Religious Sign Language

October 28th, 2013

pope rabbi

Over a century ago, a leading Priest and Rabbi were set up in a debate about which religion was superior. If the Priest won,  all Jews would be cleared out of Rome. If the Rabbi won, they would stay.

The problem was that the Priest spoke only Italian and the Rabbi only Yiddish. They held a silent debate.

After sitting opposite each other at a table for a full minute, the Priest raised his hand and showed three fingers. The Rabbi responded by raising a single finger.

Next, the Priest waved his finger around his head. The Rabbi pointed to the ground where he sat.

The Priest then put a communion wafer and a chalice of wine on the table. The Rabbi placed an apple down.

With that, the Priest stood up, and waved his white napkin to indicate that he was beaten.

Later, his advisers met with the Priest, asking what had happened. The Priest said, first, I held up three fingers to represent the Trinity. He responded by holding up one finger to remind me that there is still only one God common to both our beliefs. Then, I waved my finger to show him that God was omni-present. He responded by pointing to the ground to show that God was also right here with us. I pulled out the wine and wafer to show that God absolves us of all our sins. He pulled out an apple to remind me of original sin. He had an answer for everything.

Meanwhile the Jewish leaders gathered around their Rabbi . “What happened?” they asked.

“I haven’t a clue,” he said. First he said to me that we had three days to get out of Italy, so I gave him the finger. Then he told me that the city would be cleared of Jews and I said to him, “we’re staying right here.”

“And then what?” asked the Jewish leaders.

“Who knows?” said the Rabbi, “He took out his lunch, so I took out mine.”

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