While on vacation in Rome, I noticed a marble column in St. Peter’s with a golden telephone on it. As a young priest passed by, I asked what the telephone was for. The priest told me it was a direct line to heaven; and if I’d like to call, it would be a thousand dollars. I was amazed but declined the offer.
Throughout Italy, I kept seeing the same golden telephones on marble columns. At each, I asked about it; and the answer was always the same:
It was a direct line to heaven; and I could call for a thousand dollars.
Then – I continued my tour and arrived in Israel. I decided to attend temple services at a local synagogue. As I walked to the door, I noticed the same golden telephone. Underneath it there was a sign stating: “DIRECT LINE TO HEAVEN – 25 cents.”
“Rabbi,” I said, “I have just been all over Italy; and in all the cathedrals I visited, I’ve seen telephones exactly like this one.
But the price is always a thousand dollars. Why is it that this telephone is only 25 cents?
The rabbi smiled and said, “You’re in Israel now … it’s a local call.”
With much affection,