Monday, May 11, 2009

The Jewish Pope

Many of the roads to the Hebrew University campus on Mt Scopus are closed this morning to allow Pope Benedict to travel safely into Jerusalem. It seems like a good opportunity to mention a new book published by Bar Ilan University Press: The Jewish Pope, by Joseph Bamberger. It is about the old legend of a Jewish boy kidnapped from his saintly parents by Christians, who was raised as a Christian and eventually became Pope. His father met him at this later stage, and through a game of chess (if I remember correctly) identified his son.

2 Comments:

Blogger ploni said...

You have in mind the story of שמעון הגדול who was רש"י's uncle and his son אלחנן. There are a few versions of the legend. There is also the claim that this is hinted at in his יוצר for the second day if ראש השנה where he has the line: אל חנן נחלתו בנועם להשפר

6:41 PM  
Blogger Jeffrey Woolf said...

You recall correctly. The father had invented a novel chess move and taught it only to Elchanan. When the "Pope" played chess with R. Shimon, he used the move and the father recognized his son.

8:55 AM  

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