Aside from occasionally stashing an iPod in my sports bra while working out, I’ve never found my boobs a particularly convenient cache for goods. Nor do I imagine anything larger than an iPod would make for swift and graceful recovery in a moment of passion. Which is why I laughed aloud at both the Talmud and Rashi when I read their explanations of the last chapter of this week’s parshah, Balak.
Chapter 25 of Bamidbar (Numbers) reads, “while Israel was staying with Shittim, the people profaned themselves by whoring with the Moabite women, who invited the people to the sacrifices for their god. The people partook of them and worshipped that god. Thus Israel attached itself to Baal-peor, and the Lord was incensed with Israel. The Lord said to Moses, ‘Take all the ringleaders and have them publicly impaled before the Lord, so that the Lord’s wrath may turn away from Israel.’ So Moses said to Israel’s officials, ‘Each of you slay those of his men who attached themselves to Baal-peor” (Numbers 25:1-5).