Four hundred boys and as many girls were once kidnapped and torn from
their relations. When they learned the purpose of their capture, they
all exclaimed, "Better drown ourselves in the sea; then shall we have an
inheritance in the world to come." The eldest then explained to them the
text (Ps. lxviii. 22), "The Lord said, I will bring again from Bashan; I
will bring again from the depths of the sea." "From Bashan," i.e., from
the teeth of the lion; "from the depths of the sea," i.e., those that
drown themselves in the sea. When the girls heard this explanation they
at once jumped all together into the sea, and the boys with alacrity
followed their example. It is with reference to these that Scripture
says (Ps. xliv. 22), "For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we
are counted as sheep for the slaughter."
THE TALMUD, _Gittin_, fol. 57, col. 2.