Me'ilah 37 - The Sanctuary (Tamid)

The Sanctuary, which contained the Holy of Holies, was situated in the western part of the Temple. It had an entrance of twenty amot high (about 30 feet), and 10 amot wide. This entrance had four doors, two on the outside, and two on the inside of the entranceway. Additionally, the main gate had a smaller door to the south and another one to the north. The one to the south, no man ever entered through it, because, as Ezekiel said, "only God, the Lord of Israel, comes through it; it shall be closed."

Inside the Sanctuary, there were thirty-eight cells (small rooms), arranged in three stories, and they were used to store gold, silver, and other valuable articles owned by the Temple.

The special chamber was the Chamber of Hewn Stone, where the Great Sanhedrin would sit. It was partially inside the Courtyard, where the Kohanim would come with their questions and stand, and the other half of it was outside the Courtyard, where the Sages would sit and judge. A Kohen in whom a disqualification was found would wrap his head in black, leave the chamber and go. And the Kohen in whom no disqualification was found would clothe himself in white, enter the Courtyard, and serve with this brethren the Kohanim. Those in whom no disqualification was found would make a day of celebration, and they would proclaim, "Blessed is the Omnipresent, Who Chose Aaron and his sons to stand an serve before God in the chamber of the Holy of Holies."

Art: Pieter Bruegel - The Peasant Dance