Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Omer 2016 Day 33: The clever woman of Tekoa

Day 33: Hod in Hod, Glory in Glory

Lag B'Omer
Today is Lag B'Omer, a day of celebration in the otherwise reflective and mournful period of the Omer. For more details on why the period of the Omer is considered a time of mourning, check out MyJewishLearning.

Today we celebrate the clever woman of Tekoa, who helped King David through a difficult decision in 2 Samuel 14. At this point in David's life, he had been forced to banish his son Absalom, because Absalom had killed his half-brother Amnon for raping their sister (technically Amnon's half-sister) Tamar. We mentioned Tamar before in passing on day 27.

King David missed Absalom, but did not send for him to return for three years. His advisers, seeing his unhappiness, brought the clever woman of Tekoa to help David. She told King David a made-up story about her two sons that was remarkably similar to David's own predicament. One had killed the other, she said, and now the townspeople were threatening to kill her murderous son. In spite of his sin, she begged King David to spare him, because he was all she had left and he was, after all, still her son. King David took pity on her and promised to protect her remaining son from the mob. At that point, the clever woman of Tekoa turned the tables!

"'In making this pronouncement, Your Majesty comdemns himself in that Your Majesty does not bring back is own banished one.'" (2 Samuel 14:13)
Bam! By presenting the same situation to King David in a different family, this woman showed him that he had the answer to his own problem the whole time, if he would just step back and look at it objectively. King David immediately called to end the banishment of Absalom, ending his period of mourning and sadness at the loss of his son.