Thursday, November 30, 2023

Yoma 34a – 36a: The Chamber of Parvah

The Chamber of Parvah, located near the southeastern corner of the Azarah, was used to tan the hides of the sacrificial animals. Since this is a very smelly process, the chamber did not open directly to the Azarah but likely had a door to the adjoining Chamber of Madichin  (Rinsers) which did open to the Azarah.

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Yoma 31b – 33b: Placing the Menorah and the Shulchan

The Gemara describes the arrangement of the vessels in the Kodesh: The Shulchan stood in the north, the Menorah stood in the south, and the Mizbeyach Hazahav was centered between them and placed slightly further to the east. A more detailed explanation is given in Menachos (98b) where we learn that the arrangement was more complicated — and crowded — than our Gemara implies.

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Yoma 29a – 31a: The Mikveh Above the Mayim Gate

Adjacent to the Chamber of Avtinas above the Mayim Gate was a mikveh that was used by the Kohen Gadol for the first of his immersions on Yom Kippur. This mikveh was visible from the Azarah so a linen sheet would be held up in front of it for privacy while the Kohen Gadol immersed.

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Yoma 26b – 28b: The Slope of the Azarah Walls

The Gemara states that Avraham davened Minchah “when the [eastern] faces of the walls begin to darken,” i.e., immediately after solar noon. Now, we know that our prayers correspond to the Tamid-offerings, and that the time period allowed for the Minchah prayer is identical to that allotted for the afternoon Tamid. It should emerge that the afternoon Tamid may be brought “when the [eastern] faces of the walls begin to darken” yet we find that the earliest permissible time for the afternoon Tamid is not until half an hour past noon!

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Yoma 24a – 26a: The Lishkas Hagazis

The Lishkas Hagazis [Chamber of Hewn Stone], so called for the special square stones used in its construction, was located in the northeast corner of the Azarah. This room served as the seat of the 71-member Sanhedrin court.