Saturday, November 18, 2017

A Larger LEGO® Model of the Second Temple

In honor of the month of Kislev and the chanukas habayis [rededication of the Temple] that took place on Chanukah, I have prepared a new Lego® model of the Temple. This version is in a larger scale than my last attempt and adds a whole new level of detail.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Immersing the Paroches Curtain Revisited

Every Temple vessel was immersed in a mikveh to sanctify it prior to its first use. In a previous post I discussed how the very large Paroches curtains of the Sanctuary Building would be immersed. In certain circumstances these curtains would have to be immersed again, and sometimes this was done within the Courtyard. The challenge is finding a mikveh large enough to contain them.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Water Conservation in the Pre-Muchni Days

In the Second Temple era a Kohen Gadol named Ben Katin devised a machine that was used to lower the Kiyor [laver] into a well of water each night and then raise it again in the morning. This prevented the water inside from becoming disqualified and unfit for Temple use. The Sages praised Ben Katin for this great innovation that saved the Temple wasted water and the effort of refilling the Kiyor every morning. The question is, what did they do before the Muchni was invented?

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Wall Thickness Between the Tauim Part 2


SUMMARY After seeing a first printing of Tiferes Yisrael's commentary to the Mishnah, it was necessary to come up with a new, reduced wall thickness for the tauim.


In the previous post I set out to find an early printing of Tiferes Yisrael's commentary to the Mishnah in order to resolve a question about the wall thickness between the tauim. Unfortunately, first printings of Tiferes Yisrael's commentary are not all that common and sell at auction for a small fortune.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Wall Thickness Between the Tauim

Very few details are provided by the Mishnah for the dimensions of the tauim (small rooms surrounding the Sanctuary Building). In the key to his Temple Diagram, Tiferes Yisrael states what he believes to be the length of the various tauim. Based on his results it is possible to make a reasonable guess as to the thickness of the walls that separated the tauim from each other.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Keys of the Heichal Revisited

In a previous post I estimated that the Heichal Building had about 42 doors that needed keys to unlock them. A large part of this calculation assumed that the doors connecting the 38 tauim [small rooms] to each other required keys, although I could not find a direct source that this was true.

Friday, June 16, 2017

JBrick to Unveil Microscale Model of Herodian Temple at Brickworld Chicago

Some people think about Lego while they are supposed to be working, and some people think about Lego because they are working. Yitzy Kasowitz is one of those lucky individuals who is paid to design and build with Lego (once you earn a salary from it we don't call it 'playing' any more). He is a member of the Brickmania team, a company that builds and sells Lego military models. Being around all that Lego must be inspiring, because Yitzy has spun off his own company called Jbrick that designs and sells Jewish-themed Lego sets. In addition to his beautiful menorahs and Seder plates, Jbrick is about to unveil an amazing new model sure to capture the imagination of young and old alike.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Refurbished Lego® Altar (Once Again)

In honor of my Loaves and Lambs presentation I tinkered with my Lego® Altar again (since the last time). I took it apart and played with the scale of things to make it more minifig-friendly. Here is the result:

Loaves and Lambs on Shavuos Night

This year I gave my second-annual presentation "Loaves and Lambs" at Cong. Darchei Tzedek on the first night of Shavuos. This class is a virtual walkthrough of the sacrificial service performed in the Temple on Shavuos. It covers the Mussaf offerings, the Shtei Halechem (two loaves of wheat flour brought on Shavuos), and the offerings which accompany the Shtei Halechem.


Monday, May 1, 2017

Drop Me a Line

It is not every day that you see a remnant of the Temple hanging around in modern times, but today was an exception. As I was headed in to Minchah I caught sight of some workers using tools and techniques taken right out of the Temple owner's manual.