GREAT DEBATE - The Power of Communication

    The Power of Communication

    Several centuries ago, the Pope decreed that all the Jews
    had to convert to Catholicism or leave Italy . There was a
    huge 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

    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

    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

    The rabbi pulled out an apple.

    With that, the Pope stood up and declared himself beaten
    and said that the rabbi was too clever. The Jews could stay
    in Italy .
    Later the cardinals met with the Pope and asked him 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 wafer to show that God
    absolves us of 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

    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 tells me that the whole country would be
    cleared of Jews and I told him that we were staying right

    And then what?' asked a woman.

    'Who knows?' said the rabbi. 'He took out his
    lunch so I took out mine.'

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