Fast of Gadalya – why are we fasting today.

In the aftermath of the destruction of the first Beit Hamikdash, Nevuchadnetzar, King of Babylonia, allowed a small remnant to stay in the Land of Israel, appointing Gedalya as his governor. The King of Ammon was hostile to Israel and sent Yishmael a Jew to assassinate Gedalya. Gedalya received Yishmael with great honour not suspecting that he would do him any harm. Yishmael killed him and murdered many of the Jews in attendance as well as the Babylonian guards Nevuchadnetzar had sent to protect his governor. Fearing the inevitable retribution that Nevuchadnetzar would despatch for a Jew killing Babylonian guards, the Jewish remnant fled to Egypt, leaving the land desolate.

Regarding this fast our Sages (Rosh Hashanah 18b) said:

This teaches us that the death of the righteous is equivalent to the burning of the House of G-d, for just a as a fast was ordained to commemorate the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash, so too was a fast ordained to commemorate the death of Gedalya.

Based on ‘The Book of Our Heritage’

These daily lifts are inspired by Jonny Chippeck and dedicated to his ‘refuah shleimah’. Get well soon Jonny!

Please step up to the plate and contribute your own small nugget of Torah by sending back to me at terence@speedquote.net. The more people we have contributing, the higher this daily lift will go. Keep them coming.

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