Fast of Gedalia Date in the current year: October 5, 2016

Fast of Gedalia The Fast of Gedalia (Tzom Gedalya) is a Jewish fast day. It falls on 3 Tishrei, therefore it is also referred to as the fast of the seventh month (Tishrei is the seventh month of the ecclesiastical year in the Hebrew calendar).

Gedalia was the governor of the Babylonian province Judah appointed by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar after the conquest of Jerusalem and destruction of the Temple. Gedalia was assassinated by Ishmael ben Nethaniah, who was a member of the royal household of Judah. The murder was instigated by Baalis, king of Ammon. The assassination of Gedalia is believed to have ended Judah's autonomy. When Gedalia was murdered, many Jews fled to Egypt.

The Fast of Gedalia was instituted by the Jewish sages. It is suggested that Gedalia was murdered on the first day the seventh month. Since Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is celebrated on this day, the fast was postponed till the third day of Tishrei. When the fast falls on Saturday, it is postponed till Sunday, since fasting is prohibited on Shabbat, the only exception being Yom Kippur.

The fast is observed from dawn until dusk (it is over than stars appear). Special tefillot (prayers) and brachot (blessings) are recited during this day.

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