Enjoy this light hearted story:
 
 
 THAT’S COMMUNICATION
 


The setting is Medieval Italy.  It seems that the good Christian merchants of Rome were losing business to the Jewish merchants.  Things finally got so bad that the Christians decided to go right to the top for relief.  And so they requested an audience with the Pope himself, where they demanded that he do something to run the Jews out of town.
 
The Holy Father contemplated the situation a moment and then proposed that the dispute be decided through a debate.  He would debate with one of the Jews for three rounds.  If the Pope won the debate, the Jews would have three days to get out of town.  If he lost, then the Jewish merchants could stay.  This delighted the Roman merchants, since they saw little chance that the Holy Father would be beaten, even though the terms of the debate were quite peculiar: no speaking would be allowed, only gestures.
 
The Jewish merchants were aghast when they heard of the challenge.  Who would they get to counter the Pope?  As they all bemoaned their fate down at the Jewish pub, one rose up from their number.  Shlomo, who had by that time gained some boldness through the spirits, volunteered that he would take on the Pope.
 
And so the debate was set.  On the appointed day, the Papal entourage gathered in front of St Peter’s, while the not-too-sober Shlomo and his band lined up opposite them.  The Pope began the debate.
 
He said, making a large circle with both arms, starting with both hands above his head and ending with them in front of his body, palms upward.  And Shlomo replied by taking one hand and pointing it emphatically to the floor.  That ended round one.  Now, round two began.
 
The Pope took one hand, holding up three fingers, and then holding up one finger.  To which Shlomo replied, by holding up one finger emphatically.  End of round two.  Round three begins.
 
At this point, the Holy Father brought out the Holy Sacraments and set them before himself.  Shlomo looked bewildered for a moment, then reached up the loose sleeve of his garment and drew out an apple.  With that the Pope announced that the debate had ended and that the Jews could stay.
 
Of course the Roman merchants were beside themselves, wondering what in the world had gone on.  And so they cornered the Pope, and demanded, “What did you say to each other?”
 
The Holy Father replied, “It went like this:  I made a large circle indicating that the Creator of the whole universe is present with us.  And he replied by pointing a finger to the floor, ‘God is Here’.  And he’s right. Next I said, holding up three fingers, ‘The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are One.’  And he replied ‘God is One’, holding up one finger; and he’s right.  Then I set out the sacraments to say ‘Jesus Christ has taken away the sin of the world.’  And he drew out the Apple of the Garden to say, ‘Sin is still with us!’ and he’s right.  So he won the debate and the Jews can stay.”
 
Meanwhile, there was a celebration going on down at the pub, where all the Jewish merchants had gathered around Shlomo, asking him how he had won.
 
He answered, “I’m not sure.  The Pope said, showing a circular motion, ‘All you Jews are going to have to leave town right away.’  And I said, pointing to the floor, ‘We’re staying right here.’  Next, the Pope said, holding up three fingers, then one, ‘After three days, there had better not be one Jew left in this town.’  That made me mad, and I said, holding up one finger, ‘Not one Jew is going to leave!  Shlomo’s friends gasped, ‘And then what happened?’  ‘Then,’ Shlomo said, scratching his head, ‘he took out his lunch so I took out mine!'”