Beis Hachalifos

Rambam's drawing of the Heichal The width of the Heichal was seventy amos. The width of the Ulam was one hundred amos. (Thus the building was "T" shaped.) The extra thirty amos, fifteen on each side of the Heichal were called Beis Hachalifos. It was here that the knives needed for slaughtering the Karbanos, were stored. These rooms were separate from the Ulam itself, and it remains unclear whether or not the entrance was from the Ulam itself (as shown in the cross section) or perhaps there was a separate entrance (from the front of the Hechal). Each Mishmar (group of Kohanim) had their own window where they stored their own knives. The dimension of these rooms from east to west were eleven amos, similar to the Ulam. From north to south they measured ten amos, and the outer walls were five amos wide.

According to the Rambam the building was square shaped, and measured one hundred amos by one hundred amos. The Beis Hachalifos were one hundred amos long, and fifteen amos wide. (See the accompanying drawing copied from the Rambam, Beis Habechirah 4:9)

© Copyright by Yehuda Landy
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