Adam and Lilith stood in the East region of the Garden of Eden, admiring the fruitful trees from which to eat and abundance of sparkling streams from which to drink. Creatures of all type roamed about freely. A feeling of serenity washed over them as they admired their home; it was perfect. Lilith caught gaze with Adam; she flashed a smile, her eyes twinkling with joy. Adam quickly shifted his gaze to the path before them, and asserted that they get to work. They set about exploring the garden, intending to assign names to all of its inhabitants, which they would inscribe on a clay tablet. As they walked, Lilith tried to make conversation with Adam, but if he replied it was only in quiet grunts. Adam’s behavior was starting to concern Lilith - he had become more and more distant during their journey, and would frequently mumble incoherent words to himself or jerk his arm in response to nothing. She decided not to waste her energy thinking too much of it, she had other things with which to be concerned.
|This is how I image the Garden of Eden. Courtesy of Matt Gilman on Flickr|
Adam and Lilith found a quaint spot atop a small, grassy hill that gave them an exceptional view of many different types of creatures. Adam began naming them as Lilith transcribed. After Adam had named several animals, Lilith was ready to switch and try her hand at naming. When she suggested this idea to Adam, he threw his head to the sky and cackled. Adam turned to Lilith and said, “You do not get the privilege of naming these creatures, for that is the job of a MAN.” Lilith didn’t understand what he meant. “Aren’t we equal,” she wondered. Adam continued, “The LORD God has assigned me to this task, you Lilith, a woman, are only with me to be my servant.”
“Adam, what are you talking about? Who is this God you speak of? And I am most definitely not your servant; I am your partner, your wife!” Lilith replied.
“Nonsense,” Adam screeched, “how dare you question our God! Do you not hear him when he speaks to us? Do you not feel his divine presence all around us? He is the one who gave us this garden; he is the one who gave us life!” Lilith didn’t know what to say, for she certainly had never heard someone besides Adam speak with her, and though the garden they discovered was magnificent, she certainly felt no divine presence. Adam continued to yell, and demanded Lilith to submit to him, telling her that her only purpose was to be of use to him. Adam’s words confused and upset Lilith; she ran off to be alone, or at the very least away from Adam.
After wandering just a few minutes, Lilith stumbled upon a lovely tree full of supple fruit, and decided to sit underneath it to ponder Adam’s words. She thought about what he said for quite some time, but could not make sense of it. Lilith grew tired and dozed off, but the sound of footsteps soon woke her. Adam was approaching the tree. Lilith grabbed a low branch to support her as she stood up to face Adam.
|Lilith, by an unknown artist from Carl Poellath's atelier in Schrobenhausen. Source|
“How dare you speak to me in such a way, Adam! What has gotten in to you?” Lilith demanded. Adam once again began shouting, insisting that God had told him all of these things, but suddenly he stopped mid-sentence. Terror struck Adam’s face as he stared at a branch above Lilith’s head. Lilith turned to see what he was aweing at, only to discover a serpent dangling from the tree, only inches from her face. She swiftly ducked and moved far enough away to feel safe. Adam turned to look at her, then back to the snake, and then back to Lilith; Adam’s face was twisted with anger. “How dare you associate with the DEVIL,” Adam roared.
“What? But Adam, it’s just a sn-,” but before Lilith could finish, Adam struck her across the face. Adam raised his hand again while muttering something about “sins” and “the Devil,” but Lilith hopped to her feet and fled. She refused to let herself be treated so poorly, and she would not stick around. Adam screamed an assortment of hateful words in her direction, but she kept moving.
Adam made his way back to the wooded area where they had set up camp, muttering incoherently to himself as he walked. “God, my wife has left me! She wanted to be treated equally, but I told her it was not your will,” Adam projected toward the stars. Silence. Adam continued, “Yes God, I told her, but she left. I went to find her and she was with the Devil at the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. I tried to convince her to come back with me, God, but she ran off to be with Satan!” A light wind rusted some nearby leaves, and Adam smiled, “Yes God, I will.” He picked up the clay tablet and began to write of the horrors of Lilith when he heard a voice behind him.
“Hello, I’m from a nearby group of gatherers. I thought heard someone crying, so I thought I’d check it out and make sure you are okay.” The woman continued, “My name is Eve.”
DISCLAIMER: In no way is this story intended to be offensive to: anyone suffering from any sort of mental illness, victims of domestic, emotional, or physical abuse, or any person of any religious background. I really didn't know how else to make a story from the stories I read in the Adam & Eve unit other than to make it really over the top, and kind of dumb, so I'm sorry if the content (or the lame writing) offended you in any way.
Author's Note: You can probably tell from the disclaimer that I don't really love this story. I got to writing some stuff about it, got this far, made some edits, and figured it would do. This unit was really hard for me to complete (stories from stories are hard for me to do anyway), because I'm not religious at all, and honestly found some of the stories I read quite offensive to women. Usually I wouldn't be very bothered by that, there are tons of loudmouth sexists out there, but it just bothers me that such a HUGE portion of the population accepts these stories as the absolute truth, and use guidelines from a book containing these (and similar) stories to make decisions or judgements of others. It's a lot easier to see why sexism is deeply ingrained in so many cultures, though, if people really believe the things that are written about women in these stories. But enough of me complaining, here is some info on the story I chose.
I know the unit was about Adam and Eve, but I couldn't help but focus on one specific story about Lilith from The Legends of Jews by Louis Ginzberg. According to legend, Lilith was Adam's first wife, but unlike Eve she was not made from Adam's rib, but from the same dirt from which God made Adam. Adam and Lilith's relationship didn't last long, though. Why? Oh, just because Lilith wanted to be equal to Adam, ya know, considering they were both made by God in the exact same way. But no, God and Adam didn't want any of this equality business, and that upset Lilith, so she left Adam. Adam didn't like being left, I guess, because he complained to God, who then sent angels to go get Lilith back. The angels tell Lilith to return to Adam, she says no, so they threaten her - if she does not return, she will lose 1000 of her demon babies daily (suddenly she's a demon who has at least 1000 babies per day????? Yeah I was just as confused.) She still says no, and then apparently becomes some wretched demon that hunts babies, or some other very strange *cough* BS *cough*... I mean, ending. The story had a very strange ending that came out of nowhere. Anyway, I wanted to make Lilith at least more noble in this story, because heck yeah, you should be equal, girl. Also, I wanted to make the way Adam treated her harsher, but only because he was hearing insanely violent voices in his head (aka the LORD). He may be a loving & forgiving God, but man does he have a mean streak.
Bibliography: The Legends of Jews by Louis Ginzberg (1909).