The day after Rosh Hashana marks the Fast of Gedalia, one of the "minor fast days." It commemorates the tragic murder, 2,500 years ago, of a Jewish leader named Gedalia, which led to the end of Jewish settlement in Israel for many years. Also on Tishrei 3, in 1825, an American diplomat named Mordechai Manuel Noah laid the foundation stone for Ararat, the first modern-day attempt to establish a national Jewish homeland. To implement his plan, Noah petitioned the New York State legislature for rights to Grand Island, a 27-square-mile parcel of land located between Buffalo, New York and Niagara Falls. Noah also levied a "redemption tax" upon each Jew in the world. Despite a grand opening ceremony, the plan fizzled when no Jews moved to Ararat / Grand Island.
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