1. Ziony Zevit, “Was Eve Made from Adam’s Rib—or His Baculum?BAR 41:05.


1. See “The Historical Dictionary Project” of The Academy of the Hebrew Language ( that represents the philological development of Hebrew language from the post-Biblical texts (200 C.E.) until the present.

2. Claude Lévi-Strauss was one of the most prolific and influential anthropologist of the 20th century. Among the many books and articles by and about him, probably the most pertinent is Edmund Leach’s Genesis as Myth and Other Essays (London: Jonathan Cape, 1969).

3. Genesis Rabba 22.8; Louis Ginzberg, The Legends of the Jews, vol. 5 (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1909–1946), pp. 88, 138; Eli Yassif, The Tales of Ben Sira in the Middle-Ages: A Critical Text and Literary Studies (Jerusalem: The Magnes Press, 1984), pp. 64–67.

4. David Stern and Mark Jay Mirsky, eds. Rabbinic Fantasies: Imaginative Narratives from Classical Hebrew Literature (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1990), pp. 183–184. The passage appeared in The Tales of Ben Sira. A critical edition of this book is Yassif, Tales of Ben Sira, see in particular p. 232 for the original Hebrew text and analytical comments about it in pp. 63–69.

5. For a selection of Lilith scholarship, see Nitza Abrabanel, Eve and Lilith (Ramat-Gan: Bar Ilan Univ. Press, 1994) [Hebrew]; Joseph Dan, “Samael, Lilith, and the Concept of Evil in Early Kabbalah,” AJS Review 5 (1980), pp. 17–40; R.P. Dow, “The Vengeful Brood of Lilith and Samael,” Bulletin of the Brooklyn Entomological Society 12 (1917), pp. 2–9; G.R. Driver, “Lilith,” Palestine Exploration Quarterly 91 (1959), pp. 55–57; Mordechai Gafni and Ohad Ezrahi, Who’s Afraid of Lilith: Re-Reading the Kabbalah of the Feminine Shadow (Moshav Ben-Shemen: Modan, 2005) [Hebrew]; A.S. Freidus, “A Bibliography of Lilith,” Bulletin of the Brooklyn Entomological Society 12 (1917), pp. 9–13; Louis Ginzberg, The Legends of the Jews, vol. 1 (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1909–1946), pp. 64–69; Ginzberg, Legends, vol. 5, pp. 277–278, note 3 and “index”; Susannah Heschel, “Lilith,” Encyclopaedia Judaica, 2nd ed., vol. 13 (Detroit: Thomson Gale, 2007), pp. 19–20; Siegmund Hurwitz, Lilith: The First Eve: Historical and Psychological Aspects of the Dark Feminine, revised ed., Gela Jacobson, trans. (Einsiedeln, Switzerland: Daimon Verlag, 1999); Rebecca Lesses, “Exe(o)rcising Power: Women as Sorceresses, Exorcists, and Demonesses in Babylonian Jewish Society of Late Antiquity,” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 69 (2001), pp. 343–375; Raphael Patai, The Hebrew Goddess, 3rd enlarged ed. (Detroit: Wayne State Univ. Press, 1990), pp. 221–254; Judith Plaskow and Donna Berman, eds., The Coming of Lilith: Essays on Feminism, Judaism and Sexual Ethics, 1972–2003 (Boston: Beacon Press, 2005); Gershom Scholem, “Lilith,” Encyclopaedia Judaica, 2nd ed., vol. 13 (Detroit: Thomson Gale, 2007), pp. 17–19; Gershom Scholem, Elements of the Kabbalah and Its Symbolism, J. Ben-Shelomoh, trans. from German (Jerusalem: The Bialik Institute, 1976) [Hebrew], pp. 385–386; Gershom Scholem, “New Chapters in the Story of Ashmedai and Lilith,” Tarbiz 19 (1947/48), pp. 165–175 [Hebrew]; H. Torczyner, “A Hebrew Incantation Against Night-Demons from Biblical Times,” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 6 (1947), pp. 18–29; J. Trachtenberg, Jewish Magic and Superstition: A Study in Folk Religion (New York: Behrman’s Jewish Book House, 1939), pp. 36–37, 277–278, note 33.

6. Karen Randolph Joines, Serpent Symbolism in the Old Testament (Haddonfield, NJ: Haddonfield House, 1974), pp. 16–41; Haya Bar-Izhak, “Men and Women Narrating the Myth of the Creation of Woman—Hegemonic and Subversive Message,” in Hagar Salamon and Avigdor Shinan, eds., Textures: Culture, Literature, Folklore for Galit Hasan-Rokem, vol. 2, Jerusalem Studies in Jewish Folklore 28, Jerusalem Studies in Hebrew Literature 25 (Jerusalem: The Mandel Institute of Jewish Studies, 2013), pp. 679–691 [Hebrew].

7. Vincent Lloyd-Russell, “The Serpent as the Prime Symbol of Immortality, Has Its Origin in the Semitic-Sumerian Culture,” Ph.D. dissertation (Los Angeles: University of Southern California, 1938).

8. A voluminous scholarly literature about the trickster figure is available; a selection that can serve as a starting point for further reading follows: Lewis Hyde, Trickster Makes the World: Mischief, Myth, and Art (New York: Farrar Strauss, 1998); William J. Hynes and William G. Doty, eds., Mythical Trickster Figures: Contours, Contexts, and Criticism (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1993); Robert D. Pelton, The Trickster in West Africa: A Study of Mythic Irony and Sacred Delight (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980); Paul Radin, The Trickster: A Study in American Indian Mythology (New York: Philosophical Library, 1956).

9. The verb yada (knew) that generated in English the expression “carnal knowledge” occurs in the Hebrew Bible, referring to sexual intercourse followed by pregnancy (Genesis 4:1, 17, 25; 1 Samuel 1:19) or negatively to describe virginity (Genesis 24:16; Judges 11:39; 21:12).