Avodah Zarah 10 - Conversations Between Antoninus and Rabbi Yehudah the Prince

Antoninus once told Rabbi Yehudah, "Roman dignitaries are persecuting me." Instead of answering, R. Yehudah would bring Antoninus into his garden daily, and would pluck a single radish from a bed in front of him. Antoninus said to himself, "R. Yehudah is advising me to kill them off one at a time."

But let him say it directly! - Maybe the dignitaries will overhear. But say it quietly! - " a bird of the sky will carry the sound " - one can never be sure that a private conversation will remain secret.

A secret cave led from the palace of Antoninus to the house of Rabbi Yehudah. Daily Antoninus would visit Rabbi Yehudah and study Torah with him, but he wanted this to be secret. He would bring two servants with him, killing one at the entrance to the house of Rabbi Yehudah, and another on return. Antoninus told Rabbi Yehudah that nobody should be present at their meeting, but one day Rabbi Chanina bar Chama was there.

Antoninus was upset, but Rabbi Yehudah told Antoninus, "It is not a man, but an angel." To verify this, Antoninus told Rabbi Chanina, "Go and wake my servant, sleeping at the door." Rabbi Chanina found the servant dead. Not wanting to either come back with the bad news, or to flee, Rabbi Chanina revived the servant. Antoninus said, "I know that the least among you can resurrect the dead, but please next time nobody should be with you."

Art: David The Younger Ryckaert - Man Sleeping