Female deities were often represented in the polytheistic world of the ancient Near East, and many later evolved as part of biblical monotheism. Problem is, after the Babylonian exile they were increasingly suppressed and the one God in the Hebrew Bible and the rabbinical interpretations acquires a “female side” as opposed to a divine female partner. An exhibition
created at the Jewish Museum Hohenems in Austria, expanded now at the Frankfurt Jewish Museum, combines art depicting female elements in God concepts with their cultural-historical traces in the three monotheistic religions. Evidence comes from ancient archaeological figurines, medieval Hebrew Bible illustrations, Renaissance paintings of the Madonna and interpretations by renowned contemporary artists, including Helene Aylon. “You Gotta Believe: The Goddesses vs. Moses,” an animated video by Nina Paley, humorously explores the theme of ancient female deities.