So, a good friend asked me, “I’m wondering what Chavah means to you, if not Eve?”
He has no idea what he’s gotten into.
How exciting! I feel like a kid, bringing her favorite toy to show-and-tell!
Anyway: Here’s the deal. Chavah is the real name, the original flavor, assigned by the Creator of all, for the woman who started it all. And by “It,” I mean this beautiful, life-giving, creative force that is womankind. We are awesome, and her name reflects her position as the first, and as the source. In other places in the Scriptures, Chavah is used to mean, “reveal.”
So, we started with Adam, as the story goes. Half of the Image of G-d, living alone, unable to fully reflect his Source, or to express the creative, life-giving nature of YHWH. Along comes Chavah. She is the other half of the image, the completion, and in her presence, and through her power, mankind is raised up, into the full Image of the Creator. What could Adam do on his own? Tend plants, and name animals. Nice. “It is not good that man should be alone….” We need one another. Neither sex, alone, expresses enough, and we feel it.
So, who’s EVE? Eve is not a revealing. Eve is a hiding. The very name Eve obscures the fullness of womankind. Eve is that grasping, whining chick in Paradise Lost, who screwed us all. Eve is the Christian’s answer to Pandora. The woman as the source of all the trouble around here. Eve should stay home, like Penelope of the Odyssey, hidden away. Because that’s the only place a woman can be trusted. Locked up. Let the real men, who look like our societal image of God (Stern old Grandpa, anyone?), go out and conquer the World. We should just stay home, where we won’t tempt the men, anymore.
Poor Eve. We are tired of you.
We are the descendents of Chavah! We reveal the Creative, Life-granting half of God’s image to a world that’s desperate for something to believe in. When we allow ourselves to be despised and objectified, we are not only robbing ourselves, we are robbing the world. When we despise our femininity, everyone loses. Giving life hurts, and it’s hard, but we are strong. And that is why, in general, men are afraid of us. (Don’t bother denying this one, gentlemen.) Of course they are! We are AFRAID OF OURSELVES! We can feel the Power, simmering under our skin, and we. Are. TERRIFIED.
Be Chavah. Stop hiding. CREATE! Give life. Reveal. It’s your destiny.
Next up: A Wee bit of Sex-Ed!