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

Email this article to a friend

The Women's Courtyard

Class 5

Interior of the Women's Courtyard
To the east of the Main Courtyard stood a large enclosed area called the Women’s Courtyard, measuring 135 cubits (202˝ feet) to a side. Entry into this area was not restricted to women, as its name might imply, but in fact was used as a staging area for the multitudes of people arriving daily bearing sacrifices and gifts who would assemble here before proceeding into the Main Courtyard. It was called the Women's Courtyard because the women would specifically gather here to watch the Rejoicing of the Water-drawing which took place each year on the holiday of Succos.

On the holiday of Succos the Rejoicing of the Water-drawing would take place inside the Women's Courtyard. The celebration began on the second night of the holiday when the great sages and pious men of the generation would assemble in this courtyard to dance, juggle, and sing God's praises while scores of Leviim stood upon fifteen round steps at the western side of the courtyard providing musical accompaniment. This rejoicing continued all night until dawn when, with great ceremony, a delegation was dispatched to a nearby spring to draw water for that day's water libation. [The water libation, which was only performed on Succos, entailed pouring a pitcher of water into a bowl at the southwest corner of the Altar.] Numerous spectators, both men and women, stood along the sides of the Women's Courtyard to watch these festivities. The mingling of men and women at this event led to a certain amount of frivolity and steps were taken to correct this. The Sages came up with an innovative solution in which the women would gather upon balconies constructed within the courtyard while the men would stand below on ground level.

These balconies for the women ran along the southern, eastern, and northern sides of the courtyard, but not the western side. Halfway up the walls of the Women's Courtyard were protruding stone ledges that supported the wooden planks which formed the floorboards of the balcony. Above the floorboards they built row upon row of ascending steps to afford all of the women a good view of the festivities below. Only the protruding balcony supports were permanent fixtures in the courtyard, while the floorboards and steps were put up each year during Succos and then taken down after the holiday.

_______________

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



 
Sell Chometz Online







ARTICLES ON KEDOSHIM AND THE OMER:

View Complete List

Appreciating the Value of the Jew
Rabbi Yosef Kalatsky - 5763

There's Holy, and There's Holy
Shlomo Katz - 5760

Love From Inside Out - Part 2
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5763

Looking for a Chavrusah?

All the Rest is Commentary!
Rabbi Label Lam - 5763

A Critical Difference
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5768

The Students of Rabbi Akiva
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5755

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

Separate and Pure
Shlomo Katz - 5759

Be a Holy Nation!
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5757

Sefiras HaOmer and Rabbi Akiva
Rabbi Yehudah Prero - 5766

ArtScroll

"Peripheral Events" May be the Focus of Divine Providence
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5766

Love Your Neighbor: Who Needs Friends?
Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene - 5766

Why Is this Portion Different From All Other Portions?
Rabbi Yissocher Frand - 5768

> Don't Take Revenge...
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5759

It's None of Your Business
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5759

In Hillel's Footsteps
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5760

Prisms of Light - Reflections of Shattered Glass
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5772



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