Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Woman As Tempter


The Talmudic Legend of the Fall of Man and Its Results.

In the old Talmudic legend of the garden of Eden it was not Satan who tempted Eve in the guise of a serpent. It was the sorceress Lilith, Adam's first wife, who took this method of avenging herself upon her successful rival, at the same time providing endless torment for Adam, by showing his new wife how to acquire knowledge. For she was perfectly well aware that a woman's first act as a self conscious, thinking being would be to desire a new dress. To be sure, this new dress was only a simple arrangement of fig leaves, quite inexpensive and really becoming to Eve's peculiar style, but it contained in the germ all the subsequent atrocities with which women's attire has so often cursed the earth down to the combination of yards of sleeves and acres of crinoline.

So, according to the Talmud, from the earliest days woman has been woman's betrayer, and in our modern times the subtle art begun by the fair and unscrupulous Lilith is being practiced on an ever increasing scale.

One aspect of this has been set forth in a clever article in The Fortnightly Review by Lady Jeune on the important subject of shopping, in which she maintains that one reason why women spend more money nowadays than before is because salesmen have largely been superseded by saleswomen. "Women are much quicker than men, and they understand so much more readily what other women want. They can enter into the little troubles of their customers; they can fathom the agony of despair as to the arrangement of colors, the alternative trimmings, the duration of a fashion, the depths of a woman's purse, and, more important than all, the question as to the becomingness of a dress. No man can understand all these little refinements. His nature is too gross, too material."

In the "Heavenly Twins" it is said that man was tempted by woman, but it took the devil himself to tempt woman. How much deeper is the insight of the Talmud? For it is evident that when any tempting is to be done, whether of man or woman, the "eternal feminine" leads the field. — St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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