Monday, October 29, 2012

View of the Chamber of the Nazirites


During Temple times, an individual could accept upon themselves the vow of a nazirite. A nazirite is a man or woman who, for a set period of time, does not drink wine, cut their hair, or contract corpse-tumah. When the term of their vow is complete the individual was required to come to the Temple and offer certain sacrifices. The meat of the offering was brought to the Chamber of the Nazirites located in the southeast corner of the Women's Courtyard. In this chamber the meat was cooked and the nazirite would receive a haircut and then the cut hair would be thrown into the fire beneath the pot cooking the offering. Nazirites were not permitted to eat their offerings in this chamber but would take them out of the Temple into the city, either to prevent overcrowding in the Women's Courtyard or because it was more appropriate to eat inside a room with a roof and not under the open sky.


8 comments:

  1. i would like to point out about the ovens in Lishkas Hanizirim, that in Mishnayos Keilim, perek vov mishnah beis, it says the ovens were made differently that how you show them. i also want to thank you for all these posts, they are very interesting.

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    1. Shalom,

      Thanks for the comment. You are correct - when I made this picture I hadn't yet seen the Mishnah in Keilim. I look forward to updating it in the future. Glad you are enjoying the posts!

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  2. Hi there, I am curious, why did you make a door way at the back of the holy of holies?

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  3. Thanks for your question, Max. The short answer is that the opening at the back of the Holy of Holies was there for technical reasons: it was to allow sacrifices to be slaughtered in the western area of the Courtyard. Let me know if you'd like more details.

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  4. Couldn't they access the western area of the courtyard from walking around the temple? Why would there be a door behind where the presence of God dwelled? After all the Holy of Holies was only entered once a year, right?

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  5. Right on all counts! Access to the western area of the Courtyard was, as you suggest, by walking around the Temple Building - and not by walking through the Holy of Holies (which was only entered on Yom Kippur). The technical reason is this: Sacrifices can only be slaughtered in a place that is facing the entrance of the Temple Building, and the entrance is in the east. In order to allow sacrifices to be slaughtered in the northern, southern, and western parts of the Courtyard they had to make openings in the Temple Building that faced those areas. Once they did this, all four sides of the Courtyard were then considered to be "facing the Temple opening" since on all sides there was an opening that led into the Building. In the west they were forced to make this opening in the Holy of Holies itself.

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  6. Oh, that's interesting. Kinda strange though. By that logic wouldn't there have to be a door into each side of the Holy of Holies then? Your model only has two. Thanks for the replies!

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  7. Your logic is correct but the solution is a little different, though. The openings into the Temple Building that served the north and south were located in the northern and southern ends of the Antechamber. You can read a little more about this in this post: https://beishamikdashtopics.blogspot.com/2015/08/the-chambers-of-knives.html.

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