The Jewish Eye
What Date Were The Walls Actually Breached? What Date Was The Churban, Really?
The Gemara (Taanis 28b) asks, in Sefer Yirmiya it says that the 9th of Tammuz the walls of Yerushalayim were breached not on the 17th. The Gemara answers that the 9th was by Bayis Rishon and the 17th was by Bayis Sheni. Since we are in Galus from Bayis Sheni we fast on the 17th.
The Yerushalmi however says that according to one opinion even in Bayis Rishon the walls were breached on the 17th but because of the turmoil of the Churban they erred in calculating the exact date. In either event, says the Yerushalmi, everybody agrees there were 21 days between the breaching of the walls and the destruction of the Bais HaMikdash. Accordingly says the Yerushalmi one opinion would place the date of the Churban on Rosh Chodesh Av in accordance with the pasuk in Yechezkel.
The Chasam Sofer asks how can Yirmiya HaNavi possibly have erred in writing Tanach? Moreover, how could Yechezkel who was sitting peacefully in Bavel at the time, err in the marking the day of the Churban as 1 Av. There was no turmoil in Bavel to blame it on. He answers that the day after the Churban was referred to as "1 Menachem Av", since the Churban was a kapara for their aveiros it was a new beginning. That is why Yechezkel's nevuah refers to the date 1 Av. However the people of Bavel didn't understand the concept that the Churban can start a new beginning. Therefore they took Yechezkel at his word. Since they knew that the walls were breached exactly 21 days before they placed that date at 9th of Tammuz. When a refugee from Yerushalayim arrived in Bavel on the 5th of Teves and reported the dates as 17th of Tammuz and 9th of Av the people didn't believe him and trusted their understanding of Yechezkel's nevuah. Therefore they took the liberty of making an amendment to Sefer Yirmiyahu, sure that their dates were accurate.
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