] >Date Index
The Jews Keep RomeMarkus `Nick` Wennrich
- Fri Oct 29 14:22:13 1999
About a century or two ago, the Pope decided that all the Jews had to leave
Rome. 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, the
Jews would leave.
The Jews realized that they had no choice. So they picked 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.
The Pope agreed.
The day of the great debate came. Moishe and the Pope sat opposite each
other for a full minute before the Pope raised his hand and showed three
fingers. Moishe looked back at him and raised one finger. The Pope 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 had
happened. The Pope said, "First I held up three fingers to represent the
Trinity. He responded by holding up one 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 also right here with us. I pulled out the
wine and wafer 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
three 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 let him
know that we were staying right here."
"Yes, yes,.. and then???" asked the crowd.
"I don't know," said Moishe,
"He took out his lunch, and I took out mine."