1

The entire Temple complex was not built on flat ground, but rather on the incline1 of Mount [Moriah.] Thus, a person who entered from the Eastern Gate of the Temple Mount would proceed to the end of the chayl on one level.2

He would ascend from the chayl to the Woman's Courtyard on twelve steps. Each step was half a cubit high and half a cubit wide.3

א

הַמִּקְדָשׁ כֻּלּוֹ לֹא הָיָה בְּמִישׁוֹר אֶלָּא בְּמַעֲלֵה הָהָר. כְּשֶׁאָדָם נִכְנָס מִשַּׁעַר מִזְרָחִי שֶׁל הַר הַבַּיִת מְהַלֵּךְ עַד סוֹף הַחֵיל בְּשָׁוֶה. וְעוֹלֶה מִן הַחֵיל לְעֶזְרַת הַנָּשִׁים בִּשְׁתֵּים עֶשְׂרֵה מַעֲלוֹת רוּם כָּל מַעֲלָה חֲצִי אַמָּה וְשִׁלְחָהּ חֲצִי אַמָּה:

2

One proceeded through the entire Women's Courtyard4 on one level.5 From it, one ascended6 to the Courtyard of the Israelites, which is the beginning of the Temple Courtyard, using fifteen steps.7 Each step was half a cubit high and half a cubit wide.

ב

וּמְהַלֵּךְ כָּל עֶזְרַת הַנָּשִׁים בְּשָׁוֶה. וְעוֹלֶה מִמֶּנָּה לְעֶזְרַת יִשְׂרָאֵל שֶׁהוּא תְּחִלַּת הָעֲזָרָה בַּחֲמֵשׁ עֶשְׂרֵה מַעֲלוֹת. רוּם כָּל מַעֲלָה חֲצִי אַמָּה וְשִׁלְחָהּ חֲצִי אַמָּה:

3

One would proceed through the entire Israelites' Courtyard on one level8 and ascend from it to the Priestly Courtyard [using] one step, one cubit high.9

Above [that step] was a platform of three steps.10 Each step was half a cubit high and half a cubit wide.11 Thus, the Priestly Courtyard was two and a half cubits higher than the Courtyard of the Israelites.

ג

וּמְהַלֵּךְ כָּל עֶזְרַת יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּשָׁוֶה וְעוֹלֶה מִמֶּנּוּ לְעֶזְרַת הַכֹּהֲנִים בְּמַעֲלָה גְּבוֹהָה אַמָּה וְעָלֶיהָ דּוּכָן יֵשׁ בּוֹ שָׁלֹשׁ מַעֲלוֹת. רוּם כָּל מַעְלָה חֲצִי אַמָּה וְשִׁלְחָהּ חֲצִי אַמָּה. נִמְצֵאת עֶזְרַת הַכֹּהֲנִים גְּבוֹהָה עַל שֶׁל יִשְׂרָאֵל שְׁתֵּי אַמּוֹת וּמֶחֱצָה:

4

One would proceed through the entire Priestly Courtyard,12 [the area of] the Altar,13 and the space between the Entrance Hall and the Altar14 on one level. From there, one would ascend to the Entrance Hall using twelve steps.15 Each step was half a cubit high and half a cubit wide.16

The Entrance Hall and [the remainder of] the Temple building were both on the same level.17

ד

וּמְהַלֵּךְ כָּל עֶזְרַת הַכֹּהֲנִים וְהַמִּזְבֵּחַ. וּבֵין הָאוּלָם וְלַמִּזְבֵּחַ בְּשָׁוֶה. וְעוֹלֶה מִשָּׁם לָאוּלָם בִּשְׁתֵּים עֶשְׂרֵה מַעֲלוֹת. רוּם כָּל מַעְלָה חֲצִי אַמָּה וְשִׁלְחָהּ חֲצִי אַמָּה וְהָאוּלָם וְהַהֵיכָל כֻּלּוֹ בְּשָׁוֶה:

5

Thus, the ground [on which] the Temple building [was located] was 22 cubits higher than the ground [on which] the Eastern Gate [was located].18

The Eastern Gate was twenty cubits high.19 Accordingly, a person standing opposite the Eastern Gate could not see the Temple building.20 For this reason, the wall above this gate was low.21 Thus, the priest [who offered the Parah Adumah] could see the opening of the Temple when he sprinkled its blood,22 while standing on the Mount of Olives.23

ה

נִמְצָא גֹּבַהּ קַרְקַע הַהֵיכָל עַל קַרְקַע שַׁעַר הַמִּזְרָח שֶׁל הַר הַבַּיִת שְׁתַּיִם וְעֶשְׂרִים אַמּוֹת. וְגֹבַהּ שַׁעַר הַר הַבַּיִת עֶשְׂרִים אַמָּה. לְפִיכָךְ הָעוֹמֵד כְּנֶגֶד שַׁעַר הַמִּזְרָח אֵינוֹ רוֹאֶה פֶּתַח הַהֵיכָל. וּמִפְּנֵי זֶה עָשׂוּ כֹּתֶל שֶׁעַל גַּבֵּי שַׁעַר זֶה נָמוּךְ. כְּדֵי שֶׁיְּהֵא כֹּהֵן הָעוֹמֵד בְּהַר הַמִּשְׁחָה רוֹאֶה פֶּתַח הַהֵיכָל בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁמַּזֶּה מִדַּם הַפָּרָה נֹכַח הַהֵיכָל:

6

There were chambers under the Courtyard of the Israelites opening up to the Women's Courtyard.24 There, the Levites stored their harps, lyres,25 cymbals, and other musical instruments.26

The Levites stood on the platform which ascends from the Courtyard of the Israelites to the Courtyard of the Priests, when they chanted songs over the sacrifices.27

ו

וּלְשָׁכוֹת הָיוּ שָׁם תַּחַת עֶזְרַת יִשְׂרָאֵל פְּתוּחוֹת לְעֶזְרַת הַנָּשִׁים. שֶׁשָּׁם הַלְוִיִּם נוֹתְנִין הַכִּנּוֹרוֹת וְהַנְּבָלִים וְהַמְּצִלְתַּיִם וְכָל כְּלֵי הַשִּׁיר. וְעַל הַדּוּכָן הָעוֹלֶה מֵעֶזְרַת יִשְׂרָאֵל לְעֶזְרַת הַכֹּהֲנִים הָיוּ הַלְוִיִּם עוֹמְדִים בְּשָׁעָה שֶׁאוֹמְרִים שִׁירָה עַל הַקָּרְבָּן:

7

[Regarding] the chambers that were built on consecrated ground, but which opened up to an area that was not consecrated:28 If [their roofs] were on the same level as the earth of the Courtyard, their inner space is not consecrated,29 but their roofs are consecrated.30

If they are not on the same level [as the Courtyard], their roofs are also not consecrated, for the roofs and the upper floors [of the structures in the Temple Courtyard] were not consecrated.31

Therefore, sacrifices of the highest degree of sanctity32 may not be eaten on these roofs,33 nor may sacrifices of a lesser degree of sanctity34 be slaughtered there.35

ז

הַלְּשָׁכוֹת הַבְּנוּיוֹת בַּקֹּדֶשׁ וּפְתוּחוֹת לַחל אִם הָיוּ גַּגּוֹתֵיהֶן שָׁוִין עִם קַרְקַע הָעֲזָרָה תּוֹכָן חֹל וְגַגּוֹתֵיהֶן קֹדֶשׁ וְאִם אֵינָן שָׁוִין אַף גַּגּוֹתֵיהֶן חֹל שֶׁהַגַּגּוֹת וְהָעֲלִיּוֹת לֹא נִתְקַדְּשׁוּ. לְפִיכָךְ גַּגִּים אֵלּוּ אֵין אוֹכְלִין שָׁם קָדְשֵׁי קָדָשִׁים וְלֹא שׁוֹחֲטִין קָדָשִׁים קַלִּים:

8

[Regarding the chambers] which were built on unconsecrated ground, but were open to consecrated ground:36 Their inner space was considered consecrated when eating sacrifices of the most holy order.37 However, the sacrifices of a lesser degree of sanctity were not slaughtered there. [Similarly,] a person who enters while ritually impure is not required [to bring a sin offering].38

The roofs [of these chambers] are considered as unconsecrated ground in all respects.39

ח

הָיוּ בְּנוּיוֹת לַחל וּפְתוּחוֹת לַקֹּדֶשׁ תּוֹכָן קֹדֶשׁ לַאֲכִילַת קָדְשֵׁי קָדָשִׁים אֲבָל אֵין שׁוֹחֲטִין שָׁם קָדָשִׁים קַלִּים וְהַנִּכְנָס לְשָׁם בְּטֻמְאָה פָּטוּר. וְגַגּוֹתֵיהֶן חֹל לְכָל דָּבָר:

9

The underground passageways which open to the Temple Courtyard40 are consecrated.41 Those that open to the Temple Mount [outside the Courtyard] are not consecrated.42

The windows43 and the width44 of the wall are considered within [the Courtyard] in regard to partaking of the sacrifices of the most holy order and [entering while] ritually impure.45

ט

הַמְּחִלּוֹת הַפְּתוּחוֹת לָעֲזָרָה קֹדֶשׁ וְהַפְּתוּחוֹת לְהַר הַבַּיִת חֹל. הַחַלּוֹנוֹת וָעֳבִי הַחוֹמָה כִּלְפָנִים בֵּין לַאֲכִילַת קָדְשֵׁי קָדָשִׁים בֵּין לְטֻמְאָה:

10

If the Sanhedrin46 desires to add to [the city limits of] Jerusalem47 or the Temple Courtyard,48 they may.49 They may extend the Temple Courtyard to any place they desire on the Temple Mount.50 [Similarly, they may] extend the walls of Jerusalem to any place they desire.51

י

בֵּית דִּין שֶׁרָצוּ לְהוֹסִיף עַל יְרוּשָׁלַיִם אוֹ לְהוֹסִיף עַל הָעֲזָרָה מוֹסִיפִין. וְיֵשׁ לָהֶם לִמְשֹׁךְ הָעֲזָרָה עַד הַמָּקוֹם שֶׁיִּרְצוּ מֵהַר הַבַּיִת וְלִמְשֹׁךְ חוֹמַת יְרוּשָׁלַיִם עַד מָקוֹם שֶׁיִּרְצוּ:

11

We may not expand [the limits] of the city [of Jerusalem] or of the Temple Courtyard52 unless receiving the consent of the king, a prophet,53 the Urim V'Tumim,54 and the Sanhedrin of 71 judges,55 as [Exodus 25:9] states: "According to all that I show you, [the design of the Sanctuary]...so shall you make it." [The latter phrase was interpreted by our sages to mean that the same conditions should apply in] future generations.

[The presence of a king is required] because Moses, our teacher, was a king.56

יא

אֵין מוֹסִיפִין עַל הָעִיר אוֹ עַל הָעֲזָרוֹת אֶלָּא עַל פִּי הַמֶּלֶךְ וְעַל פִּי נָבִיא וּבְאוּרִים וְתֻמִּים וְעַל פִּי סַנְהֶדְרִין שֶׁל שִׁבְעִים וְאֶחָד זְקֵנִים שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות כה ט) "כְּכל אֲשֶׁר אֲנִי מַרְאֶה אוֹתְךָ" וְכֵן תַּעֲשׂוּ לְדוֹרוֹת. וּמשֶׁה רַבֵּנוּ מֶלֶךְ הָיָה:

12

How do we extend [the limits of] the city?57 The Sanhedrin must offer two thanksgiving offerings.58 [Then, two priests]59 take the leavened breads from these offerings [and proceed]. The Sanhedrin would follow the thanksgiving offerings.60 The thanksgiving offerings [would not proceed together, but] one would follow the other.61

They would stand on each and every corner and every single stone in Jerusalem, [playing] harps, lyres, and cymbals, and reciting [Psalms 30]: "I exalt you, Lord, for You have uplifted me...."62

[They would proceed] until reaching the end of the place [which they desired to] consecrate. There, they would stand and eat one of the two thanksgiving offerings. The other was burnt. A prophet would determine which was eaten and which was burnt.63

יב

וְכֵיצַד מוֹסִיפִין עַל הָעִיר. עוֹשִׂין בֵּית דִּין שְׁתֵּי תּוֹדוֹת וְלוֹקְחִין לֶחֶם חָמֵץ שֶׁבָּהֶם וְהוֹלְכִים בֵּית דִּין אַחַר שְׁתֵּי הַתּוֹדוֹת וּשְׁתֵּי הַתּוֹדוֹת זוֹ אַחַר זוֹ וְעוֹמְדִין בְּכִנּוֹרוֹת וּבִנְבָלִים וּבְצִלְצָל עַל כָּל פִּנָּה וּפִנָּה וְעַל כָּל אֶבֶן (וְאֶבֶן) שֶׁבִּירוּשָׁלַיִם וְאוֹמֵר (תהילים ל ב) "אֲרוֹמִמְךָ ה' כִּי דִלִּיתָנִי" וְגוֹ'. עַד שֶׁמַּגִּיעִין לְסוֹף הַמָּקוֹם שֶׁמְּקַדְּשִׁין אוֹתוֹ וְעוֹמְדִין שָׁם. וְאוֹכְלִים שָׁם לֶחֶם תּוֹדָה אַחַת מִשְּׁתֵי הַתּוֹדוֹת וְהַשְּׁנִיָּה נִשְׂרֶפֶת. וְעַל פִּי הַנָּבִיא שׂוֹרְפִין אֶת זוֹ וְאוֹכְלִין אֶת זוֹ:

13

Similarly, [if the Sages desire] to extend the [limits of the] courtyard,64 they must consecrate it with the remaining portion of the meal offering. Just as the thanksgiving offering, which must be eaten inside Jerusalem consecrates it, so, too, the remaining portion of the meal offering, which may only be eaten inside the Temple Courtyard,65 consecrates it. It is to be eaten at the end of the space which they desire to consecrate.66

יג

וְכֵן אִם הוֹסִיפוּ עַל הָעֲזָרָה מְקַדְּשִׁין אוֹתָהּ בִּשְׁיָרֵי הַמִּנְחָה. מַה יְּרוּשָׁלַיִם הַתּוֹדָה שֶׁנֶּאֱכֶלֶת בָּהּ מְקַדַּשְׁתָּהּ אַף הָעֲזָרָה שְׁיָרֵי הַמְּנָחוֹת שֶׁאֵין נֶאֱכָלִין אֶלָּא בָּהּ הֵן שֶׁמְּקַדְּשִׁין אוֹתָהּ בָּהֶן. וְאוֹכְלִין אוֹתָן בְּסוֹף הַמָּקוֹם שֶׁקִּדְּשׁוּ:

14

Any place which was not [consecrated] with all the above [elements] and according to the above procedure is not thoroughly consecrated.67 Though Ezra offered two thanksgiving offerings68 [to dedicate the city,] he merely carried out a testimonial act. The Sanctuary was not consecrated through his deeds, for neither a King nor the Urim V'Tumim69 were present there.70

[If so,] how was [the Second Temple] consecrated?71 With the first consecration performed by Solomon, for he consecrated the Temple Courtyard and Jerusalem for that time and for eternity.72

יד

כָּל מָקוֹם שֶׁלֹּא נַעֲשָׂה בְּכָל אֵלּוּ וְכַסֵּדֶר הַזֶּה אֵין קָדוֹשׁ גָּמוּר. וְזֶה שֶׁעָשָׂה עֶזְרָא שְׁתֵּי תּוֹדוֹת זִכָּרוֹן הוּא שֶׁעָשָׂה לֹא בְּמַעֲשָׂיו נִתְקַדֵּשׁ הַמָּקוֹם שֶׁלֹּא הָיָה שָׁם לֹא מֶלֶךְ וְלֹא אוּרִים וְתֻמִּים. וּבְמַה נִּתְקַדְּשָׁה בִּקְדֻשָּׁה רִאשׁוֹנָה שֶׁקִּדְּשָׁהּ שְׁלֹמֹה שֶׁהוּא קִדֵּשׁ הָעֲזָרָה וִירוּשָׁלַיִם לִשְׁעָתָן וְקִדְּשָׁן לֶעָתִיד לָבוֹא:

15

Therefore, we may offer all the sacrifices [on the Temple site], even though the Temple itself is not built.73 Similarly, sacrifices of the most holy order can be eaten in the entire [area of the] Courtyard, even though it is in ruin and not surrounded by a divider.74

We may also eat sacrifices of lesser sanctity and Ma'aser Sheni75 throughout Jerusalem,76 even though [it is not surrounded by] a wall, for through its original consecration, it was consecrated for that time and for eternity.

טו

לְפִיכָךְ מַקְרִיבִין הַקָּרְבָּנוֹת כֻּלָּן אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין שָׁם בַּיִת בָּנוּי. וְאוֹכְלִין קָדְשֵׁי קָדָשִׁים בְּכָל הָעֲזָרָה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהִיא חֲרֵבָה וְאֵינָהּ מֻקֶּפֶת בִּמְחִצָּה וְאוֹכְלִין קָדָשִׁים קַלִּים וּמַעֲשֵׂר שֵׁנִי בְּכָל יְרוּשָׁלַיִם אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין שָׁם חוֹמוֹת שֶׁהַקְּדֻשָּׁה רִאשׁוֹנָה קָדְשָׁה לִשְׁעָתָהּ וְקָדְשָׁה לֶעָתִיד לָבוֹא:

16

77 Why do I say that the original consecration sanctified the Temple and Jerusalem for eternity,78 while in regard to the consecration of the remainder of Eretz Yisrael, in the context of the Sabbatical year, tithes, and other similar [agricultural] laws, [the original consecration] did not sanctify it for eternity?79

Because the sanctity of the Temple and Jerusalem stems from the Shechinah, and the Shechinah can never be nullified.80 Therefore, [Leviticus 26:31] states: "I will lay waste to your Sanctuaries." The Sages declared:81 "Even though they have been devastated, their sanctity remains."82

In contrast, the [original] obligation to keep the laws of the Sabbatical year and tithes on the Land stemmed from the fact that it was conquered by the [Jewish people, as a] community.83 Therefore, when the land was taken from their hands [by the Babylonians,] their [original] conquest was nullified. Thus, according to Torah law, the land was freed from the obligations of the Sabbatical year and of tithes because it was no longer Eretz Yisrael.84

When Ezra returned [to Eretz Yisrael] and consecrated it, it was not sanctified by means of through conquest, but rather through Chazzakah.85 Therefore, every place which was repossessed by the [exiles returning from] Babylon and consecrated when Ezra consecrated [the land] the second time, is sacred today.

Thus, as explained in Hilchot Terumah, it is necessary to keep the laws of the Sabbatical years and the tithes [on this land] even though it was taken from [the Jewish people in later years].86

טז

וְלָמָּה אֲנִי אוֹמֵר בַּמִּקְדָּשׁ וִירוּשָׁלַיִם קְדֻשָּׁה רִאשׁוֹנָה קָדְשָׁה לֶעָתִיד לָבוֹא. וּבִקְדֻשַּׁת שְׁאָר אֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל לְעִנְיַן שְׁבִיעִית וּמַעַשְׂרוֹת וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהֶן לֹא קָדְשָׁה לֶעָתִיד לָבוֹא. לְפִי שֶׁקְּדֻשַּׁת הַמִּקְדָּשׁ וִירוּשָׁלַיִם מִפְּנֵי הַשְּׁכִינָה וּשְׁכִינָה אֵינָהּ בְּטֵלָה. וַהֲרֵי הוּא אוֹמֵר (ויקרא כו לא) "וַהֲשִׁמּוֹתִי אֶת מִקְדְּשֵׁיכֶם" וְאָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁשּׁוֹמְמִין בִּקְדֻשָּׁתָן הֵן עוֹמְדִים אֲבָל חִיּוּב הָאָרֶץ בִּשְׁבִיעִית וּבְמַעַשְׂרוֹת אֵינוֹ אֶלָּא מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהוּא כִּבּוּשׁ רַבִּים וְכֵיוָן שֶׁנִּלְקְחָה הָאָרֶץ מִידֵיהֶם בָּטַל הַכִּבּוּשׁ וְנִפְטְרָה מִן הַתּוֹרָה מִמַּעַשְׂרוֹת וּמִשְּׁבִיעִית שֶׁהֲרֵי אֵינָהּ מִן אֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל. וְכֵיוָן שֶׁעָלָה עֶזְרָא וְקִדְּשָׁהּ לֹא קִדְּשָׁהּ בְּכִבּוּשׁ אֶלָּא בַּחֲזָקָה שֶׁהֶחְזִיקוּ בָּהּ וּלְפִיכָךְ כָּל מָקוֹם שֶׁהֶחְזִיקוּ בָּהּ עוֹלֵי בָּבֶל וְנִתְקַדֵּשׁ בִּקְדֻשַּׁת עֶזְרָא הַשְּׁנִיָּה הוּא מְקֻדָּשׁ הַיּוֹם וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁנִּלְקַח הָאָרֶץ מִמֶּנּוּ וְחַיָּב בִּשְׁבִיעִית וּבְמַעַשְׂרוֹת עַל הַדֶּרֶךְ שֶׁבֵּאַרְנוּ בְּהִלְכוֹת תְּרוּמָה: