Monday, March 5, 2012

View of Goolah Chamber

This is the interior of the Goolah Chamber located near the northeast corner of the Courtyard. A bucket was lowered via a pulley into a cistern to bring up sweet, clean water which the Kohanim would pour into a basin ("goolah") and then use for drinking and cooking. I (mistakenly) included a stool in the lower left corner of this rendering, although Kohanim were actually not permitted to sit here since this chamber was within the consecrated confines of the Courtyard. The only people allowed to sit in the Courtyard are kings descended from the House of David.


  1. According to one opinion brought by Tosefos, the Kohanim were permitted to sit when eating the Korbonos. The pasuk states that they are to eat it in a royal fashion (למשחה) and standing while eating would not be seen as such. Therefore, since it was for the purpose of the service it was permissible. Therefore, it may make sense to have the stool there since presumably some Kohanim would not want to have to continuously walk a great distance to keep refilling their cups with water when they were eating (wine would not have been permissible to drink), so he may have chosen to eat here.

  2. Good point. Since that Tosefos (Yoma 25a ד"ה אין ישיבה) is talking about eating the korbanos I would point out that according to Ezras Kohanim there were designated chambers in which the Kohanim would (sit and) eat the kodshim, so my guess is that they would have brought enough water from the Chamber of Gooleh to those locations so that the Kohanim would have plenty on hand when they wanted a drink.


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