Thursday, January 25, 2024

Yoma 54a – 56a: The Chamber of the Eitzim

In the northeastern corner of the Ezras Nashim was the Chamber of the Eitzim. Here the Kohanim would inspect firewood to determine if it was infested with worms, since any piece of wood containing worms was not fit to be burned upon the Mizbeyach. This wormy wood was not discarded but rather was used for other purposes in the Beis Hamikdash, such as fueling the various warming fires or the stoves used for cooking sacrificial meat.

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Slideshow at the Talmudical Academy 4th Grade

 This week I had the opportunity to speak to Rabbi Sruly Slansky's fourth grade class at the Talmudical Academy of Baltimore. The boys just completed Mishnayos Succah and were curious to learn more about the Simchas Beis Hashoeavah, the Nisuch Hamayim, and where these events took place in the Beis Hamikdash.

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Yoma 51b – 53b: The Duchan

The first section of the Azarah measured 11 amos from east to west and was known as the Ezras Yisrael, and beyond that was the Ezras Kohanim, also 11 amos from east to west. The Ezras Kohanim was elevated 2.5 amos above the Ezras Yisrael and these two areas were separated by four steps running the entire width of the Azarah. The first of these was a large step, one amah high and one amah deep, and marked the point beyond which all non-Kohanim should not enter (the step itself was located within the Ezras Kohanim). 

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Yoma 49a – 51a: The Chavitin of the Kohen Gadol

The Torah (Vayikra 6:12-15) describes the chavitin, a type of minchah offering that was brought daily (and paid for) by the Kohen Gadol. The chavitin consisted of a prescribed amount of flour, water, and oil that were kneaded together, scalded in boiling water, baked, and then fried with oil.

Thursday, January 4, 2024

Yoma 46b – 48b: Chamber of the Keilim


As the Kohen Gadol prepared to offer the Ketores on Yom Kippur, they would bring him an empty ladle from the Chamber of the Keilim. This room was located somewhere within the Azarah, although its exact location is unknown.