b'WESTERN MARBLE ARCH SYNAGOGUEDestruction of the Temple of Jerusalem,by Francesco Hayez. Image: Wikimedia Commons.But this political subservience was intolerable to some and on Rosh Hashanah, a group led by Ishmael ben Netaniah came to Gedaliah, ostensibly to celebrate the holiday, and assassinated him together with many of his followers. Ishmael,dissatisfiedwithGedaliahstacticalalliancewiththe Babylonians, likely acted on a sense of patriotic duty. Allied with the king of neighbouring Ammon, who shared his anti-imperialistic views, Ishmael took an idealistic stand in an attempt to liberate Judea from foreign rule and rightfully restore the throne to the Davidic family, from which he was descended. Despite efforts to intercept him, Ishmael successfully escaped into Ammon. Out of fear of a Babylonian reprisal, the remaining Judeans in the land headed for Egypt, despite being warned by the prophet Jeremiah that this would result in their destruction. Indeed, a few years later, Nebuchadnezzar invaded and defeated the Egyptians in a war which saw most of the Jewish refugees perish. ThefastofGedaliahcommemoratestheseevents.Gedaliahs murderanditsaftermathisconsideredtheculminationofthe destruction of the Temple and it ended any chance of a revival of Jewish sovereignty in Judea. However this cannot be the only reason for the fast, since we have other fast days, such as Tisha BAv, that also recall these events. 14'