THE PASSOVER JOKE of 2003
THE GREAT DEBATE
Several centuries ago, the Pope decreed that all the
Jews had to leave Italy. There was, of course, a huge outcry
from the Jewish community, so the Pope offered a deal. He
would have a religious debate with a leader of the Jewish
community. If the Jewish leader won the debate, the Jews would be
permitted to stay in Italy. If the Pope won, the Jews would have to leave.
The Jewish community met and picked an aged Rabbi,
Moishe, to represent them in the debate. Rabbi Moishe,
however, could not speak Latin and the Pope could not speak Yiddish.
So it was decided that this would be a "silent" debate.
On the day of the great debate, the Pope and Rabbi Moishe sat
opposite each other for a full minute before the
Pope raised his hand and showed three fingers. Rabbi Moishe looked
back and raised one finger.
Next, the Pope waved his finger around his head. Rabbi Moishe
pointed to the ground where he sat. The Pope then
brought out a communion wafer and chalice of wine. Rabbi Moishe
pulled out an apple. With that, the Pope stood up and said, "I
concede the debate. This man has bested me. The Jews can stay."
Later, the Cardinals gathered 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 to show
that God was also right here with us. I pulled out the wine and
the wafer to show that God absolves us of 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 crowded around Rabbi
Moishe, asking what happened. "Well," said Moishe, "first he said
to me, 'You Jews have three days to get out of here.' So I said to
him, 'Up yours'. Then he tells me the whole city would be cleared of
Jews. So I said to him, 'Listen here Mr. Pope, the Jews ... we stay
"And then?" asked a woman.
"Who knows?" said Rabbi Moishe. "We broke for lunch."