The Fast of Gedaliah

The day after Rosh Ha-Shana, the third day of Tishrei, is the Fast of Gedaliah or Tzom Gedaliah. The fast begins in the early morning at dawn, and ends in the evening at dusk.

The fast of Gedaliah was first mentioned in The Book Of Zechariah 8:19-

" כֹּה-אָמַר יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת, צוֹם הָרְבִיעִי וְצוֹם הַחֲמִישִׁי וְצוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי וְצוֹם הָעֲשִׂירִי יִהְיֶה לְבֵית-יְהוּדָה לְשָׂשׂוֹן וּלְשִׂמְחָה, וּלְמֹעֲדִים, טוֹבִים; וְהָאֱמֶת וְהַשָּׁלוֹם, אֱהָבוּ."

" ‘Thus saith the LORD of hosts: The fast of the fourth month, and the fast of the fifth, and the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth, shall be to the house of Judah joy and gladness, and cheerful seasons; therefore love ye truth and peace."

Who was Gedalia?

Gedaliah was a great Jewish leader during the Babylonian exile. In Jewish scriptures Gedalia is mentioned in The Book of Jeremiah Chapters 40-41 and in The Book of Kings 2 chapter 25. According to the story, Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylonian , conquered Jerusalem and killed or exiled most of the Jews in Jerusalem.

Jerusalem

He appointed Gedaliah, son of Achikam ,as governor of the now-Babylonian province of Judah. Many Jews who had fled to Moab, Ammon, Edom and other neighboring lands returned to Judah, tended the vineyards again, and enjoyed a new respite after their earlier suffering.

Baalis ,the King of Ammon ,wanted to create disharmony among the last residents of Judah, and in order to do so, he incited a Jew named Ishmael ben Netania, who was of royal blood, against Gedalia.

Ishmael ben Netania
When Ishmael requested an audience with Gedaliah, the story tells that Gedaliah was warned of Ishmael’s intentions but refused to believe them, dismissing them as slander (l’ashon a’ra). At the end, Ishmael came to visit Gedaliah in Mitzpa and murdered him together with most of the Jews who had joined him and many Babylonians whom the Babylonian King had left with Gedaliah.

what a tragdey!

The land of Israel was then devoid of Jews. This day is a day of great tragedy to Jewish people and therefore we fast.

Main phrases of the post + transcription + translation

Hebrew

Transcription

Translation

צוֹם

tzōm

Fast

מֶלֶךְ

melek

King

בָּבֶל

bel

Babylon

עַם

‘am

People

טְרָגֶדְיָה

trāgedyāh

Tragedy

יִשְׁמָעֵאל

Yišmā’e'l

Ishamel

Eli@eteachergroup.com


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