Vatican Debate

About a century ago, the Pope decided that all the Jews had to leave the Vatican. Naturally, there was a big uproar from the Jewish community, so the Pope made a deal. He would have a religious debate with a member of the Jewish community. If the Jew won, the Jews could stay. If the Pope won, they would have to leave.

The Jews realized they had no choice, so they selected a middle-aged man named "Moishe" to represent them. Moishe asked for one addition to the debate. To make it more interesting, neither side would be allowed to talk, and the Pope agreed.

The day of the great debate came. They sat opposite one another for a full minute before the Pope raised his hand and showed 3 fingers. Moishe looked back at him and raised 1 finger.

The Pope then waved his fingers in a circle around his head. Moishe pointed to the ground where he sat.

The Pope pulled out a wafer and a glass of wine.

Moishe pulled out an apple.

The Pope stood up and said, "I give up. This man is too good. The Jews can stay."

An hour later, the cardinals were all around the Pope asking him what happened. The Pope said, "First I held up 3 fingers to represent the Trinity. He responded by holding up 1 finger to remind me that there was still one God common to both our religions. Then I waved my finger around me to show him that God was all around us. He responded by pointing to the ground and showing that God was right here with us. I pulled out the wafer and wine to show that God absolves us from our sins. He pulled out an apple to remind me of original sin. He had an answer for everything. "What could I do?"

Meanwhile, the Jewish Community had crowded around Moishe.

"What happened?" they asked.

"Well," said Moishe. "First he said to me that the jews had 3 days to get out of here. I told him that not one of us was leaving. Then he told me that this whole city would be cleared of Jews. I told him that we were staying right here.

"And then?" asked a woman.

"I don't know," said Moishe. "He took out his lunch, so I took out mine."


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lic Wednesday, November 5, 1997