By: David Rice
To: J.J. Hitt
Re: "Adam and Eve" myth
You said on May-24-94 11:56:04:
JJH> And THAT is the point I want to verify. Lots of Jewish
JJH> folklore and mysticism is of Medieval European origin.
JJH> (Which, of course, is post-Xian)
JJH> The fact that Isaiah called one of his Night Boogers a
JJH> 'lilith' is not evidence that all the other trappings of
JJH> the Lilith story are of the same antiquity.
On of my favorate books: _The_Book_of_Lilith_ by Barbara Black
Koltuv, Ph.D. ISBN 0-89254-014-1 Samuel Weiser, Inc. 1986,
BL1605.L55K65 291.2'16 86-8398
Doctor Raphael Patai's _The_Hebrew_Goddess_, 1967, Hoboken:
Ktav Publishing House is an excellent sourse of Lilith myth.
Lilith was given birth during the third millenium BCE in Sumer,
with the name Lil, which is a destructive storm or wind spirit.
Layil, the Hebrew word for night, became Lilith when She passed
JJH> I'm particulary interested in fixing a date on the claim
JJH> that Adam rejected her because she acted as an equal. THAT
JJH> part smacks of modern revisionism.
The equality of Lilith is found in the Zohar, which is 13th
century. An English translation may be purchased from Rebecca
Bennet Publications, New York. Authors are Harry Sperkling and
Maurice Simon---- it is often called the "S.S. translation."
Zohar I 20a likens Her to the moon and Adam to the sun.
God thereupon said to Her, "Go and diminish thyself." She
felt humiliated and said "Why should I be as one that
veileth Herself?" Then god said "Go thy way forth in the
footsteps of the flock." Thereupon She diminished Herself
so as to be head of the lower ranks. [Capitals mine]
From the mirash Alpha Bet Ben Sira, which you will probably
be able to aquire from a Jewish publishing house:
God formed Lilith the first Woman just as he had formed
Adam except that he used filth and impure sediment instead
of dust or earth. Adam and Lilith never found peace
together. She disagreed with him in many matters, and
refused to lie beneath him in sexual intercourse, basing
Her claim for equality on the fact that each had been
created from earth. When Lilith saw that Adam would
overpower Her, She uttered the ineffable word of god
and flew up into the air of the world. Eventually, She
dwelt in a cave in the desert on the shores of the Red
Sea. There She engaged in unbridled promiscuity,
consorted with lascivious demons, and gave birth to
hundreds of Lilim or demonic babies, daily. [Caps mine]