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God's Secret Name

They quarreled immediately. [Lilith] said: ‘I will not lie below you.’ [Adam] said, ‘I will not lie below you, but above you. For you are fit to be below me and I above you.’ She responded: ‘We are both equal because we both come from the earth.’ Neither listened to the other. When Lilith realized what was happening, she pronounced the [secret] Name of God and flew off into the air.

-Alphabet Of Ben Sira

IMA*- I’m leaving. Your son, Adam, treats me with contempt and disrespect. I will fly from his reach. Perhaps my absence will remind him that when we entered this world we were one creature. Maybe when the other half of him is gone he will be able to see how much he, himself, is lacking.

IMA- His words are weapons, wounding and destroying. I had imagined a life of partnership, but he has proclaimed himself king. When I tried to explain, to make him understand, he mocked me, sneering as he told me that he does not have to listen.

I feel like my breath and my blood have been replaced with anger and fear. Who is this son of Yours to tell me what You want? Does he not see how much I resemble You? How could he think that his rightful place is between us? How dare he try to alienate me from You.

IMA- Do you know that he has begun to call you Adon**? He is trying to remake you in his image. He seeks to erase my reflection from Your face!

I have made my decision. I leave tonight. Let this brother of mine see that his words and his actions have consequences. Let him understand that if he wants a companion, he must treat me with the respect that I deserve.

IMA- I am certain my brother will twist the account of what happened in Your garden today, but You know the truth. Do not fall for his lies. He will try to make a demon, but You and I both know that I am nothing more and nothing less than Your daughter. That is enough for me, even if Your son is not satisfied.


*Ima is the Hebrew word for mother. In this midrash, Ima is the secret name that Lilith uses when she leaves the Garden of Eden.

**In Hebrew, Adon means lord. It is the root of “Adonai” which means “my Lord” and is often used in the Jewish tradition as a name of God.


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