03 March 2013

Every time a new Pope is elected...

there are many rituals in accordance with tradition, but there is one tradition that very few people know about.

Shortly after a 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.

A new Pope's reign was shortly followed by a new Chief Rabbi. He 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, the Pope called him back.

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

The Chief Rabbi shrugged and replied: "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 us retire to my private chambers and enjoy a glass of kosher wine together; then with your agreement, we shall open the envelope and discover the secret at last." The Chief Rabbi agreed.

Fortified in their resolve by the wine, 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 it. They both gasped with shock —

It was a bill for the Last Supper — from "Moishe the Caterer."

Remark: that joke is probably as old as Papacy, but right now it's relevant again, for a while...

Hat tip: A.

11 comments:

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Haha good one even if it's ancient!

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Very old, but very good.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Did Jesus leave a tip?

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Being Jooish, he left a promise of a big one.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

As good, maybe even slightly better (he said, grudgingly), than the one about the Chief Rabbi of Israel visiting the Vatican and, on entering the Pope's private apartment, sees a golden telephone. "What's this for" he asks.The Pope replies that it's a direct line to God. Intrigued, the Chief Rabbi asks if he can make a call. "Of course", says the Pope, and discreetly retires to another room.


After the call is over, the Pope returns and the Chief Rabbi asks how much he owes, and willingly pays the bill.


The following year, the Pope goes to Israel and discovers that the Chief Rabbi has a similar phone. The ritual is repeated, and when the Chief Rabbi returns to the room, the Pope asks how much he owes for the call. The Chief Rabbi waves his money away: "From here, it's a local call".

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Ach, but the phone one is relatively new, at least not older than Bell. This one, though, is not technology bound, so it is much more ancient.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Actually, it was probably coined in some Polish shtetl, by an ancestor of Teyve the Milkman, just after another tax had been imposed on them by the local Polish nobleman.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

And collected by his Jewish treasurer, I haste to add.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Teyve was from the Russian Pale not from the Polish shtetl.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

That for sure.

SnoopyTheGoon said...

Katie, pick, pick, pick...Polish, Pale of Settlement shtetl, made no difference to the drunken kulaks intent on killing Jews. (Not meant os a criticism, but a very weak witticism)