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Adam and Lilith and Eve

Dec 29, 1996 06:25 PM
by kymsmith

April asks:

>Who is Lilith?

Rusty as I am on the Lilith legend, here it is in a nutshell:

The word Lilith is mentioned once, I think, in the Bible.  It's in Isaiah
and, according to the KJV (King James Version) is means "screech owl."
Lilith, the woman, is a legend which is said to appear in the Midrash
(interpretations and commentaries by Jewish teachers on the Torah and Five

Lilith was Adam's "first" wife.  She was not created from his rib, but made
of the same material and at the same time as Adam.  Lilith's undoing came
when she refused to comply with Adam's request for sex; in particular, she
did not approve of the missionary position.  In the legend, she specifically
and emphatically balks at his preferred method for sex.  She found the
prostrate arrangement offensive, as it placed her in the submissive
position/role.  Adam tried to force the issue; Lilith would have none of it,
voiced the name of God, rose into the air, and disappeared.

Adam dashed off to tell God, declaring to Him how horrid Lilith was for
deserting him.  God sent angels to find her, who, in turn, found her
co-habitating with a pack of demons.  The angels told her to return to Adam
immediately.  She refused, claiming she could never be the wife Adam so
demanded.  God went into His wrathful mode, and decreed that one hundred of
her demon children were to die per day (more than one hundred a day were
born to Lilith while she lived with the demons).  Lilith still did not
submit - to God or Adam - but is said to have pledged revenge for her
treatment by swearing to kill the children of Adam.  She supposedly haunts
and terrorizes pregnant women and newborns (in folklore, she is the demon
that causes SIDS).

So, then, God created Eve for Adam - utilizing Adam's rib prevented Eve from
misunderstanding her position - for she was not made of equal material.

Another story twist -  after the serpent and apple business, Adam became
irked at Eve, blaming her for the Fall and the expulsion from Eden.  Adam
looked up Lilith and together they had children, but these children ended up
turning into demons.

Adam went back to Eve.

Myth has morphed Lilith into a destroyer of children; a whore; the wife of
Satan (after she left Adam); the archetypal bad woman; and the seducer of
men and boys while they sleep. She has even been blamed as being the serpent
itself and of being the "father," along with Eve, of Cain. It's too weird, I

Try as "they" might, among those with a feminist agenda, Lilith is still
considered really cool.


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