Volume 91, Issue 16

Wednesday, September 24, 1997

Beep beep


No fair coverage of evil side of Lilith

Re: God said "Let there be Rock": Lilith resurrected as musical emblem, Sept. 12

To the Editor:
An article appeared on Sept. 12 entitled "God said 'Let there be Rock': Lilith resurrected," echoing an article printed in the Toronto Star on August 16 entitled "Lilith sings women's songs." These articles refer to the rise in popular culture of the icon of Lilith, a supposed figure from Jewish lore who was Adam's first wife and who wanted to be treated equally for which she was subsequently banished from the garden of Eden. "Lilith Fair," a rock music symposium initiated by Sarah McLachlan, models itself on this Lilith myth. What the above articles don't tell you is that according to the rest of the story which appears in the Talmud, a Jewish authority, is that Lilith left the garden of Eden to procreate with Satan, becoming a mother to a race of offspring called Succubi (demons) who seek to have adulterous relations with vulnerable men. This story is built upon the early tales of Lilith dating to the Akadian and Sumerian periods.

According to scholars, Lilith was regarded by these peoples to be a demon who would "stroll about and search for men in order to ensnare them or enter the house of a man through the window" for the purpose of sexual intercourse. Her sexuality was not of a "normal kind", rather, she was barren and her breasts yielded only deadly poison which she used to feed the unsuspecting human infants. Furthermore, she can be described as a young girl who has not reached sexual maturity and thus has to stroll about ceaselessly in search of a male companion. Sexually unfulfilled, she (was considered) the perpetual seductress of men.

The above information should help the discriminating reader to gain an understanding of what this popular icon was originally, that is, a negative force thought to cause injuries to male and female relationships and to innocent infants. It is distressing that the modern feminist movement has (unwittingly?) chosen an icon whose past is connected to adultery, crib-death and femininity at its worst. Unfortunately, authors of "Lilith Fair" articles like the one mentioned above, have often been suspiciously selective in what they offer to their readers, not revealing the whole story behind this popular icon.

Alex Chartrand
Religious Studies III
King's College

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Copyright The Gazette 1997