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
"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
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
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."
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