posted on Mar, 24 2005 @ 02:47 PM
Lilith is a character who appears in passing in the Talmud and in rabbinical folklore. She is a figure of evil, a female demon who seduces men and
threatens babies and women in childbirth. She is described as having long hair and wings (Erub. 100b; Nid. 24b). It is said that she seizes men who
sleep in a house alone, like a succubus (Shab. 151b).
She is also mentioned in midrashim and kabbalistic works, in which she is considered to be the mother of demons (she alledgedly spawned 100 demon
children each day). Her name probably comes from the Hebrew word for night (laila). She is similar to and probably based on a pagan demon named Lulu
or Lilu that appears in Gilgamesh and other Sumerian and Babylonian folklore.
In recent years, some women have tried to reinvent Lilith, turning her into a role model for women who do not accept male domination or a rival
goddess to the traditions that they think are too male-biased. For example, a number of female musical artists participated a concert tour called
"Lilith Fair" a few years ago, and the name "Lilith" was clearly chosen to represent female empowerment.
This revisionist view of Lilith is based primarily on a medieval work called the Alphabet of Ben Sira, the significance of which has been widely
misinterpreted and overrated.
The story of Lilith in Ben Sira claims that Lilith was the first wife of Adam. Lilith insisted on being on top when they were having sexual
intercourse, claiming that she was Adam's equal. For this reason, Adam rejected the uppity Lilith, and Lilith was replaced with the more submissive
second spouse, Eve. The complete story is presented at: ccat.sas.upenn.edu...
[edit on 24-3-2005 by Bowyer]