Tuesday, April 22, 2014

View of Pinchas the Clothier

To the north of the Nikanor Gate was the Chamber of Pinchas the Clothier where the priestly vestments would be stored and distributed. As Kohanim arrived in the Temple over the course of the day to perform the sacrificial service they would report to this chamber where they would change out of their regular clothes and be dressed in the priestly vestments by the clothier's assistants. Upon completing their service they would return the vestments to this chamber and change back into their regular clothes. The individual Kohanim did not own private uniforms but rather were issued garments of the appropriate size from the Temple’s general supply. This practice ensured that the priestly vestments remained in the Temple where they could be supervised by the clothier who saw to it that they were used and cared for with the utmost sanctity and respect. As for the chamber’s name, the very first Temple clothier was a man named Pinchas and all subsequent officers to hold this post were given the title “Pinchas the Clothier.”

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Update for Chavitin Chamber and Southeast Corner of the Courtyard

Here is a quick update before Pesach showing another view of the Chamber of the Makers of the Chavitin. Among other small improvements, the Kohanim now have a new hand cart to bring supplies from the Chamber of the Oils and the chimney has a cover to keep out the rain.

Chamber of the Makers of the Chavitin.

Monday, April 7, 2014

View of the Chamber of the Makers of the Chavitin

To the south of the Nikanor Gate was the Chamber of the Makers of the Chavitin. In this chamber the Kohanim would prepare the chavitin, a type of meal offering offered daily — and paid for — by the Kohen Gadol. This entailed kneading a prescribed amount of flour, water, and oil, scalding the dough in boiling water, baking it, and then frying it with oil in a pan called a machavas.

Monday, March 31, 2014

View of the Southeast Corner of the Courtyard

After spending the last few weeks working on the views of the three chambers in the corner of the Courtyard, as well as the Avtinas Chamber and its adjoining mikveh, here is a view of everything in situ. In this picture we are looking over the Altar to the southeast corner where the chambers of Salt, Parvah, and Rinsers are lined up, spilling over from the Israelites' Courtyard into the Kohanim's Courtyard. At the border of these two courtyards, to serve as a visual divider between them, a series of wooden blocks protruded from the walls and ran up their entire height. Not shown in this picture is the Chamber of Chavitin Makers (coming soon) which stood just to the south of the Nikanor Gate, as well as the entrance from the Courtyard to the Chamber of the Oils (the southwestern chamber of the Women's Courtyard).

Looking toward the southeast corner of the Courtyard.

Monday, March 24, 2014

View of the Chamber of Rinsers

The third chamber in the southeast corner of the Courtyard was the Chamber of Rinsers. Here the Kohanim would wash out the stomachs of sacrificial animals. Since this work, like that done in Parvah, created an unpleasant smell, it was actually carried out in an underground room beneath the main chamber. The stairwell leading down to this room was closed off by a door which helped minimize the foul odors reaching the Courtyard. It emerges that the Chamber of Rinsers was more like a vestibule with a door in each wall: in the north to the Courtyard; in the south to the underground room; in the east to the adjacent Chamber of Parvah; in the west to the ramp which led up to the mikveh on the roof of the Chamber of Parvah.
Chamber of Rinsers as seen
from the southeast
Underground room beneath the
Chamber of Rinsers