Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Several centuries ago, the Pope decreed that all the Jews 
had to convert to Catholicism or leave Italy.

There was a huge outcry from the Jewish community,

 so the Pope offered a deal: he'd have a religious 
debate with the leader of the Jewish community.

If the Jews won, they could stay in  Italy; if the 

Pope won, they'd have to convert or leave.

The Jewish people met and picked an aged

 and wise rabbi to represent them in the debate.
However, as the rabbi spoke no Italian (or Latin),

 and the Pope spoke no Yiddish,
they agreed that it would be a 'silent' debate.

On the chosen day the Pope and rabbi sat opposite
 each other.

The Pope raised his hand and showed three fingers.

The rabbi looked back and raised one finger.

Next, the Pope waved his finger around his head.

The rabbi pointed to the ground where he sat.

The Pope brought out a communion wafer and
 a chalice of wine.

The rabbi pulled out an apple.

With that, the Pope stood up and declared himself
 beaten and said that the rabbi was
too clever. The Jews could stay in Italy.

Later the Cardinals met with the Pope and asked
 him what had happened.

The Pope said, "First I held up three fingers to 

represent the Trinity.
He responded by holding up a single finger to

 remind me there is still only one God common
 to both our

"Then, I waved my finger around my head to 
show him that God was all around us. The
rabbi responded by pointing to the ground to
 show that God was also right here with us.

"I pulled out the wine and host to show that
 through the perfect sacrifice Jesus has atoned
 for our sins,
but the rabbi pulled out an apple to remind me 

of the original sin."He bested me at every move and I could
 not continue."

Meanwhile, the Jewish community gathered 
to ask the rabbi how he'd won.

"I haven't a clue," said the rabbi.

"First, he told me that we had three days to

 get out of  Italy, so I gave him the finger.

"Then he tells me that the whole country would
 be cleared of Jews but I told him
emphatically that we were staying right here."

"And then what?" asked a woman.

"Who knows?" said the rabbi. "He took out his
 lunch, so I took out mine.

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