The Debate

About a century or two 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, 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
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 the 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.” “And then?” asked a woman.

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