DAILY CATHOLIC    WEDNESDAY     May 20, 1998     vol. 9, no. 98


To print out entire text of Today's issue, go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO
         The following comes from Gary Stahler and, with all the conversations going on between the Vatican and Jewish interests lately, we thought it was timely and appropriate to bring you today as part of our mid-week humor which, because the editor is sick, we are carrying in place of our regular mega series on THE AGE OF MARIAN APPARITIONS which will return next week in this same time slot.

      The Chief Rabbi of Israel and the Pope are in a meeting in Rome. The Rabbi notices an unusually fancy phone on a side table in the Pope's private chambers.

      "What is that phone for?" he asks the pontiff.

      "It's my direct line to the Lord!"

      The Rabbi is skeptical, and the Pope notices. The Holy Father insists that the Rabbi try it out, and, indeed, he is connected to the Lord. The Rabbi holds a lengthy discussion with Him. After hanging up the Rabbi says. "Thank you very much. This is great! But listen, I want to pay for my phone charges."

      The Pope, of course refuses, but the Rabbi is steadfast and finally, the pontiff gives in. He checks the counter on the phone and says: "All right! The charges were 100,000 Lira. ($56)"

      The Chief Rabbi gladly hands over a packet of bills. A few months later, the Pope is in Jerusalem on an official visit. In the Chief Rabbi's chambers he sees a phone identical to his and learns it also is a direct line to the Lord.

      The Pope remembers he has an urgent matter that requires divine consultation and asks if he can use the Rabbi's phone. The Rabbi gladly agrees, hands him the phone, and the Pope chats away. After hanging up, the Pope offers to pay for the phone charges. This time, the Chief Rabbi refuses to accept payment. After the Pope insists, the Chief Rabbi relents and looks on the phone counter and says: "1 Shekel 50! ($0.42)"

      The Pope looks surprised: "Why so cheap!?"

      The Rabbi smiles and says, "It's a local call."

May 20, 1998       volume 9, no. 98


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