The Jewish Calendar and Holidays (incl. Sabbath): Other Holidays and Fasts: The Fast of Gedaliah:
What is the story of the Fast of Gedaliah?
Gedaliah the son of Achikam was appointed by the Babylonian king to rule over the population that was left in Judea after the nobles and professionals were exiled. Because he was in favor of making accommodations with the Babylonians, he and his supporters were killed by nationalists led by Yishmael son of Nesaniah, as told in Jeremiah Chs. 40-41. This led to further expulsions from Judea, making the Babylonian exile more complete. The Fast of Gedaliah was established to commemorate this disaster. Opinions differ as to whether Gedaliah was killed on Rosh Ha-Shanah or on the third of Tishrei, but in any case the fast is observed on the third because it is not permissible to fast on Rosh Ha-Shanah (see Nehemiah 8:10).
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