The Book of Threes

It’s a matter of perspective . . .

Realising they had no choice, the Jewish community picked an elderly rabbi named Moishe to represent them. Rabbi Moishe's Latin wasn't very good; in fact, he knew very little. But he was a man of great faith and highly respected in the Jewish community. So, they asked if it might be possible to have a silent debate. The Pope agreed. What could be easier than a silent debate?


The day of the great debate came. Rabbi Moishe and the Pope sat opposite each other for a full minute before the Pope raised his hand and showed three fingers. Rabbi Moishe looked back at him and raised one finger. The Pope waved his fingers in a circle around his head. Rabbi Moishe pointed one finger to the ground. The Pope brought out the communion elements of wafer and wine. Rabbi Moishe pulled out an apple. The Pope stood up, saying, "I give up! This man is too good! The Jews can stay!"


An hour later, the Cardinals surrounded the Pope, asking him what had transpired in the debate. The Pope replied, "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 fingers around to show him that God was all around us. He then pointed to the ground showing that God was right there with us. I pulled out the wafer and the wine to demonstrate that God absolves us from our sins. He pulled out an apple to remind me of original sin. He has an answer for everything. What else could I do?!"


Meanwhile, the Jewish community crowded around Rabbi Moishe. "What happened?" they asked. "Well," said Rabbi Moishe, "first, the Pope said to me that the Jews had three days to get out of here. I told him not one of us was leaving. Then he gestured that the whole city would be cleared of Jews; and I told him that we were staying right here." "And then what happened?" asked a woman. "I don't know," said Rabbi Moishe, "he took out his lunch and I took out mine."

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Three is the Magic Number

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