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

Email this article to a friend


Class 2: Walls of the Temple Mount

Both the Temple Mount and the courtyards within it were surrounded by tall walls, 40 cubits (60 feet) in height. These walls stood 5 cubits (7 feet) thick at their base and tapered slightly as they rose to give them greater stability. In King Solomon's First Temple the walls were composed of a repeating pattern of three courses of stone followed by one course of wood. In the Second Temple, the Persian king Darius who was the one to grant the Jews permission to rebuild the Temple commanded that the walls mimic that original design but with the following changes: 1) the walls should begin with one course of wood and then three courses of stone, 2) the wood should not be set completely within the walls, and 3) the wood should not be covered with plaster. No mortar was used to hold the massive stones together rather they were carefully fitted to one another and then locked into place with iron braces.


Line of sight from Mount of Olives
to the opening of the Sanctuary
The eastern wall of the Temple Mount was much lower than the others and stood less than 26 cubits (39 feet) high. The reason for this was a Scriptural requirement connected to the Parah Adumah [red heifer, whose ashes have the ability to purify people and objects from corpse-tumah]. The Parah Adumah was prepared on the Mount of Olives, located due east of the Temple, and the Torah writes that while the Kohen is carrying out the preparations he must have a direct line of sight to the opening of the Sanctuary. From his vantage point in the east the Kohen would look over the lower eastern wall of the Temple Mount, through the eastern gate of the Women's Courtyard, and through the Nikanor Gate to the opening of the Sanctuary.

The Temple was not squarely centered within the four walls of the Temple Mount but was offset towards the northwest corner. In the space between the walls of the Temple Mount and the Temple itself were numerous chambers, storehouses, workshops, and offices which were necessary for the day-to-day operation of the Temple.
_______________

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 NOACH:

View Complete List

A Second Chance
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5759

"G-d Watches Over Man"
Shlomo Katz - 5764

Free Time
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5762

> Delight Amidst Devastation
Rabbi Eliyahu Hoffmann - 5762

Join the Voices in the Ark
Rabbi Label Lam - 5774

Compliments -- In The Presence And Outside The Presence Of A Person
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5774

ArtScroll

One for the Birds
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5756

In a Heartbeat
Rabbi Label Lam - 5769

Communication Brings Unity
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5763

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Maybe
Rabbi Label Lam - 5765

The Seven Noachide Laws
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5769

The Perfect Storm
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5765

Looking for a Chavrusah?

The Roots of Evil
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5769

Making It Perfect
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5763

G-d's Message for All Humanity
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5764

The Excitement of Every Day
Shlomo Katz - 5775



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