Originally Posted by Magdlyn
, commonly translated as God Almighty (but there is evidence shaddai could mean breasts, therefore, the Breasted God/dess).
Along the way, Asherah, a major goddess of Canaan, was seen as the consort of El, Ba'al and YHWH (hey, polyandry!). Later, she was called an abomination by the Levites responsible for writing down much of the Torah and Prophets. But her image stood in the pre-monotheistic Judaean temple for centuries.
Actually, El Shaddai could be tranlated as God of the Breast, however, culturally this really should be translated as God of the Mountain. There are many cultural parallels of thinking of a mountain as a breast, including the Grand Tetons.
There are a lot of pre-monotheistic, polytheistic remnants in Jewish religion, too many to get into fully here. For example the period when one counts the Omer may be related to weeping for the Tammuz, who is a god of the grain that dies when the grain is cut and resurrects when it springs up again to become a new crop, and has since been reinterpreted to be a time when a plague fell upon the people because they were quarelling with each other over foolish issues.
Every religion that has been around a while is going to have many layers to it, and I love every single layer of my religion!