrow snake or serpent comes from the root word to make a contract) make her nest, and lay, and hatch, and gather under her shadow: there shall the vultures also be gathered, every one with her mate
All of these creatures are also mentioned in reference to Babylon. Lilith is the only one mentioned in reference to Edom only. And only two people are refered to as He Goats ‑ Alexander The Great and Edom. (at least according to what I know at this time) Perhaps these are all animals worshiped in Edom and Babylon. I think the Jackal was also worshiped in Egypt. But here it is being referred to as an island god. The isles usually refers to gentiles. I don't think the king James has done a very good job translating these verses. Might be better to compare with a couple of other translations.