very important Rabbi visited the Pope recently in order to improve relations
between the Vatican and Israel. The visit went very well. After the Rabbi saw
all the important sites and met with Cardinals, he had a short meeting with
the Pope himself.
the Rabbi and Pope were conversing in the Pope's office, the Rabbi couldn't
help but notice a huge red phone on a side desk. The Rabbi asked the Pope about
the phone and was told that it was a direct line to heaven. Intrigued, the Rabbi
asked if he might use the phone. The Pope agreed.
finishing his called, he exclaimed: "It really was a direct line to heaven!
Thank you very much, but I insist on paying for the call. It must be very expensive."
The Pope refused several times, but finally agreed to accept the actual cost
of the call. It was quite expensive; several thousand Lyra were exchanged.
visit went so well that several months later, the Pope decided to visit his
new Rabbi friend in Israel. This visit went equally well. He spent a couple
of days visiting all the sites in the Holy land, and finally met with his friend
the Rabbi in his office.
Pope was astounded to see that the Rabbi had a huge red phone exactly like the
Pope's phone at home. He asked about it and the Rabbi said that he had it installed
right after he returned from Rome since he was so impressed with the phone in
the Pope's office. The Pope couldn't believe it. Surely the Rabbi couldn't have
a direct line to heaven; that is the exclusive right of the Pope. Rather than
saying so, which he thought would be rude, he asked if he might use the phone.
The Rabbi agreed.
several minutes the Pope hung up and exclaimed "It really was a direct
line to heaven! Thank you very much, but I insist on paying for the call. It
must be very expensive." The Rabbi agreed to accept the cost of the call,
but said it was only one Sheckle. "Why so inexpensive?", asked the
Rabbi answered "Oh, that... from here, it's a local call!"