A Priest and a Rabbi…

Prof. Joel Kaminsky (currently a visiting profssor at YDS; normally seen gracing the halls of Smith College, Northampton, MA) has quickly established himself as one of the funniest scholars I’ve ever encountered. Now, I know that “funny” and “scholar” are not normally used in the same sentence (at least, not in a positive way), but check out this joke, which appeared during our most recent “Sibling Rivalries” class. Not only was it funny, but it also had something to do with what we were talking about at the time! (Now that Yale’s reading week–and a brief vacation in Louisville–is nearly upon us, I should have time to report on the course’s academic side, in addition to its humorous one.)

A Roman Catholic priest and a rabbi sit down together in a bar and begin discussing their respective vocations. The rabbi asks the priest about his opportunities for advancement within the church hierarchy. The priest replies that although he currently serves a single small parish, he could someday become the archbishop of a major metropolitan area. “Is that it?” asks the rabbi. The priest hesitates for a moment, and responds that while the chances are much more remote, he might one day be chosen to serve as a cardinal. Once again the rabbi asks, “Is that it?” The priest (who is probably becoming a little annoyed at this point) replies that he is at least eligible to be elected to the papacy, and thus become the head of the entire church and God’s leading representative on earth. But much to his surprise, the rabbi asks yet again, “Is that it?” The priest sarcastically exclaims, “What? Do you think that I can actually become God?”

To which the rabbi responds, “Why not? One of our boys did it.”

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October 2007


© 2006-2009, Matthew Burgess. All rights reserved. Any unauthorized use of the original content of this website is strictly prohibited. Quotations or citations should include a link to this website. The views and opinions given here are my own and do not represent those of the University of Virginia (or anyone else, for that matter).

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