Monday, October 29, 2012

View of the Chamber of the Nazirites

During Temple times, an individual could accept upon themselves the vow of a nazirite. A nazirite is a man or woman who, for a set period of time, does not drink wine, cut their hair, or contract corpse-tumah. When the term of their vow is complete the individual was required to come to the Temple and offer certain sacrifices. The meat of the offering was brought to the Chamber of the Nazirites located in the southeast corner of the Women's Courtyard. In this chamber the meat was cooked and the nazirite would receive a haircut and then the cut hair would be thrown into the fire beneath the pot cooking the offering. Nazirites were not permitted to eat their offerings in this chamber but would take them out of the Temple into the city, either to prevent overcrowding in the Women's Courtyard or because it was more appropriate to eat inside a room with a roof and not under the open sky.

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