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Meeting Har Hevron’s Avigail

Meeting Har Hevron’s Avigail
“She (Avigail) was riding on the ass and going down a trail,
when David and his men appeared, coming down toward her; 
and she met with them.” (1 Samuel 25:20)
In Har Hevron one’s mind inevitably is arrested by historical events that took place in these Judean Hills. Leaving behind Bet Lehem where David, Israel’s beloved poet spent his boyhood years, one travels past Hebron where he ruled for 7 years as King of Judah. An obscure little sign reads Tell Ziph, reminding us of the days David spent hiding from King Saul in the ”Wilderness of Ziph, in the hill country”.
 And then, as we approach the modern day settlements of Carmel and Maon, onto the stage comes Nabal who thousands of years ago kept his 3000 sheep in ancient Carmel whilst living in Maon. In cursory fashion Avigail is introduced to us in the Biblical narrative simply as Nabal’s wife who was ‘beautiful and intelligent”.  This latter attribute however, enabled Avigail to correctly assess a potentially dangerous situation that had developed and to take the necessary actions. This brought Avigail center stage as she rushed down a trail on an ass to meet David and his men in order to supply them with the provisions Nabal had refused to give them. A courageous act which led to Avigail becoming David’s wife after her husband’s death.
On Yom Kippur eve 2001 a group of demobilized IDF soldiers settled on a hill top and named it after Avigail who followed through on her convictions and took action even though she knew it would not sit well with Nabal – after all, he had a heart attack.
Today 30 families live in this beautiful rural setting called “Avigail” from where a stunning view opens up towards the Dead Sea, the communities of Maon, Carmel and Sussya as well as the Arab city of Yatta (the Biblical town of Juttah) with its appr. 50,000 inhabitants and a Jewish burial complex dating back to the 2nd millennium BC.
So on your next tiyul  why not include a visit to “Avigail” in this fascinating region called Har Hevron.
By Yoana Yehudah

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