Hostname: page-component-5d59c44645-klj7v Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-02-25T07:25:37.977Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

The Smell of Mortal Man: When the Demonic Female Preys Upon the German Pietist

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 August 2023

Anna Sierka*
Harvard University;


In the esoteric writings of the Medieval German Pietists, nocturnal female demons, known as lilioth, preyed upon mortal men who crossed their paths or who laid down to sleep in their territory. These lilioth could smell the scent of a man, whose body carried with it the additional value of sexual allure, and would hunt them down with their finely attuned olfactory sense. Another odor discussed in these texts, the smell of flying ointment, guaranteed invisibility and offered invulnerability to night-time travelers of both sexes which mirrors the phenomenon known in contemporary Latin sources under the term cursus. In these texts, Jewish mystics, before the dawn of the Kabbalah, rewrote the widely known folklore traditions and fairy tales common to both Jewish and Christian cultures in the Middle Ages. The study presented here is therefore aimed to provide insight into a previously underestimated chapter in Jewish esoteric and kabbalistic sensorium, namely, the olfactory experience.

© The Author(s), 2023. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the President and Fellows of Harvard College

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)



This paper has been written in the framework of my research project conducted as a Harry Starr Fellow at the Center for Jewish Studies at Harvard University. I would like to express my profound gratitude both to the center as well as to the Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture, which graciously awarded me the Ephraim E. Urbach Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Jewish Studies. I also wish to thank the anonymous reviewers whose valuable suggestions helped to improve this manuscript. Translations are my own, unless indicated otherwise.


1 Patrick Süskind, Perfume: The Story of a Murder (trans. John E. Woods; New York: Penguin, 1987) 16.

2 On ancient Greek philosophic-medical modi used to describe the olfactory sensation, see Aroma: The Cultural History of Smell (ed. Constance Classen, David Howes and Anthony Synnott; London: Routledge, 1994) 13–50; Grainne Louise Grant, “The Greek Sense of Smell: Olfactory Perception and the Sociocultural Roles of Perfume in Antiquity” (PhD diss., University of Exeter, 2014), esp. 70–161; Katelynn Robinson, The Sense of Smell in the Middle Ages. A Source of Certainty (London/New York: Routledge, 2020) 13–35. Concerning olfactory interdependencies between mythology, philosophy, spice trade, and celebration of festivals in ancient Greece, see Marcel Detienne, Les Jardins d’Adonis. La mythologie des parfums et des aromates en Grèce (Paris: Gallimard, 1972); English translation: idem, The Gardens of Adonis: Spices in Greek Mythology (trans. Janet Lloyd; Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994).

3 The designations “saturated sensorium” and, subsequently, the “hagiosensorium,” as an expression of a “perceptual system aimed at sensing the property of holiness,” were derived from the contributions of Hans Henrik Lohfert Jørgensen gathered in the omnibus volume The Saturated Sensorium: Principles of Perception and Mediation in the Middle Ages (ed. Hans Henrik Lohfert Jørgensen et al.; Gylling: Aarhus University Press, 2015), esp. 9–70.

4 Two basic patterns can be distinguished: that of incense consisting of the fragrance of martyrdom and odors exhalted through good or bad deeds, and that of perfume entailing the aroma of sanctity or fetor of evil related particularly to the demonic agency. For an examination of the spiritual olfaction in the Christian environment, see: Susan Ashbrook Harvey, Scenting Salvation: Ancient Christianity and the Olfactory Imagination (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2006); Martin Roch, L’intelligence d’un sens. Odeurs miraculeuses et odorat dans l’Occident du haut Moyen Âge (Ve-VIIIe siècles) (Turnhout: Brepols, 2009); from the comparative perspective, see: Mary Thurkill, “Odors of Sanctity: Distinctions of the Holy in Early Christianity and Islam,” Comparative Islamic Studies 3.2 (2007) 133–44.

5 On the role of smells in late antiquity, with particular focus on Christian sources, including the practical aspects of trade with fragrant spices and the production of incense see: Béatrice Caseau, “Euōdia: The Use and Meaning of Fragrances in the Ancient World and their Christianization (100–900 A.D.)” (PhD diss., Princeton University, 1994); on the significance attributed to scents in Syriac Christianity as the most sophisticated textual elaboration of the olfactory experience in late antiquity, see Harvey, Scenting Salvation.

6 See Susan Ashbrook Harvey, “Fragrant Matter: The Work of Holy Oil,” in Knowing Bodies, Passionate Souls: Sense Perceptions in Byzantium (ed. Susan Ashbrook-Harvey and Margaret Mullett; Washington: Dumbarton Oaks, 2017) 153–66.

7 A “pleasing smell” (reaḥ niḥoaḥ) of sacrifices evidenced in the Hebrew Bible and subsequent shifts in its interpretations have been analyzed in Shlomo Zuckier, “Nothing to Sniff at: Odorless Reah Nihoah in Early Biblical Interpretation,” Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha 31 (2022) 184–214.

8 Concerning rabbinic perspectives on smell and their utilization as evidenced, especially in Genesis Rabbah and Song of Songs Rabbah, see Deborah A. Green, The Aroma of Righteousness: Scent and Seduction in Rabbinic Life and Literature (Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2011).

9 The abhorrent fluids discharged by the mortal body, its decay and filth alongside the feminization of religious adversaries in Jewish, Christian and Islamic sources are investigated in a comparative analysis by Alexandra Cuffel, Gendering Disgust in Medieval Religious Polemic (Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 2007); regarding Toledot Yeshu, see Toledot Yeshu (“The Life Story of Jesus”) Revisited: A Princeton Conference (ed. Peter Schäfer, Michael Meerson, Yaacov Deutsch; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2011).

10 For a considerable contribution to “medieval waste studies,” see: David Shyovitz, A Remembrance of His Wonders: Nature and the Supernatural in Medieval Ashkenaz (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017), esp. 161–204. Shyovitz considers the comprehensive attention of the German Pietists to the significance of excrement and bodily effluvia as unparalleled in earlier Jewish writings. Such a preoccupation with bodily waste was motivated by the vivid concern of these Pietists with the human body as representing a certain whole, physical consequence of bodily resurrection, reflected in regulations guaranteeing purity of the worshippers, sacred spaces and objects. Moreover, these texts contain some polemical replies to the Christian dogmas of transubstantiation, immaculate conception, and the dual nature of Jesus.

11 Among the vast literature on foetor Judaicus, see Irven M. Resnick, Marks of Distinctions: Christian Perceptions of Jews in the High Middle Ages (Washington: Catholic University of America Press, 2012) 232–43.

12 See The Saturated Sensorium (ed. Jørgensen et al.), 37.

13 Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, I, q. 78, 3–4; The Saturated Sensorium (ed. Jørgensen et al.), 37; Annick Le Guérer, Scent: The Mysterious and Essential Powers of Smell (trans. Richard Miller; New York: Turtle Bay Books, 1992) 153–54.

14 Maurice Merleau-Ponty referred to the expression coined by Herder: see Maurice Merleau-Ponty, La Phénoménologie de la Perception (Paris: Gallimard, 1961) 271; idem, Phenomenology of Perception (trans. by Donald A. Landes; London/New York: Routledge 2014) 244.

15 In the original wording, “un germe de rêve ou de dépersonnalisation” (Merleau-Ponty, La Phénoménologie de la Perception, 249; idem, Phenomenology of Perception, 223).

16 Merleau-Ponty’s parallel between a sensual perception and the sacrament of communion has been interpreted in categories of interpenetration or intercorporeality, see Merleau-Ponty, La Phénoménologie de la Perception, esp. 245–46, 370; idem, Phenomenology of Perception, esp. 219, 334. Cf. Richard Kearney, “Eucharistic Imagination in Merleau-Ponty and James Joyce,” in Human Destinies: Philosophical Essays in Memory of Gerald Hanratty (ed. Fran O’Rourke; Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press, 2013) 415–33.

17 Maurice Merleau-Ponty incorporated into his work La Phénoménologie de la Perception a quotation from Joachim Gasquet’s book Cézanne. The expression concerning the olfactory sense reads in the French original as follows: Cézanne disait qu’un tableau contient en lui-même jusqu’à l’odeur du paysage. Merleau-Ponty, La Phénoménologie de la Perception, 368. For the English translation, see: idem, Phenomenology of Perception, 332. Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenological approach has served as the foundation for research on smell. See Hans J. Rindisbacher, The Smell of Books: A Cultural-Historical Study of Olfactory Perception in Literature (Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 1992).

18 Merleau-Ponty, La Phénoménologie de la Perception, 368; idem, Phenomenology of Perception, 333.

19 Merleau-Ponty, La Phénoménologie de la Perception, esp. 336–37; idem, Phenomenology of Perception, esp. 303–4.

20 Mădălina Diaconu, Tasten, Riechen, Schmecken. Eine Ästhetik der anästhesierten Sinne (Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2005).

21 Abraham Ofir Shemesh, The Fragrance of Paradise: Scents, Perfumes and Incense in Jewish Tradition (Ramat-Gan: Bar-Ilan University Press, 2017) [in Hebrew].

22 See Judah ben Shmuel he-Ḥasid, Sefer Ḥasidim (ed. Reuven Margaliot; Jerusalem: Mossad ha-Rav Kook, 1957) §854, 485; Shemesh, The Fragrance, 21 n. 36.

23 See Sefer Ḥasidim (ed. Margaliot), §705, 439; Shemesh, The Fragrance, 94 n. 29.

24 Daniel Abrams and Israel Ta-Shema, Sefer Gematriot of R. Judah the Pious: Facsimile Edition of a Unique Manuscript (Los Angeles: Cherub Press, 1998), fol. 23b (p. 70); Shemesh, The Fragrance, 277. Ms. Jerusalem, The National Library of Israel, Heb. 28° 7234 reads as follows: פיטומין וחלבנה ריחו רע לכך נהגו לקטר למי שכפאו שיד בסמים ועשבים ושריחו רע (“The ingredients [to manufacture frankincense] and galbanum emit a malodor; therefore, they direct the smell of incense towards someone who is bent by a demon [possessed by a demon], [it means] perfumes and herbs, which give off the malodor”).

25 See Elliot R. Wolfson, Through a Speculum that Shines: Vision and Imagination in Medieval Jewish Mysticism (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994). The early Kabbalah established a particularly strong predilection toward the sense of hearing. See, for instance, Eitan P. Fishbane, “The Speech of Being, the Voice of God: Phonetic Mysticism in the Kabbalah of Asher ben David and His Contemporaries,” The Jewish Quarterly Review 98 (2008) 485–521.

26 On the gustatory sense and the spiritual significance attached to meals in zoharic literature, see Joel Hecker, Mystical Bodies, Mystical Meals: Eating and Embodiment in Medieval Kabbalah (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2005).

27 See Caroline Walker Bynum, Holy Feast and Holy Fast: The Religious Significance of Food to Medieval Women (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1987) 126, 145, 211, 274.

28 See Zohar 1:142b; Hecker, Mystical Bodies, 226 n. 23. Furthermore, another fragrance as the sum of all possible pleasant scents was exuded by manna. Ibid., 60–61 (see also Zohar 2:62b–63a).

29 The designation lilioth is a collective appellation of nocturnal succubi, while lilin serve as their male equivalents, thus incubi, as previously attested to in both Aramaic incantation bowls and in the Talmud. Lilioth as a strain of she-demons often was amalgamated into a dominant character of Lilith, the rebellious first wife of Adam, portrayed in numerous Jewish sources, whereas the earliest comprehensive biography of Lilith was formulated in The Alphabet of Ben Sira. Concerning the first references to lilioth (sometimes anglicized to liliths), see Daniel Boyarin, Carnal Israel: Reading Sex in Talmudic Culture (Berkley: University of California Press, 1993) 96; Judit M. Blair, De-Demonising the Old Testament: An Investigation of Azazel, Lilith, Deber, Qeteb and Reshef in the Hebrew Bible (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2009) 24–30; Shaul Shaked, James Nathan Ford, and Siam Bhayro, Jewish Babylonian Aramaic Bowls (vol. 1 of Aramaic Bowl Spells; Magical and Religious Literature of Late Antquity 1; Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2013) 15, 21–22, 108, 114, 123.

30 Ms. Munich, the Bavarian State Library, Hebr. 43, fol. 215a.

31 For the textual evidence, see Ayelet Even-Ezra, “Cursus: An Early Thirteenth-Century Source for Nocturnal Flights and Ointments in the Work of Roland of Cremona,” Magic, Ritual, and Witchcraft 12 (2017) 314–30; see also Maaike Van der Lugt, “Abominable Mixtures”: The Liber vaccae in the Medieval West, or The Dangers and Attractions of Natural Magic,” Traditio 64 (2009) 229–77.

32 Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception, 172; in the original: “De la région corporelle qu’elle habite plus spécialement, la sexualité rayonne comme une odeur ou comme un son” (Merleau-Ponty, La Phénoménologie de la Perception 196).

33 Ms. Oxford, The Bodleian Library, 1567 (Opp. 540), fol. 135a.

34 Lilith was portrayed as a malevolent spirit jeopardizing newborns in Pseudo Ben Sira, a satirical work of pseudepigraphic character, as well as in the magical sources. See The Tales of Ben Sira in the Middle Ages: A Critical Text and Literary Studies (ed. Eli Yassif; Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 1984) 63–71, 231–34 [Hebrew]; Joshua Trachtenberg, Jewish Magic and Superstition: A Study in Folk Religion (Cleveland: World Publishing Company, 1961) 37, 42, 101, 169; Siegmund Hurwitz, Lilith-The First Eve: Historical and Psychological Aspects of the Dark Feminine (trans. Gela Jacobson; Einsiedeln: Daimon Verlag, 2009) 31–32, 130; Raphael Patai, The Hebrew Goddess (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1990) 236–41.

35 See Peter Schäfer, “The Ideal of Piety of the Ashkenazi Hasidim and Its Roots in Jewish Tradition,” Jewish History 4 (1990) 9–23; Judith Baskin, “From Separation to Displacement: The Problem of Women in Sefer Hasidim,” AJS Review 19 (1994) 1–18.

36 Ms. London, The British Library Add. 27202 (Margoliouth 770), fol. 93a-b. Ms. Oxford, Mich. 383, fol. 52b preserves many variant readings but most interestingly includes a preamble that this discussion is taken from Sode Razayya: מצורף לזה ראיתי בסודי רזי שאין השדי' חפצי' שידעו בני אדם ענין שלהן וסוד' כמו המלאכים כאשר בארנו. מטעם הזה קטיל המלך הורמין בר לילת'. וא"כ אדם ישכב אם שידה ויהל לה ממנו בני' או בנות… . This extended passage was omitted by act of the printer’s self-censorship with a blank folio in the first edition of Sefer Ṣiyyoni, Cremona 1559, fol. 70a; it was completed in the subsequent reprinting, Cremona 1560, fol. 67a-b. On these editions see Meir Benayahu, Hebrew Printing at Cremona: Its History and Bibliography (Jerusalem: Ben Zvi Institute and Mosad haRav Kook, 1971) 80–83. See further, Heidi Laura, “The Ashkenazi Kabbalah of R. Menahem Ziyyoni” (PhD diss., University of Copenhagen, 2005); Boaz Huss, “Demonology and Magic in the Writings of R. Menahem Ẓiyyoni,” Kabbalah: Journal for the Study of Jewish Mystical Texts 10 (2004) 55–72.

37 The peculiar imaginary of these Pietists, including the expanded demonology, angelology, and effective magical techniques, dialogs often with the Christian popular culture established in medieval German lands. See Joseph Dan, “Rabbi Judah the Pious and Caesarius of Heisterbach: Common Motifs in their Stories,” Scripta Hierosolymitana 22 (1971) 18–27; Susanne Borchers, “Hexen im Sefer Ḥasidim,” Henoch 16 (1994) 271–93; Shyovitz, A Remembrance.

38 Regarding demon-human liaisons in medieval Christian sources, by Caesarius of Heisterbach for example, see Dyan Elliott, Fallen Bodies: Pollution, Sexuality, and Demonology in the Middle Ages (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1999) 30–34. According to the traditions articulated in the Zohar, Adam begot new generations of evil spirits as female demons approached him during his separation from Eve. Moreover, Eve was impregnated through the slime injected into her by the Serpent and gave birth to Cain, considered to be an incarnation of the Other Side, who conceived myriads of evil spirits. See Zohar 1:54a-b; Oded Yisraeli, “Cain as the Scion of Satan: The Evolution of a Gnostic Myth in the Zohar,” HTR 109 (2016) 56–74. In contrast with the Jewish communities in Ashkenaz, the Sephardic Jewry faced not only Christian, but also Muslim others, which determined the nature of their polemical writings: in the zoharic literature, both non-Jews and “bad Jews” underwent bestialization and became associated with menstruation and promiscuity. See Alexandra Cuffel, “The Matter of Others: Menstrual Blood and Uncontrolled Semen in Thirteenth-Century Kabbalists’ Polemic Against Christians, ‘Bad’ Jews, and Muslims,” in Negotiating Community and Difference in Medieval Europe: Gender, Power, Patronage and the Authority of Religion in Latin Christendom (ed. Katherine Allen Smith and Scott Wells; Leiden: Brill, 2009) 249–84. In the Islamic sources, the demonic spirit, jinn, in male or female shape, could have intercourse with a mortal, however, without producing offspring. See Pierre Lory, “Sexual Intercourse Between Humans and Demons in the Islamic Tradition,” in Hidden Intercourse: Eros and Sexuality in the History of Western Esotericism (ed. Wouter J. Hanegraaff and Jeffrey J. Kripal; Leiden: Brill, 2008) 49–64.

39 Caesarius of Heisterbach, Dialogus miraculorum (ed. Joseph Strange; 2 vols.; Cologne: J. M. Heberle, 1851) 1:116–27; English translation: Caesarius of Heisterbach, The Dialogue on Miracles (trans. H. von E. Scott and C. C. Swinton Bland; 2 vols.; New York: Harcourt, 1929) 1:130–42; Elliott, Fallen Bodies, 140; Shyovitz, A Remembrance, 193.

40 Demonic perspicacity was already subjected to the analysis of Augustine, who considered demons to be aerial and therefore superior to the carnal sphere, as bodies endowed with the ability to infiltrate human senses, inter alia sexual phantasies stored in the memory. See Elliott, Fallen Bodies, 17–19; on the Augustinian view of the demonic body as transformable, under certain conditions, from aerial into more humid and heavy substance (a view which is de facto founded upon Apuleius’ demonology), see Seamus O’Neill, “The Demonic Body,” Philosophical Approaches to Demonology (ed. Benjamin W. McCraw and Robert Arp; Routledge Studies in the Philosophy of Religion; New York: Routledge, 2017) 39–58.

41 Caesarius, Dialogus (ed. Strange), 1:294 (bk 5, ch. 15). Regarding the identification of Hell with fecal matter by Christian writers and the bowels as a potential place of residence for the demons, see Shyovitz, A Remembrance, 193–94. A contradictory concept, that of angels inhabiting human limbs, emerged in connection with the Shi’ur Qomah tradition and can be found for instance in writings attributed to Rabbi Nehemiah ben Shlomo ha-Navi’, active in 13th-cent. Erfurt. See Moshe Idel, The Angelic World – Apotheosis and Theophany (Tel Aviv: Yediot Aḥronot Books, 2008) 23–25 [in Hebrew].

42 Caesarius, Dialogus (ed. Strange), 1:116–17 (bk 3, ch. 6); idem, The Dialogue (trans. Scott and Bland), 1:130–31. The term stercora explicitly indicates the excrement.

43 Here a general prohibition of miscegenation applied towards the plausible fornication (a Jewish man, seeking carnal pleasures with non-Jewish women) has been enhanced not exclusively by phantasms focusing on the demonized female body or excreted liquids like blood and semen, but even more effectively by an imposed legal order and fear of the public punishment on the side of potential transgressors. For preliminary remarks regarding the transgression of the socio-sexual boundaries in the medieval period as well as the penitential order to diminish their frequency, see, for example, David Nirenberg, Communities of Violence: Persecution of Minorities in the Middle Ages – Updated Edition (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2015) 128–65.

44 The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs (trans. R. H. Charles; London: Adam and Charles Black, 1908) 4–7; compare also the interpretation of this work by Daniel Boyarin, who emphasizes two inclinations in the human being, whereby the evil yeṣer should be associated with sexual desire: Daniel Boyarin, Carnal Israel: Reading Sex in Talmud Culture (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995) 68–69.

45 Boyarin evaluated this Midrashic account as misogynistic. See Boyarin, Carnal Israel, 89 (with the quotation from Midrash Genesis Rabbah); Cuffel, Gendering Disgust, 29.

46 Cuffel examines this Midrashic evidence in the framework of Christian and polytheistic sources related to the negative perception of the female body, its discharges, and odors. See Cuffel, Gendering Disgust, 26–35.

47 Midrash Rabbah: Genesis (ed. H. Freedman and Maurice Simon; 2 vols.; London: Soncino Press, 1961) 1:340.

48 Quotation from and interpretation of this source offered in Michael D. Swartz, Scholastic Magic: Ritual and Revelation in Early Jewish Mysticism (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996) 169.

49 See Cuffel, Gendering Disgust, 22, 36, and 251–52 (including the references to sources relevant for the topic of the malodor of the ascending mystic as perceived from the angelic angle).

50 For the Qumran community, defecation was apparently forbidden on Shabbat. See Jodi Magness, “Toilet Practices, Purity Concerns, and Sectarianism in the Late Second Temple Period,” in Jewish Identity and Politics Between the Maccabees and Bar Kokhba: Groups, Normativity, and Rituals (ed. Benedikt Eckhardt; Leiden: Brill, 2012) 51–70.

51 Judah ben Shmuel he-Ḥasid, Sefer Ḥasidim (ed. Jehuda Wistinetzki; Berlin: Mekitse Nirdamim, 1891) §104, 609, 683, 1073, 1613, 1663; Shyovitz, A Remembrance, 266 n. 14 and 15.

52 Shyovitz, A Remembrance, 161–71.

53 Shirei ha-Yiḥud veha-Kavod (ed. A. M. Haberman; Jerusalem: Mossad ha-Rav Kook, 1948) 27 [Hebrew]; on scatology and God’s omnipresence, see: Shyovitz, A Remembrance, 174–81.

54 The relation between excrement and sexual desire was investigated by Georges Bataille. He explained the ways in which the moment of shame during sexual activity is related to the revulsion caused by excreta, even though it might have been considered as a natural defilement that was contrasted with the cultural aspiration for cleanliness. See Georges Bataille, L’Histoire de l’érotisme (Paris: Gallimard, 2015), esp. 42–65; for the English version: idem, The Accursed Share, Volume II & III (trans. Robert Hurley; New York: Zone Books, 1993) 61–86.

55 Caesarius, Dialogus (ed. Strange), 1:384–85 (bk 6, ch. 33); idem, The Dialogue (trans. Scott and Bland), 1:444–46.

56 Caesarius, Dialogus (ed. Strange), 1:198–202 (bk. 4, ch. 30); idem, The Dialogue (trans. Scott and Bland), 1:225–29.

57 Caesarius, Dialogus (ed. Strange), 2:113 (bk. 8, ch. 40); idem, The Dialogue (trans. Scott and Bland), l:2, 40.

58 Caesarius, Dialogus (ed. Strange), 1:177–78 (bk. 4, ch. 6); idem, The Dialogue (trans. Scott and Bland), 1:200–2.

59 Caesarius, Dialogus (ed. Strange), 1:243–44 (bk. 4, ch. 76); idem, The Dialogue (trans. Scott and Bland), 1:276–78.

60 Concerning the earlier variants of the Little Red Riding Hood story and the determination of their age, see Yvonne Verdier, “Little Red Riding Hood in Oral Tradition,” Marvels & Tales 11.1/2 (1997) 101–23; Richard Chase, Jr. and David Teasley, “Little Red Riding Hood: Werewolf and Prostitute,” The Historian 57 (1995) 769–76.

61 See Kinder- und Hausmärchen der Gebrüder Grimm (ed. W. H. van der Smissen; Boston: D. C. Heath, 1885) 15. Bruno Bettelheim addresses the topic of sexual desire expressed by the wolf towards the red hood; see Bruno Bettelheim, The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales (New York: Vintage Books, 1977) 166–83, esp. at 174.

62 In original “Geruch ist gleichsam ein Geschmack in die Ferne,” see Immanuel Kant’s Sämtliche Werke (8 vols.; ed. G. Hartenstein; Leipzig: Leopold Voss, 1868) 7:470; furthermore cf. Die philosophischen Hauptvorlesungen Immanuel Kants. Nach den neu aufgefundenen Kollegheften des Grafen Heinrich zu Dohna-Wundlacken (ed. Arnold Kowalewski; München: Rösl, 1924) 96–98; for the English translation, see, Immanuel Kant, Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View (trans. and ed. Robert B. Louden; Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006) 50.

63 Another influential fairy tale from this cycle is “Jack and the Beanstalk”; see Christine Goldberg, “The Composition of ‘Jack and the Beanstalk,’ ” Marvels & Tales 15.1 (2001) 11–26.

64 On the Arthurian motifs in Jack’s cycle, see Harry B. Weiss, “The Autochthonal Tale of Jack the Giant Killer,” The Scientific Monthly 28.2 (1929) 126–33; Thomas Green, “Tom Thumb and Jack the Giant-Killer: Two Arthurian Fairytales?,” Folklore 118.2 (2007) 123–40.

65 Green, “Tom Thumb and Jack the Giant-Killer,” 130.

66 See William Shakespeare, The Tragedy of King Lear (ed. Joseph Pearce; San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2008) 3.4.185–87, on p. 108. Compare also Pearce’s interpretation, in which he compares the phrase in King Lear with the fairytale on Jack the Giant-Killer (108–9).

67 Some remarks concerning the “smell of blood” in the context of female sexual fluids in one passage from the Zohar are noted by Daniel Abrams in his book The Female Body of God in Kabbalistic Literature: Embodied Forms of Love and Sexuality in the Divine Feminine (Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 2004) 99–105 (Hebrew). The zoharic expression, “Surely, the world’s existence depends upon scent” (ודאי אין העולם מתקיים אלא על הריח), is explained by Fishbane. He emphasizes that the scent of the rose inhaled by Rabbi Abba signifies the transcendence of the worldly consciousness enabling the metaphysical experience. Eitan P. Fishbane, “The Scent of the Rose: Drama, Fiction, and Narrative Form in the Zohar,” Prooftexts 29 (2009) 324–61, esp. at 346–48.

68 See the colophon in Ms. London, The British Library, Add. 27199, fol. 601a (Ms. Margoliouth 737).

69 See the description of Ms. London, The British Library, Add. 27199 (Ms. Margoliouth 737) in G. Margoliouth, Catalogue of the Hebrew and Samaritan Manuscripts in the British Museum, part III (London, 1915) 4–10 (including the transcription of the scribal colophon).

70 See the colophon on fol. 369a of Ms. Munich 81. Moreover Elias Levita and Cardinal Aegidio de Viterbo are mentioned in the Latin note located under the colophon on fol. 369a of Ms. Munich 81. See also: Moritz Steinschneider, Die hebræischen Handschriften der K. Hof-und Staatsbibliothek in Muenchen (2nd ed.; Muenchen, in Commission der Palm’schen Hofbuchhandlung, 1895) 53.

71 Steinschneider appropriately tags these portions as being a component of the esoteric writings of Rhineland Pietists, attributing only a part of them to Eleazar of Worms (specification folio fol. 217b) and judging the preceding passages as kabbalistic notes. See Steinschneider, Die hebræischen Handschriften, 28–29.

72 See the colophons on fol. 166b and 188a of Ms. Oxford Mich. 385 (Neubauer 1574). See also the detailed descriptions of this manuscript in: Catalogue of the Hebrew Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library and in the College Libraries of Oxford Including Mss. in Other Languages, which Are Written with Hebrew Characters or Relating to the Hebrew Language or Literature and a few Samaritan Mss. (comp. by Ad. Neubauer; vol. 1; Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1886) 550; Catalogue of the Hebrew Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library. Supplement of Addenda and Corrigenda to Vol. I (A. Neubauer’s Catalogue) (comp. under direction of Malachi Beit-Arié, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994) 266.

73 Because of the quality of the manuscript, the final letter seems to be “hey” and not “ḥet” as testified in this quotation. I have chosen to correct it by implementing the standardized reading—the inadequacy could have been generated by the condition of the manuscript Oxford Michael 385.

74 “Mem” appears as the second letter in this adpositional phrase, although manuscript London Add. 27199 reads at this place “aleph,” what ensued was the change into the verbal phrase: ובמים, which is therefore replaced with ובאים.

75 Eleazar ben Judah ben Kalonymus of Worms, Sode Razayya (ed. Aaron Eisenbach; 2 vols.; Jerusalem, Makhon Sodei Razayya, 2004), vol. 2.

76 Both members of the community of German Pietists and subsequently the kabbalists were male and promoted strongly androcentric, and even phallocentric, perspectives on the intra-divine processes. In the same vein, the activity of writing esoteric and kabbalistic secrets, in consonance with reasoning provided in the Talmudic treatise Giṭ. 45b and bearing in mind the inherent modus operandi of secret societies, was considered an exclusively male profession. As it has been repeatedly emphasized by Elliot R. Wolfson: “As one might expect from a body of thought produced exclusively by men, writing is viewed in kabbalistic sources as a decidedly phallic act, for the pen or stylus is the phallus in relation to the surface upon which the inscription is made, which is the feminine” (Elliot R. Wolfson, “Divine Suffering and the Hermeneutics of Reading: Philosophical Reflections on Lurianic Mythology,” in Suffering Religion [ed. Robert Gibbs, Elliot R. Wolfson; London/New York: Routledge, 2002] 101–62, at 135). Cf. idem, “Erasing the Erasure/Gender and the Writing of God’s Body in Kabbalistic Symbolism,” in Circle in the Square: Studies in the Use of Gender in Kabbalistic Symbolism (ed. idem, Albany: SUNY Press, 1995) 49–78 and 155–95; idem, “The Mystical Significance of Torah Study in German Pietism,” JQR 84 (1993) 43–78.

77 In this manuscript, double foliation was implemented with Arabic ciphers and by the means of Hebrew letters. The mentioned textual portion is preserved on fol. 157a (also numbered as עב) and reads as follows: המלאך אשר יכלכל את הרוחות ששמו גלגליאל בשמך אני קורא [שם המלאך על הרוחות שם שר התורה] סנוגרון מטטרון שר הפנים מי שרא רבא דאורייתא יופיאל שר התורה ועל ידוהי יתדה בתורה למשה ונחלקה לכל ישראל (…). The formula in the brackets appears in the manuscript as the marginal gloss. On the Ms. Oxford Neubauer 1569, see Catalogue of the Hebrew Manuscripts in the Bodleian Library, 549.