vaticancity.jpg A few centuries back, the Pope decided that all the Jews should have to leave the Vatican since they did not accept Christ. Naturally, there was some uproar from the Jewish community, so the Pope offered them a deal. He would have a religious debate with a member of the Jewish community — if the Jewish leader won, the Jews could stay. If the Pope won, the Jews would leave.

The Jews realized that they had no choice, and nominated a middle-aged man named Moishe to represent them. Moishe agreed, but had one stipulation: to make it more interesting, neither side would be allowed to speak. The Pope was a little curious, but agreed nonetheless.

The day of the great debate came, and everyone assumed their places silently. 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 announced, “I give up. This man is too good, and has easily won the debate. The Jews can stay.”

An hour later, the cardinals were all around the Pope asking him what happened — they were baffled. 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 to show that God was also right here with us. I pulled out the wine and the wafer to indicate how God absolves us from our sins, but 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 gathered 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 the Jews. I let him know that we were staying right here.”

“And then?” asked a woman. “What happened next?”

“I don’t know,” said Moishe. “He took out his lunch and I took out mine…”

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