Jewish Fairy Tales and Legends Index. Jewish Myth, Magic, and Mysticism: Lilith - semen demon or feminist icon? Exactly who or what is Lilith?
Now regarded by Jewish esoteric tradition to be one of the four queens of demons, the nature of Lilith has undergone many reinterpretations throughout Jewish history. [Illustration: etching of Lilith on a metal amulet] The origins of Lilith are probably found in the Mesopotamian lilu, or “aerial spirit.” Some features of Lilith in later Jewish tradition also resemble those of Lamashtu, a Babylonian demoness who causes infant death. There is one mention of lilot (plural) in the Bible (Isa. 34:14), but references to lilith demons only become common in post-Biblical Jewish sources. Furthermore, the characterization of Lilith as a named demonic personality really only begins late in antiquity.
Jewish tradition gradually fixes on lilith as a female demon. The use of “Lilith” as the proper name of a specific demonic personality first appears in the Midrash. In answer to your question concerning Lilith, I shall explain to you the essence of the matter. Background on the Golem Legends. In order to understand Golem by David Wisniewski it is useful to read some of the research and writings about this very old legend and the issues connected to it.
The story has connections to Jewish mysticism while also possessing a long thread in fictional literature. The excerpts provided below help to frame your understanding of this legend and the additional readings serve to fill out any gaps remaining. Cabala (Hebrew, "received tradition"), generically, Jewish mysticism in all its forms; specifically, the esoteric theosophy that crystallized in 13th-century Spain and Provence, France, around Sefer ha-zohar (The Book of Splendor), referred to as the Zohar, and generated all later mystical movements in Judaism. See Mysticism; Theosophy. In Jewish legend, an image or form that is given life through a magical formula.
From: Entry on "Golem" in Microsoft Encarta 97 Encyclopedia Deluxe Edition, c. 1993-1996 Microsoft Corporation, Disc 1. From: "Golem" entry in the Encyclopedia Judaica. Anti-Semitic Legends. Translated and/or edited by D.
L. Ashliman © 1999-2005 These legends reflect an anti-Jewish sentiment long exhibited by European Christians. These tales, like their witchcraft analogs, illustrate a tragic and lengthy chapter in ecclesiastical history. Contents Return to D. The Jews' Stone Austria In the year 1462 in the village of Rinn in Tyrol a number of Jews convinced a poor farmer to surrender his small child to them in return for a large sum of money. The child's mother was working in a field when the murder took place. According to legend a shepherd cut down the birch tree, from which the child had hung, but when he attempted to carry it home he broke his leg and died from the injury. Source: Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, Deutsche Sagen (1816/1818), no. 353. The Girl Who Was Killed by Jews Germany In the year 1267 in Pforzheim an old woman, driven by greed, sold an innocent seven-year-old girl to the Jews. A few days later little Margaret reached her little hand above the streaming water.
The Legends of the Jews: Volume I - Table of Contents. The Legends of the Jews by Louis Ginzberg.