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Today, 2441 years ago, in the year 3340 AM, Gedaliah ben Achikam was assassinated.

About 7 weeks earlier, after the destruction of the Beis Hamikdash, Nevuchadnezzar sent Tzidkyah the king of Yehudah into exile to Babylon and appointed Gedaliah as governor over the towns of Yehudah. Gedaliah relocated himself to the town Mizpah, where the Chaldean [Kasdim] guard was stationary. Gedaliah encouraged the Jews who stayed behind in Israel, to continue to serve Hashem under the rule of the Chaldeans/Babylonians.

At some point Gedaliah was informed that Baalis, the king of Ammon, sent Yishmael the son of Nethaniah, to assassinate him, but Gedaliah, wouldn’t believe it.

On 3 Tishri, Yishmael came with 10 men to Gedaliah in Mizpah. There, they all ate and drank together, and Yishmael assassinated Gedaliah together with all the Jews who resided in Mizpah.

This day was pronounced to be a fast day like Tisha B’Av, to teach us that the death of tzaddikim, is as hard to Hashem, as the destruction of the Beis Hamikdash.

This fast day is mentioned by Zechariah Hanavi, as “Zom Ho’asiri”. 

Source: Yirmiah §40

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