Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
  Tour of the Temply By Rabbi Yoav Elan
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

The Holy of Holies

Class 14

Looking west within the Holy.
Inner Altar is in the center.
Beyond the Holy was 1 cubit (1½ feet) of space called the Traksin which divided the Holy from the Holy of Holies. This word is derived from the Greek, connoting a place which is both inside and outside, since it divided between the inside—the Holy of Holies—and the outer Holy. In the First Temple there was a wall built in this space with a doorway opening to the Holy of Holies. However, in the Second Temple the ceiling of the Sanctuary was 40 cubits (60 feet) high, 10 cubits (15 feet) higher than in the First Temple, and it was not possible at that time to construct a structurally sound wall which was 40 cubits tall and only 1 cubit thick. They could not make the wall any thicker since that would take away space from either the Holy or the Holy of Holies, the dimensions of which were not subject to modification. Therefore, they hung two curtains across the Holy in place of the original wall to act as the divider. One curtain would have sufficed but for their uncertainty as to whether that wall was considered part of the Holy or the Holy of Holies, thus they hung two curtains on either side of the Traksin and left that 1 cubit as undefined.

The outer curtain was folded back at the southern end and held by a golden band and the inner curtain was similarly folded back at the northern end. This allowed the Kohen Gadol to walk between them without having to open them manually as he entered the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur while at the same time they completely blocked off the interior of the Holy of Holies from the view of anyone standing in the Holy.

The innermost chamber of the Sanctuary was the Holy of Holies. It measured 20 cubits (30 feet) square and, like the Holy, was plated with gold and set with precious stones. Protruding 3 fingerbreadths (2¼ inches) above the floor was the Foundation Stone and on this stone they placed the Ark during the First Temple era. In the Second Temple the Holy of Holies was empty since the Ark had been concealed in a labyrinth of underground tunnels before the First Temple was destroyed. The Holy of Holies also had windows which, according to Josephus, were angled so that no one could see in from the outside.

_______________

For more information on this topic, and to submit questions or comments for the author, please visit the blog post of this class.



 

ARTICLES ON BALAK:

View Complete List

Donkey Talk
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5759

Timepiece
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5763

Die Like a Jew
Rabbi Raymond Beyda - 5767

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Three Festivals: The Holy Journey
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5767

Tents Where Torah is Studied
Shlomo Katz - 5767

A Question Brings Hope
Shlomo Katz - 5765

ArtScroll

Partial View
Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky - 5757

Victory is With-in-Reach
Rabbi Label Lam - 5772

Money Order - Getting Our Priorities Straight
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5764

> If It Can Happen To Bilaam, It Can Happen to Any of Us
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5765

Parshas Balak
Shlomo Katz - 5771

'Balak' Magic
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5759

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Unusual Circumstances
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5772

Uses and Misuses
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5765

'Kill' Yourself for Torah
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5760

Mistaking The Angel of Mercy For The Satan
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5770



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information