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Gedaliah ben Ahikam

Tzom Gedaliah: Why Commemorate His Assassination?

Gedaliah ben Ahikam, the governor of Judah after the destruction of the Temple, was assassinated by Ishmael ben Nethaniah, a scion of the Davidic family. This event has been commemorated for millennia with a yearly fast—the only fast over the death of an individual. The Talmud points to his righteousness, while Saadia Gaon emphasizes the tragic consequences to the Judahite people he governed.

Dr.

Tzvi Novick

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