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THE POPE AND THE RABBI
Several centuries ago, the Pope decreed that all the Jews had to convert to Catholicism or leave Italy. There was a great outcry from the Jewish community, so the Pope offered a deal.
He'd have a religious debate with the leader of the Jewish community. If the Jews won, they could stay in Italy; if the Pope won, they'd have to convert or leave.
The Jewish people met and picked an aged and wise rabbi to represent them in the debate. However, as the rabbi spoke no Italian, and the Pope spoke no Yiddish, they agreed that it would be a "silent" debate.
On the chosen day the Pope and rabbi sat opposite each other.
The Pope raised his hand and showed three fingers.
The rabbi looked back and raised one finger.
Next, the Pope waved his finger around his head.
The rabbi pointed to the ground where he sat.
The Pope brought out a communion wafer and a chalice of wine.
The rabbi pulled out an apple.
With that, the Pope stood up and declared himself beaten and said that his adversary was too clever. The Jews could stay in Italy.
Later the cardinals met with the Pope and asked what had happened.
The Pope said, "First I held up three fingers to represent the Trinity. He responded by holding up a single finger to remind me there is still only one God common to both our beliefs.
"Then, I waved my finger around my head 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 water to show that God absolves us from all our sins. He pulled out an apple to remind me of the original sin.
"He bested me at every move and I could not continue."
Meanwhile, the Jewish community gathered to ask the rabbi how he'd won.
"I haven't a clue," the rabbi said. "First, he told me that we had three days to get out of Italy, so I gave him the finger.
"Then he told me that all the country would be cleared of Jews and I told him that we were staying right here."
"And then what?" asked a woman.
"Who knows?" said the rabbi. "He took out his lunch so I took out mine.
THE POPE AND FRANK PERDUE
Frank Perdue went to meet the Pope for an audience, and while having the papal blessing bestowed upon him, he whispered, "Oh, Your Eminence, just between we two, do I have a whoopee deal for you! If you just change the words to The Lord's Prayer from 'give us this day our daily bread...' to 'give us this day our daily chicken...' we'll donate five hundred thousand dollars to the Church! Phenomenal, eh?"
The Pope replied, "That is indeed generous, but impossible. The Prayer is the Word of the Lord and that may not be changed. The matter is not negotiable".
"Ok then," rejoined Frank, "We do appreciate the position, so we are prepared to donate a mammoth one million dollars to the Church if you change the words to The Lord's Prayer from 'give us this day our daily bread...' to 'give us this day our daily chicken...'"
Again the Pope admitted, "That is most benevolent. However, The Prayer is the Word of the Lord and must not be changed".
"Ooh, but Your Eminence! Just between us - I bet it's a temptation!" heehawed Frank, jabbing the air. "Ok - how about a billion! Admit it, that is a good bid! It's the highest we can go."
The Pope smiled as he stated, "Just between us, I have to repeat that the matter is not negotiable. Oh, I heed not the heathen money. Keep it! The Faith shall withstand the highest temptation."
Frank's jaw dropped, and he appealed to the Pope, "Oh, no, we are not heathens! To prove it, we will donate a phenomenal five billion dollars if you will change the words to the Lord's Prayer from 'give us this day our daily bread...' to 'give us this day our daily chicken...' That is as high as we go. I'll await the papal decision." With that, he bowed and withdrew from the chamber.
The next day the Pope met with the College of Cardinals. "I have some good news, and I have some bad news," he told them. "The good news is that the Church has just been donated five billion dollars ..."
There was a heated babbling from the Cardinals. "Then, what is the bad news?" one of them entreated.
The bad news," replied the Pope, "is that we are losing The Wonderbread Account"