Why is Tzom Gedalya known as Tzom Gedalya and Taanis Esther as Taanis Esther. Why not Taanis Gedalya or Tzom Esther?


Tzom is the word used most often in Biblical Hebrew to mean "fast" (such as in Isaiah in Esther); the word Taanis doesn't appear until the Book of Ezra, which was later (about two hundred years after Isaiah).

Hence, Tzom Gedalya is called Tzom because it is mentioned in Tanakh (Zechariah 8:19), while Taanis Esther uses the more modern term Taanis because it was established much later (after the closing of the Talmud in the 5th century CE).

  • Is this your own guess? – Double AA Feb 26 '14 at 17:21
  • Yes, but it seems pretty logical. – Ypnypn Feb 26 '14 at 17:25
  • @Ypnypn FYI Taanis is mentioned in Ezra 9:5 and Tzom is mentioned in Esther eg 4:3 and 9:31. – Avrohom Yitzchok Feb 26 '14 at 19:42
  • 1
    Isn't the root in early Biblical Hebrew that means fast ענה (the root of תענית)? The root צומ is a later usage. – Double AA Feb 26 '14 at 22:35
  • 2
    I don't know what the instance in Ezra refers to, but in Biblical Hebrew ענה meant any affliction, whereas צומ meant abstaining from food. Later, ענה started being used as synonym for צומ. – Ypnypn Feb 27 '14 at 0:29

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .