Avigialia hadn’t had it easy. Navo which actually means distasteful, at least that is what he came to be known as, was not the easy of husbands. His relationship with HaShem was nonexistent. His top billing was he, himself, and no one else. IF he wanted land from his neighbor; he would steal it. If he wanted someone else’s business – it would not bother him to lie, steal or just take workers, ideas or property. To say Avigala was disturbed by his actions, embarrassed by his intentions, mortified by his reputation would be an understatement to say the least.
She was brought up to be so fine tuned to what was good and honest, to work her temperament. How their shidduch happened, is another story. But needless to say Navo was not only able to fool his clients, neighbors and shul goers, he was able to fool her for at least awhile.
Yet she recognized that if she wasn’t going to be married to a Rav, a Judge, or someone Righteous, that wouldn’t stop her to make her a good wife and a good neighbor. She would follow him around and make amends to the inflicted neighbor, the burnt store owner or to an angry customer. And because of her kind words and easy way, all would forgive and Navo and his cruelness.
So when the King, as in King Dovid came to her neighborhood, she watched for signs of betrayal or anger. And sure enough it wasn’t too long in coming.
King Dovid had been running from King Shaul and was watching the area close to Navo’s land and had come to be protecting Navo’s workers, men and sheep. When King Dovid asked for some help to cross the land, Navo not only did not give the respect due to a King by coming to talk to him, he refused any help and would not even grant the King an appreciative nod for all the help he had been given. Just having the king stay in such close proximity was alone a good for Navo’s business and even that was beneath Navo’s pride to acknowledge, or perhaps it was because of that more than anything else unnerved the large sword bearing loud mouth man.
King Dovid was furious. He was King, he had been betrayed, insulted, abused and ignored by this uncouth man. He demanded the death penalty, which would have been only done everyone a favor.
But as the King prepared his plan, Avigalia came upon the men on her own horse followed by a wagon or two. First getting to business and appealing to everyone’s better side, she brought out food. Good wines, turkey, mutton, some beef and home made bread still warm from the oven, pies, cakes and fruit freshly picked from the garden. With that alone she saw Dovid’s angry look start melting and enjoying the company.
“And how can we help you Giveret Navo? With this feast, you are sure entitled for a few words.”, the King’s gabai addressed the sole woman.
She turned directly to the king and did not wish to have an interpreter or any barriers. “If I have pleased your Lord, I was wondering if I could as for your psak concerning something very personal. “
At the mention of something personal, the men removed themslelves from the king and moved off into the shadows, because it was getting late in the evening and there was barely light except f or the torches they held.
“I’m sure the lady realizes that I can’t posken in the darkness.” The King addressed her.
“If my King can’t posken on such a small matter as this because of the time of the day, how can you poseken on someone’s life in the same darkness.” She convivially asked.
He paused and was totally taken in not only by her beauty, her smartness, but by her righteousness.
“Wouldn’t you most righteous daughter of Israel, deserve a better husband, why are you pleading his case. Certainly he is so below you.”
“My King, what I deserve doesn’t matter, more important is the King’s needs. To be rash and have him killed would be beneath your dignity, let G-d take care of your needs. Address the King of Kings, my King” she answered.
And true to her words, Navo died naturally not much later and left her free to be married. And who should be her suitor, non other than the King. And even though the Sages argued whether King Dovid had stretched his allotment of wives beyond any number they felt was permitted, they all agreed (Can you imagine they all agreed on anything) Avigalia would be the most important and favorite wife for Dovid and allowed him to marry her.
What made her great? She saw what was possible and what wasn’t and accepted it. She spoke to Dovid first with appeasement and then not only with wit, but appealed to his intellect and his higher self. She created a safe but challenging place to grow. She was not afraid to face her future with dignity, righteousness, and truth.