Monday, April 7, 2014

View of the Chamber of the Makers of the Chavitin

To the south of the Nikanor Gate was the Chamber of the Makers of the Chavitin. In this chamber the Kohanim would prepare the chavitin, a type of meal offering offered daily — and paid for — by the Kohen Gadol. This entailed kneading a prescribed amount of flour, water, and oil, scalding the dough in boiling water, baking it, and then frying it with oil in a pan called a machavas.
[The offering is called chavitin on account of the machavas in which it is fried]. A chamber specifically within the consecrated confines of the Courtyard was used for this purpose since the chavitin were sanctified and would become invalid if removed from that area. Twelve loaves of chavitin were prepared each day, half of which were offered in the morning and half in the afternoon. This chamber was built partially within the Temple wall in order that it protrude as little as possible into the Courtyard.

In the picture below the ovens and stove are standard issue utensils described in Tractate Keilim. It was not necessary to keep bulk quantities on hand in this room since most of the supplies were brought as needed from the Chamber of the Oils in the Women's Courtyard. The door in the western wall of this chamber opened to the Israelites' Courtyard. It was in front of this room that the Kohanim would gather each day prior to commencing the morning Tamid offering.
Chamber of the Makers of the Chavitin.

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