Pinchas Vs. The Girls Of Baal-Peor

This week’s Torah portion has so much slaughter and fornication that it would make a good videogame.

I’m normally a very strong man, but there’s just something about Midianite girls that puts the lead in my pencil.

I remember meeting this Christian woman at a party one Sunday night in 1994. We were in an acting group together. We had a nice talk. We hugged.

Even though she believed that a carpenter from Nazareth was God and Messiah, I invited her back to my place.

My place at the time was a 1979 Toyota stationwagon. I’d been living it out of it for a few months while I pursued my acting career. I figured a job would only hold me back from achieving my dreams.

We were standing beside my wagon and I was trying to hold her hand and she was pushing me away. So I invited her inside so that we could be on our own and not let secular morality impinge upon our feelings.

I had the back seat down and all my possessions piled up in cardboard boxes along the sides. In the middle was my comfy duve and two pillows.

How could she resist?

We slid in.

I put up towels around all the windows so we could have privacy. Then we got under my duve and got cozy.

We were both religious in a traditional sense, so we didn’t just stampede to the clitoris like secular humanists do. Nor did we do oral.

(“Oral is moral” claims the dad in Big Love, but my religion teaches me otherwise.)

No, we just held each other like Christians United For Israel. Then we stroked each other. Then we clinched. Then we made out. Finally, I took her hand in mine and placed it in my pants.

Thank God the gasoline fumes weren’t too strong that night.

She said she was really good at handjobs, but before she’d give me one, she had to say a prayer aloud to Jesus. She was worried about me. I said fine.

She prayed, “Dear Jesus, I’m here with Luke who’s very troubled. He’s been sick for a long time. He’s homeless. He’s left you behind. He’s in a new town where he doesn’t know anybody. He’s in pretty desperate shape. It’s in these tough times that we turn to you oh Lord. We know that a penitent and upright heart you will never despise. I want to invite you into Luke’s heart. I know you can do miracles. We acknowledge you and we love you and we commit ourselves to you, amen.”

Then she reached down and let her fingers work their magic.

Why are some women awesome at this and other women just suck?

On her first upward stroke, my tzitzit flew up and smacked me across the face.

“What are those?” she said.

“These are tzitzit,” I said. “They’re mandated in the Torah, which says, ‘And you shall look upon them and remember to do My commandments.’ As Jews, we are supposed to meditate on God’s commandments night and day. We’re supposed to be a holy people, but sometimes it’s hard.”

Then I took off my tzitzit and put them in a box.

I’d like to think that I’m a stronger man now. That I wouldn’t take off my tzitzit if I were in the back seat with a shiksa. That if any woman tried to tempt me into immorality, I’d just say no, whether or not she was going to pray to Jesus beforehand, during or afterward.

Still, I’m only flesh and blood and some of these Christian women are pretty wily. They’ll offer you the most tempting treats if only you’ll listen to them talk about Jesus. They’ll trade access to their bodies in exchange for access to your soul.

On the surface, it looks like a good deal, but just look at what happened to the Israelites at Baal-Peor.

I’ve made this trade on more than one occasion. I’m not proud of this. I’d like to think I’m past this now. When I look back at these tawdry liaisons, these dangerous liaisons for my neshama, I’m ashamed. Was it for this that Joshua blew his trumpet? For this we were redeemed from Egypt with a strong hand? It’s no behavior for a moral leader. Kids, don’t try this at home. Always make sure your parents are around when your girlfriend is over and you’ll be much more likely to stay out of trouble. Don’t close your door. Don’t drive stationwagons or vans. Don’t put a mattress in the back of your van and pile it up with towels to cover the windows. Don’t keep your supplies in a place immediately obvious to your date nor in a spot where the sun can corrode the rubber.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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