The Lishkas Hagazis

The Lishkas Hagazis


This picture shows the Lishkas Hagazis placed in the northwestern corner of the Azarah. The Mishnah at the end of Middos mentions that there were six chambers in the Azarah three on the northern side and three on the southern side. Most models place these chambers on the eastern side of the Azarah. However as the Chok Nasan (And the Chanukas Habayis) point out, this area was already very crowded with the Mizbeiach, the rings, the tables etc.. Why clutter it up more with these six chambers?

Another major point here is the location Rav Koren selects for the Lishkas Hagazis. (In this model it is the room on the right side in a basilica shape, half of it inside the wall of the Azarah and half outside.)

The Gemorah in Yoma mentions that the Lishkas Hagazis was half in the Azarah and half outside the Azarah. This is deduced from the fact that the lotteries (which had to be done in the Azarah) were done in the Lishkas Hagazis, while an elder was seated in the western part. Since nobody (except a king from the family of Dovid) may sit in the Azarah, it must mean that the elder was sitting in a section of the Lishkas Hagazis outside the Azarah. Most models bother to place the Lishkas Hagazis half and half as described, but they put it in the eastern side of the Azarah. In this manner the section outside the Azarah is on the eastern side. But the Gemorah says that the elder sat on the WESTERN side? Doesn't this mean that the chamber was on the western side of the Azarah, with the western half outside the Azarah?

It is for this reason that in this model the Lishkas Hagazis appears in the west. Furthermore the Midrash states clearly that the Sanhedrin sat behind Beis Hakapores (the Kodesh Hakodoshim).

(We will not elaborate on the subject of which three chambers were on the northern side and which on the southern side as this issue is a major point of discussion among almost all the commentaries.)

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