The Fast of Gedaliá

The Fast of Gedaliá

The day after Rosh Hashanah, that is, on the 3rd of Tishrei, we observe a fast day called: "The fast of Gedalia"

This fast was ordered by Our Sages to remember the murder of Gedalia Ben Ajikam, who was killed by Ishmael Ben Netania at the instigation of the King of Amun. With the death of Gedaliá, the last leader of Jewish autonomy after the destruction of the first Temple in Jerusalem was extinguished, thousands of people were killed, and those who remained alive were exiled. < / p>

When Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, destroyed the first Bet Hamikdash and exiled the people of Israel, he allowed a small group of Jews to stay in Israel, choosing Gedaliah Ben Ajikam as their ruler. Those Jews who had escaped to Moav, Ammon, Edom and other neighboring countries returned to the land of Israel and cultivated areas given to them by the Babylonian king. They tended their vineyards and enjoyed a new respite from previous oppressions. However, the respite was very short, as the king of Amun was hostile and envious, and he sent the Jew Ishmael Ben Netanya to assassinate Gedalia.

In Tishreí, Ishmael reached Gedaliá in the city of Mitzpé. Although Gedaliá was warned about Ishmael's intentions, he did not believe the reports he had received, since he considered that they were only lashon hara (gossip) and it is forbidden to listen to gossip about another Jewish. He received Ishmael and gave him much honor, but Ishmael murdered Gedaliah and many of the Jews who were there with him, including the guardian that Nebuchadnezzar had arranged for his governor.

Those Jews who remained in the land of Israel feared for the inevitable retribution of the Babylonian king and fled to Egypt. In this way, the Jews who had remained in the land after the destruction of the Temple and the exile were scattered, and the land was made desolate.

Regarding this fast Our Sages said in the Talmud:

"This teaches us that the death of the righteous is equivalent to the burning of the House of God, since just as a fast is ordered to commemorate the destruction of the Bet Hamikdash, thus also a fast was ordered to commemorate the death of Gedaliá "(Rosh Hashanah 18b).

"Gd will destroy death forever, wipe the tears from all faces and make His people not ashamed again ..."

(Ieshaiahu - Isaiah - 25: 8)

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