Today is the Jewish fast day of Tzom Gedaliah.
Gedaliah had been appointed governor of Israel by the Babylonian conquers in 423 BCE. However, within the year, Gedaliah was assassinated. This resulted in the remaining Judeans fleeing to Egypt and the Babylonian exile being firmly established until the return from this exile in 371 BCE.
Literally for thousands of years the relatively small Israelite nation in the Holy Land was repeatedly attacked and conquered by the large surrounding empires of the Assyrians, Egyptians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans.
Despite this punishing history, when it came to the Fast of Gedaliah, my father used to inject a little light humor and say:
Gedaliah didn’t fast for me, so I am not going to fast for him.
I can still hear his words in my head and even now it still brings a warm smile to my face and happiness inside me.
Upcoming next week is Yom Kippur–fasting and atonement. 😉
(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)