And God said: No longer shall your name be Ya’akov, “Heel,”
But Yisrael, “Godwrestler,” for with Me and with humanity have you battled, and You have won!”
And thus, night after night, God, You come to me.
Not with favors do You come, but to try my strength.
And when, by morning, I prevail against You once again, again I find myself alone:
A poor and hapless traveler, limping on a twisted thigh.
“With God and with humanity have you battled, and You have won!”
Is this Your blessing for me, Great Mystery?
Then heaven help me! For though against all I may prevail,
Against one there is no victory. Against me!
Your blessings rest heavy, God. I cannot bear them.
I limp, and I’m alone on every road, wherever I go.
Defeat me, just this once, that I might find some rest by morning,
The rest that all the vanquished know.
Again it’s night. Again alone. And once again God comes seeking.
Yisrael! Where are you?
Here, God, over here — somehow I moan.
But why? Why, night after night, do You battle with me;
And, with the rising of the dawn, forsake me once again,
And leave me limping, limping and alone?
–a midrash on Genesis