Monday, February 24, 2014

View of the Mikveh above the Water Gate

Having just spent the night of Yom Kippur in the Avtinas Chamber, the Kohen Gadol would begin the Avodah of the day by immersing in a mikveh located above the Water Gate prior to donning the Priestly Vestments. This mikveh was accessed via [a door located on] the non-sanctified side of the Avtinas Chamber and so did not possess Courtyard sanctity.

Yoma 31a implies that the dimensions of this mikveh were 1x1x3 amos, the minimum size of a mikveh, even though the average person is actually closer to 4 amos tall.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Preparation of the Incense and View of the Avtinas Chamber

The next chamber I would like to explore is the Avtinas Chamber. This was an elevated chamber located directly above the Water Gate on the southern side of the Courtyard where the Avtinas family would compound the Incense offered daily in the Temple. In order to design this workspace it is instructive to review how the ingredients of the Incense were prepared.

Monday, February 10, 2014

View of the Chamber of the Paroches: Part 2

After the weaving was complete, the cloth on the lower beam needed to be transferred to another location (a larger chamber on the Temple Mount, most likely) where the paroches could be assembled. Now, the total weight of the paroches was almost 30,000 pounds which meant that each of the five sections weighed nearly 6,000 pounds. To move these, I imagine that they would attach two wheels to the frame holding the lower beam, and add some poles to make handling easier. A team of Kohanim could then roll this newly woven section of the paroches out of the chamber, through the Courtyard, and wrangle it down to the Temple Mount.
Moving the completed section of paroches
out of the chamber.

Monday, February 3, 2014

View of the Chamber of the Paroches: Part 1

In a previous post I detailed the design of the paroches curtains according to the opinion of Tiferes Yisrael. Using that description we can start to imagine what the Chamber of the Paroches might have looked like.

One important decision was the overall size of the chamber. According to Tiferes Yisrael the paroches was constructed in sections, 4 amos (6 feet) wide, which were then stitched together to form the full 20-amah width. When he states in Middos 1:1 §10 that this chamber is where "the paroches was woven" does he mean that this room was where the individual sections were woven, but then they were taken elsewhere to be assembled into the full curtain, or was the entire paroches woven and stitched together in the same location?