Lilith Eve

According to Jewish myth, Lilith was Adam’s first wife. However, she was a woman who wanted more of life than Adam would permit her. And when she was told by Adam that she would always be beneath him and would have to submit to him, she ran away from Eden and from him. She has been demonized but I think she embodies women who resist domination and seek life. Life beyond Eden.

Eve, Adam’s wife in the Bible, on the other hand, was created in the Garden of Eden. She was created from Adam’s rib, as centuries of interpretation would want us to believe. She was to be Adam’s ‘helper’ and she remained with him even after they were banished from Eden.

Lilith escaped from Adam and Eden and is a symbol for women who want to be free. Eve remained with Adam and is a symbol of women who will defend marriage and family.

If you were to raise a daughter, how would you raise her to be?
To be like Lilith, so independent and free?
Or to be like Eve, cherishing marriage and family?

I would want my daughter to be both. A girl-woman who would struggle for and not just submit to LIFE. And so I wrote about Lilith Eve. She embodies our visions of tomorrow’s children.


Lilith Eve is the child of our tomorrows and eons past,
The daughter of Eden and earths beyond it.
She is the fruit of souls touching, of sacred pleasuring,
and of dreams of an unlimited universe.

She will be warmed by her mother’s fire
and lulled in the waves of her father’s song.
She will burn with passion for those whose only hope is the Divine
and slowly erode the oppressive lies and structures with both
gentleness and fierceness.

She will dance like a flame and enchant like her mother.
And inspire people of different ages like her father.
She will play with goddesses and mortals
and welcome them in the sanctuary of her universe.

Lilith Eve is the child of the universe.
She whispers to the stars, kisses the flowers,
touches the tenderest creatures, and charms the strong and the wild.

She will run to the mountains and explore the deepest seas,
sleep under the moon and swing on the boughs of trees.
At times she will be restless and want to be alone and free.
But there will be many moments when she comes to lay between you and me.


12 thoughts on “Lilith Eve”

  1. what is in “marriage and family” that you cherish?
    what is in being independent and free–if there is such a thing–that you desire?

    what is this “desire” that you wish your daughter to become?

  2. i think we “want” all those–they’re good in themselves. i think this is a given.

    what i am wondering about is the desire, or at least the character of such desire: the “desire” here seems to be a liberal, progressivist.

    in analogical terms, the desire here seems to have to same structure as that of the “good subject” wanting to the same good for the “other” — that is, the desire for sameness, the desire that seems to flatten out the otherness of the other, the strange other

    1. Life will tell us that we are not just one or the other. And there are not just two categories, ‘good subject’ and the ‘other.’ Who says that one is a ‘good’ subject and who will say that the other is an ‘other.’It is not about sameness or differences, models or standards. It just articulates another possibility.

      The vision of Lilith Eve is to paint a picture of families, ‘traditional’ or otherwise, raising children who seek wholeness. It celebrates what affirming partnerships mean, can create and how it can change the world….

  3. true. as theologians and activists, this is our work, one that also fuels our life and commitment. “lilith eve” could well be also a militant, political figure, and so on and so forth.

    what i am, at least, gesturing at, wondering upon, however, is the way in which the “desire” of such narrative would/could/should be different from, for example, the “desire” of the good missionaries (even well-intentioned missionaries of the past)?

    in what sense such “desire” would/could/should be different? as the history of colonialization and liberal democracy had taught us, there is a monster lurking here, somewhere.

    1. Desire is not a word I would use in relation to the Lilith Eve narrative. It comes from a place of hunger. It is not merely an expression of a preferenceeor a reaction to something that generates a response.Rather, it comes from and may be an expression of those who reach out to uphold dignity and life itself.

      1. indeed. it is. been wondering about it, and now you confirm and affirm it–a powerful articulation too!

      2. and– if we are to “uphold dignity and life itself,” should we not think or how could we think of such, not in terms of independence and freedom, marriage and family? as you know, these are problematic notions in queer feminism–rightly i think.

  4. To what then will you relate ‘upholding dignity and life itself?’ I’m just wondering what you’re thinking…
    I am contrasting between marriage and freedom because I have seen women being made to choose between the two…
    Eve Chernin underlines the dichotomy of women’s submission and celebration in Eve’s act of eating the forbidden fruit. It is…

    A choice between obedience and knowledge.
    Between renunciation and appetite.
    Between subordination and desire.
    Between security and risk.
    Between loyalty and self-development.
    Between submission and power.
    Between hunger as temptation and hunger as vision.

    Eve has been told that the forbidden fruit is empowering but it is must be denied. Like her, women must choose between empowerment and self-denial. Sadly, for many, it is a choice between freedom and marriage…

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