(This is from Elie Wiesel’s book “God’s Messengers”)
When the battle was over, the angel pleaded with Jacob to let him go; Jacob refused to leave without a blessing.
Angel – I cannot. I do not have time. Dawn is breaking and I must leave.
Jacob – You are afraid of dawn? Why? Are you a thief? Or a nocturnal gambler?
Angel – No, but I am expected in heaven to sing the praises of the Almighty.
Jacob – You have friends up there unperturbed. Let them sing.
Angel – They will sing without me today. But that means I shall never again sing with them. Tomorrow they will tell me: ‘You didn’t come yesterday, you are no longer one of us.’
Jacob – You talk too much. The angels who visited Abraham blessed him before they took their leave. Do as they did.
Angel – Impossible. It’s not the same at all. They came for that purpose. I did not.
Jacob – Then you are not leaving.
Faced with Jacob’s stubborn insistence, the angel changed the subject and began to speak not of blessings but of divine mysteries. Said he:
Angel – The angels who revealed God’s mysteries were exiled for one hundred and thirty-eight years – would you wish me to share their fate?
Jacob – Either you bless me or I shall not let you go.
Angel – So be it. I shall reveal to you that which should not be revealed. And if God asks me why, I shall answer that a prophet’s injunction takes precedence over all others.