Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Moadim Le'simchah: Birkas Kohanim


In Temple times when the Jewish people would travel to the city of Jerusalem for the regalim [pilgrimage festivals], they would have the opportunity to hear the birkas Kohanim [priestly blessing] from thousands of Kohanim at once. I recreated a glimpse of this scene in miniature.

Monday, August 30, 2021

Moving a Door in the Beis Hamoked

The Beis Hamoked was a large structure built into the northern Azarah wall. Half of it was inside the Azarah and half was over the Har Habayis. It also contained four smaller chambers that were used for different purposes. The Mishnah does not tell us the actual size of the Beis Hamoked and it would appear that this structure could be made as large as needed. However, a careful reading of Middos 1:7 might constrain the size of the Beis Hamoked after all.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Monday, August 23, 2021

Daf Yomi: Aravos on the Mizbeyach (Succah 45a)

Inspired by a recent passage in Daf Yomi, I took out my Lego® Mizbeyach and a handful of white-clad minifigures for an impromptu photo shoot.

Monday, August 16, 2021

So Close Yet So Far Away (Part 2 of 2)

This is the continuation of last week's post:

The answer emerges from a curious ambiguity in the laws governing the sanctity of the Beis HaMikdash. The Mishnah (Keilim 1:8-9) teaches that the various parts of the Beis HaMikdash possessed increasingly higher levels of sanctity as one progressed inward toward the Kodesh HaKodashim. We learn, for example, that the Har HaBayis — the large, outer portion of the Beis HaMikdash complex that measured 500×500 amos (Middos 2:1) — was restricted to certain types of tahor people, whereas the Main Azarah — an area measuring 135×187 amos (Middos 5:1) — had an even higher level of sanctity. Although these areas are clearly defined physically in Tractate Middos and spiritually in Tractate Keilim, we are not told the dimensions or status of the thickness of the walls dividing these areas. Thus, as a person walks from the Har HaBayis into the Azarah through one of its gates, at what point is he considered to be “in” the Azarah — when he crosses the threshold of the gateway at the outer edge of the wall or when he enters the Azarah proper?

Thursday, August 12, 2021

So Close Yet So Far Away (Part 1 of 2)

The following post first appeared in the Beis Medrash of Ranchleigh Pesach Kuntress 5781: 

     Mordy was late. There had been that last-minute dithering over whether to purchase a goat or a lamb for his Korban Pesach, and then a crowd of foreign tourists created a massive backup at the Chuldah Tunnel. Only by detouring to the Kiponos Gate in the west did Mordy stand of chance of joining the third and final shift of people entering the Azarah to offer their korban.

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Beis Hamikdash Experience is now online

By popular demand from my mother and others of the general public, the virtual Beis Hamikdash presentation that I helped create for the Daf Yomi siyum of Maseches Yoma is now on my Vimeo page.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Siyum on Yoma by Ki Heim Chayeinu

Coming up this Thursday the daf yomi will be finishing Maseches Yoma. To celebrate this momentous siyum, the organization Ki Heim Chayeinu (a division of the National Agudah) put together a program that includes a number of speakers, entertainers, and me. Read on for a behind-the-scenes look at some of the material I prepared.

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Beis Hamikdash Models as seen on Inside Artscroll

In the last post I linked to an interview I did on Inside Artscroll. During the interview I showed two of the 3D printed models that I designed to teach about the Beis Hamikdash. One of the models was made of sandstone and the other was made of steel. Read on for a description of how these models are printed.

Friday, June 4, 2021

Inside Artscroll Interview

Artscroll's new edition of Avodas HaKorbanos takes the reader through a day in the life of the Beis Hamikdash with an elucidated text, explanatory notes, and diagrams. I contributed to this volume by helping out with the diagrams. For that, I was invited to be interviewed on Inside Artscroll, their video podcast series where, as they like to say, "The books you read and the people who write them come to life!" I had a chance to talk about this book, how I got started with Artscroll, and about my personal work on the Beis Hamikdash.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

The Ship Has Arrived!

 In early March, after some brief delays, the ship carrying The Original Second Temple arrived off the coast of New York.

TOST shipping container location on March 8, 2021

Saturday, January 30, 2021

TOST is about to be served!

After many years in the making, my book on the Beis Hamikdash is about to be released in stores, BH! The Original Second Temple is a hard cover, full-color compendium of my work on the Second Beis Hamikdash. It features over 270 pages of detailed explanations, more than 130 diagrams and illustrations, and numerous source citations and footnotes to make the study of the Beis Hamikdash accessible to all.

The Original Second Temple is being printed and distributed by Feldheim. The printing has just been completed in Israel and the book is due to arrive in America in late February 2021. Please visit the updated Book tab for more information and for special offers on the abridged Digital Edition available now!