Lilith in Kabbala: Bacharach

Kabbala: Lilith, Samael and Blindragon
By Alan Humm
Copied with Permission.

Lilith's husband, Samael, has been castrated. In order to have sexual union with him, they must use a third character, Blindragon. I'm not sure I want to know how this works. See also Pardes Rimmonim 186d

Bacharach, 'Emeq haMelekh, 84b, 84c, 84d

Lilith is a harlot who fornicates with men. She has no mating with her husband, for He [God] castrated the male and cooled the female. And she becomes hot from the fornication of men, through spontaneous emission. And enough of this.... (Patai81:463) This Lilith -- the Merciful One save us!-- has dominion over children who issue from a man who has intercourse at candlelight, or with his wife naked, or at times when he is forbidden to have intercourse. All those children who issue from these mentioned, Lilith can kill them any time she wants to , because they are delivered into her hand. And this is the secret of the children laughing in their sleep when they are small: it is from Lilith who plays with them. And I heard that when a small child laughs during the Sabbath night or the night of the New Moon, it is because Lilith is playing with him, and it is well that his father or mother or anyone who sees him laugh should tap his nose with his finger and say: "Go from here, you accursed one, for you have no resting place here!" Let him say this three times, and each time he recites this incantation let him tap the child's nose. And this is very good, for it is in the power of Lilith to kill them when she wants to. And since she has permission to kill these infants, these souls are called Oppressed Souls. (Patai81:463f) Blind Dragon rides Lilith the Sinful -- may she be extirpated quickly in our days, Amen!-- And this Blind Dragon brings about the union between Samael and Lilith. And just as the Dragon that is in the sea (Isa. 27:1) has no eyes, likewise Blind Dragon that is above, in the likeness of a spiritual form, is without eyes, that is to say, without colors.... (Patai81:458) Samael is called the Slant Serpent, and Lilith is called the Tortuous Serpent (Isa 27:1). She seduces men to go in tortuous ways.... And know that Lilith too will be killed. For the groomsman [BlindDragon] who was between her and her husband [Samael] will swallow a lethal potion at a future time, from the hands of the Prince of Power. For then, when he rises up, Gabriel and Michael will join forces to subdue and bring low the government of evil which will be in heaven and earth. (Patai81:468)

Bacharach, 'Emeq haMelekh, 121b

And he [Blind Dragon] is castrated so that he cannot beget, lest [his offspring] annihilate the world. (Patai81:458)

Bacharach, 'Emeq haMelekh, 140b

The Blind Dragon is between Samael and the Evil Lilith. And he brings about a union between them only in the hour of pestilence, the Merciful One save us! And he is castrated so that the eggs of the viper should not dome forth into the world. For were it not so, they would annihilate the world. And that kind which is called Lilin are full of hair from their heads down to their feet, but on their heads they have no hair and all their body and face is full of hair. And this Lilith has fourteen evil times and evil names and evil factions. And all are ordained to kill the children -- may we be saved!-- and especially through the witches who are called Kinder Benimmerins in the language of the Ashkenaz. [German] (Patai81:458f)

Bacharach, 'Emeq haMelekh 23c-d

This passage is interesting because it is one of the few places where we get a textual connection (however problematic) between Lilith and the Serpent of the Garden of Eden [see also Zohar, Sitre Tora, 1:148a-b]. This connection is perhaps strengthened by Christian iconography (see the pictures collection), but can hardly be regarded as conclusive. While contacts between Jewish and Christian mystical and alchemical specualtion did exist, the pervasiveness of the iconagraphic symbol is such that we would have to posit a much more widely circulated Christian version of the story that we would obtain from elite mystical cross-talk. The other problem with this story is the gender confusion. At first we assume that the Lilith-Serpent's 'seduction' of Eve is intellectual. Then we find out that not only did the Serpent have sexual intercourse with Eve, but that Eve was a virgin at the time and it is that union, specifically the Serpent's semen, that is the etiology of menstruation! Finally, Adam has sexual contact with his wife, but it is while she is still polluted by her menstruation/adultery. That impure act generates magical power for Lilith who is now able to have sexual dominion over Adam as well, bearing demon children from him.

There is however one problem. If Lilith is female (she is!) and Lilith is the Serpent, as we are told in this passage ('Woman of Harlotry = Lilith), how can she have intercourse with Eve. This is not simply lesbian sex, in the strictest sense, because she injects semen into Eve. There is at least one parallel passage in which the serpent is identified with Samael and Cain is the result of the union. In this case, Samael being male, the gender problem does not arise. It may be possible to solve the problem in the following text (and coincidentally harmonize it with the Samael version) by reference to the tradition, mentioned above, that Lilith and Samael were at one time, like Adam and Eve, an androgynous pair. This may well be reading more into the text than we should, however, at least from the standpoint of scholarship (homilists may do what they please). It is never-the-less clear from the following that Adam and Eve are not viewed as joined in that fashion at the time the events are transpiring.

And the Serpent, the Woman of Harlotry, incited and seduced Eve through the husks of Light which in itself is holiness. And the Serpent seduced Holy Eve, and enough said for him who understands. An all this ruination came about because Adam the first man coupled with Eve while she was in her menstrual impurity -- this is the filth and the impure seed of the Serpent who mounted Eve before Adam mounted her. Behold, here it is before you: because of the sins of Adam the first man all the things mentioned came into being. For Evil Lilith, when she saw the greatness of his corruption, became strong in her husks, and came to Adam against his will, and became hot from him and bore him many demons and spirits and Lilin. (Patai81:455f)