Monday, October 27, 2008

The Hebrew Goddess

The Hebrew Goddess
is a book by Jewish historian and anthropologist Raphael Patai. In this book, Patai argues that the Jewish religion historically had elements of polytheism, especially the worship of goddesses and a cult of the mother goddess. The book supports the theory through the interpretation of archaeological and textual sources as evidence for veneration of feminine beings. Hebrew goddesses identified in the book include Asherah, Anath, Astarte, Ashima, the cherubim in Solomon's Temple, the Matronit (Shekhina), and the personified Shabbat Bride. The later editions of the book were expanded to include recent archaeological discoveries and the rituals of unification (Yichudim) which are to unite God with His Shekinah.
If, as the mystics say, the Self of the universe is not different to the manifest universe, It must have feminine aspects amongst it's infinite aspects. In abolishing the idols of the old cults, the monotheistic prophets were, quite rightly, seeking to liberate in humanity a sense of unlimited Being, unlimited to particular forms. But those who call themselves monotheists often limit God, making Him in their own ego image.

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