Thursday, October 6, 2005 (3 Tishrei 5766) is a fast day on the Hebrew calendar, commemorating the assassination of Gedaliah (II Kings 25:25). Gedaliah was a Jew who was installed as puppet governor of the remnant of Judah after Jerusalem was destroyed, and was assassinated by a group of Jewish zealots. His violent end represented the extinguishing of the last ember after the major destruction of Tisha B'Av.
This year, a number of organizations (Jewish and non-Jewish) have declared a Darfur Fast on October 6. People around the world will fast for the whole day, or from a meal, or from a luxury good, and will donate the money saved to humanitarian aid in Darfur, through the American Jewish World Service and other organizations. Read all about the situation in Darfur and how you can help.
As a followup to a previous post about fasts, I'm now declaring by fiat that (for American Jews) Tzom Gedaliah is dedicated to the rest of the world (outside the US and Israel), 10 Tevet to the US, 17 Tammuz to Israel, and 9 Av as the uber-fast that encompasses all of them.
May this fast inspire us to action, and may this be the last time we have to fast for Darfur.