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The Hebrew Goddess (Raphael Patai Series in Jewish Folklore and Anthropology)

4.14  ·  Rating Details ·  152 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
The Hebrew Goddess demonstrates that the Jewish religion, far from being pure monotheism, contained from earliest times strong polytheistic elements, chief of which was the cult of the mother goddess. Lucidly written and richly illustrated, this third edition contains new chapters on the Shekhina.
Paperback, 3rd enlarged, 408 pages
Published September 1st 1990 by Wayne State University Press (first published 1967)
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Community Reviews

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Erik Graff
Jan 11, 2010 Erik Graff rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: religion
Having read the Myths of Genesis book coauthored with Robert Graves, I was atuned to Patais' name and approach. Finding a copy of his Hebrew Goddess therefore led to its purchase at a local bookstore.

Contrary to some reviewers, the Hebrew bible is replete with contradictions. It's just that people don't read very carefully. Indeed, one could tell the story of Israel as do many of the prophets as one of continual efforts to regularize worship, belief and behavior among restive, polyglot populatio
Sharon Buchbinder
Apr 27, 2012 Sharon Buchbinder rated it it was amazing
An excellent, in-depth examination of the female goddesses influences on the Yahweh worship and the Jewish religion. The author integrates detailed, scholarly material that gives any reader, not just Jews, insights into the roles of Asherah, Astarte-Anath, the Cherubim, the Shekhina, The Matronit and, yes, even Lilith. Astonishing in breadth and depth, I recommend this to any serious religious scholar and particularly to women seeking the feminine in their spiritual lives.
Steve Cran
Many people may not know it but the Jewish religon through out it's history worshipped a Goddess or at least a feminine life force. First it started out with the worshiping of a Canaanite Goddess Ashera. THrough out the Bible there are constant references to the Israelite worshipping Ashera in the high places and at trees. THis was especially prevalent during Biblical times up until the the Babylonian Exile. THe Israelites have constantly had a debate about worshipping other Gods beside Yahweh. ...more
Oct 07, 2015 Jena rated it really liked it
Fue Goodreads quien me sugirió esta lectura y me parece, además de bien documentada, muy instructiva. los neófitos como yo en la religión de los hebreos, hemos creído que a pesar del "becerro de oro"de Aarón, los judíos nunca practicaron el politeísmo. Sin embargo, esta investigación muestra que, desde que penetraron tierra cananea, los hebreos del "Ëxodo", incorporaron a su religión una serie de diosas como compañeras de Yavé y Yavé Elohim. Entre ellas está Asheráh la más antigua de todas y fue ...more
Nov 21, 2009 Kara rated it liked it
Shelves: relegions, lexicon

The academic parts were well researched and well presented - very insightful and full of interesting details about the history of several religions, not just the Abrahamic ones, and what the religious landscape looked like a few thousand years ago before people started to put things down in stone and edit the more interesting parts out.

However, the book often strayed away from the academic and researched and tries to convert the reader to some sort of Neo-Pagen Goddess cult. No thank you, I'm, u
Alexander Kennedy
Nov 11, 2015 Alexander Kennedy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: judaism
This was a fantastic book. Patai traces the goddess throughout time from ancient biblical times to more modern Kabbalism. Perhaps the most interesting part of the book is his analysis of how the goddess simultaneously embodies opposite characteristics. She is the chaste virgin and the wanton seductress, the goddess of love and the goddess of bloodthirsty violence. Patai offers a very fascinating insight into the human psyche and discusses how the goddess fulfills a need, especially in the male m ...more
Jul 18, 2008 Michelle rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: religious history
Recommended to Michelle by: jewitchery group, Patricia Monaghan
This has been recommended from several sources, most notably, Patricia Monaghan, and the members of the yahoo group Jewitch. Need to find it first.

Just got it in the mail, my sister bought it for me for my birthday!! Yippeeeeeee! Too much to read, not enough brain cells!
Jeremy Tibbetts
Aug 12, 2014 Jeremy Tibbetts rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion
An interesting read. Traces the feminine aspects of God in Judaism and how they were affected by other religions. At times a little bit shocking honestly. The book also seems aware that some of its assumptions could be a little bit of a stretch. Overall a cool and thought provoking read.
Sep 09, 2011 Benjamin rated it really liked it
Shelves: yiddishkeit, religion
Like a dub version of hebrew school.
Diane Black
Nov 23, 2015 Diane Black rated it it was amazing
The book was a great walk through esoteric history of the feminine in Judaism. I especially enjoyed the walk through Kabbalist from 1100-1700s with the clearly defined meaning of the maggid.
Aug 09, 2008 Nathan rated it liked it
I didn't quite finish this one, but it had some interesting things to say about Hebrew traditions.
Jan 24, 2008 Elzibub rated it really liked it
James Carroll
Aug 16, 2011 James Carroll rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religious
This is one of the best books on this subject that I have ever found. An insightful glimpse into the early beliefs of Judaism.
Paul Garza
Paul Garza rated it it was amazing
Apr 28, 2016
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May 21, 2012
Marlin Harrison
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Nov 18, 2009
Commodoresexual rated it it was amazing
Jul 08, 2014
Darren L.
Darren L. rated it did not like it
Sep 27, 2007
Deryn rated it it was amazing
Jan 07, 2012
Wendilyn Emrys
Wendilyn Emrys rated it it was amazing
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David Thornton rated it it was amazing
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“Judging from the frequent occurrence of these female figurines, not matched anywhere by images of male gods, the worship of the goddess must have been extremely popular in all segments of Hebrew society. One of the reasons for her popularity may have been the belief that she promoted fertility in women and facilitated childbirth.” 0 likes
“Is the Hebrew goddess dead, or does she merely slumber, soon to awaken rejuvenated by her rest and reclaim the hearts of her sons and lovers?” 0 likes
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