The New Pope (Jewish humor)

The New Pope

Every time a new Pope is elected, there are many rituals in accordance with tradition but there is one tradition very few people know about.

Shortly after the new Pope is enthroned, the Chief Rabbi of Rome seeks an audience. He is shown into the Pope’s presence, whereupon he presents the Pope with a silver tray bearing a velvet cushion. On top of the cushion is an ancient, shriveled envelope. The Pope symbolically stretches out his arm in a gesture of rejection.

The Chief Rabbi then retires, taking the envelope with him and does not return until the next Pope is elected.

The new Pope was intrigued by this ritual, and that its origins were unknown to him. He instructed the best scholars of the Vatican to research it, but they came up with nothing. When the time came and the Chief Rabbi was shown into his presence, they faithfully enacted the ritual rejection but, as the Chief Rabbi turned to leave, His Holiness called him back.

“My brother,” the Pope whispers, “I must confess that we Catholics are ignorant of the meaning of this ritual enacted for many centuries between us and you, the representative of the Jewish people. I have to ask you, what is it all about?”

The Chief Rabbi shrugs and replies: “But we have no more idea than you do. The origin of the ceremony is lost in the traditions of ancient history.” The Pope said: “Let’s retire to my chambers and then open the envelope and discover the secret at last.” The Chief Rabbi agrees.

Fortified in their resolve they gingerly pried open the curling parchment envelope and with trembling fingers, the Chief Rabbi reached inside and extracted a folded sheet of similarly ancient paper.

As the Pope peered over his shoulder, he slowly opened the envelope. They both gasped with shock –

It is a bill for the Last Supper from “Moishe Cohen’s Catering and Deli”.

This joke comes from Tzvi M. from Israel and via Lowell Nigoff of Lexington, Kentucky

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DR. LAURENCE H. KANT (LARRY KANT), MYSTIC SCHOLAR: Engaged Mysticism and Scholarship in the Pursuit of Wisdom; Discovering meaning in every issue and facet of life; Integrating scholarship, spirituality, mysticism, poetry, community, economics, and politics seamlessly. Historian of Religion: Ph.D., Yale University, 1993 (Department of Religious Studies); Exchange Scholar, Harvard University, Rabbinics, 1983-84; M.A., 1982, Yale, 1982 (Department of Religious Studies); M.T.S., Harvard Divinity School, 1981; B.A., Classics (Greek and Latin), Tufts University, 1978; Wayland High School (Wayland, MA), 1974. Served on the faculty of Cornell University (Ithaca, NY), York University (Toronto), and Lexington Theological Seminary (Lexington, KY). Works in many languages: Ancient Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Aramaic, Syriac, English, French, Italian, German, Modern Greek (some Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish). Holder of numerous honors and awards, including The Rome Prize in Classics (Prix de Rome) and Fellow of the American Academy of Rome.
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