• Meyer Grunberg

Fast of Gedaliah

Updated: Sep 9, 2021



On This Day in Jewish History: Tishrei 3.

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#onthisday, Tishrei 3, observant Jews around the world will be fasting from sunrise to sundown - commemorating the murder of Gedaliah, one of the last Governors of Judea (Rosh Hashana, 3339) and the end of Jewish self-determination in the Land of Israel, pre Second Temple Era. To those fasting, may you have an easy and meaningful fast.

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The significance of today's fast lies in that it is one of 4 fasts during the Hebrew calendar that is directly connected to the destruction of the Temples in Jerusalem.

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In today's case, Gedaliah ben Achikam had been the governor set up by the Babylonian empire following the destruction of the First Temple.

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Gedaliah was to oversee the remaining Jews in Judea. Many who had fled to the surrounding areas returned upon hearing of his appointment.

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Under Gedaliah's leadership, the Jews thrived and worked to reinvigorate the land destroyed by the Babylonians and other invaders.

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Like many politicians, there were those that loved him and others that despised him. Ishmael Ben Netaniah, a member of a royal Judean household, grew jealous of Gedaliah. He also saw his connection to the Babylonians as a form of betrayal. So, Ishmael sought to assassinate him.

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Gedaliah heard of Ishmael's plans, but chose to believe that he would never actually act in such an evil manner.

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Ultimately, on Rosh Hashana (Hebrew year, 3339), Ishmael approached Gedaliah who was amidst a holiday feast with Jews and Babylonians present. Ishmael and his 10 men proceeded to murder Gedaliah and everyone at the feast.

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These tragic and insidious events were followed by immense bloodshed in the region.

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Most Jews had to flee again, this time to Egypt, effectively ending Jewish presence in the Holy Land until Jewish exiles returned from Babylon in 371 BCE.

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✍: @mayogrammo

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#onthisday#judaism#jewish#history#jewishhistory#onthisday#otd#tzomgedaliah#fast#gedaliah#tishrei3#assassination#judea#babylonians


References for Further Readings:

- https://visionmag.org/struggling-fast-gdalia/

- https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/who-was-gedaliah/

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