The Nikanor Gate

The Nikanor Gate

The Nikanor gate The Mishnah mentions that fifteen steps led up from the Ezras Nashim to the Nikanor Gate. The steps were in semicircle form.

Most models have the lowest step the largest one, and as we go up the steps are smaller and smaller. In this model the steps are concave and the higher the step the larger it is. This is not a new idea, as this is the way the steps are described by the Meiri.

Why is this way probably more accurate? When the Mishnah mentions that the steps were in semicircle it describes it "like half of a round granary". This term is also used in the Mishnah in Sanhedrin, when describing the way the judges were seated. It is obvious that this is the appropriate format for a sanhedrin where it is necessary for all judges to see each other.

Keep in mind that at Simchas Beis Hashoeivah, the Levi'im stood on these steps and played musical instruments. The format of concave steps is much more appropriate for conducting an orchestra.

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