Torah.org Home Subscribe Services Support Us
  Tour of the Temply By Rabbi Yoav Elan
Print Version

Email this article to a friend

The Cheil and the Soreg

The Cheil and Soreg outside of the Women's Courtyard
Standing at a distance of 10 cubits (15 feet) from the outside of the Courtyard walls on all four sides was a low wall, half a cubit (9 inches) high. This wall, as well as the area between it and the Courtyard walls, was referred to as the Cheil. A wooden latticework fence, 10 handbreadths (30 inches) high, was built atop this wall and was called the Soreg.

The Temple was comprised of different areas of increasing sanctity the higher the level of sanctity the more restricted the entry into that area. Whereas most people were permitted on the Temple Mount, entry beyond the Cheil and Soreg was only allowed to members of the Jewish faith who were free of corpse-tumah [ritual contamination contracted from touching, or being under the same roof as, a corpse]. During the period of Hellenistic persecution the Syrian-Greek kings contemptuously made thirteen breaches in this wall to protest their being barred from this section of the Temple. When control of the Temple was later regained by the Hasmoneans (the Jewish resistance) they repaired these breaches and the Sages decreed that anyone who passes by one of the repaired breaches must bow down to give thanks to God for destroying the Greek regime and abolishing their evil decrees.

Of the 10 cubits of space occupied by the Cheil the first 4 cubits (6 feet) were flat while the remaining 6 cubits (9 feet) held the steps leading up to the walls of the Courtyard. These steps, twelve in all, were each half a cubit (9 inches) high and half a cubit deep. As a rule, all steps in the Temple ran the entire width of the area they led up to and were not limited to the area directly in front of the gate. In the case of the Cheil this meant that its twelve steps ran completely around all four walls of the Courtyard. The area just outside the Cheil on the Temple Mount was left as an open plaza lined with benches where the people could gather.

_______________

For more information on this topic, and to submit questions or comments for the author, please visit the blog post of this class.



 






ARTICLES ON HAAZINU AND ELUL / ROSH HASHANAH:

View Complete List

Love Out of Fear
Shlomo Katz - 5760

Happy New Year!
Rabbi Pinchas Avruch - 5762

The Kindness of Hashem
Shlomo Katz - 5759

Looking for a Chavrusah?

Poor Beginning, Wealthy End
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5760

One Year Later...
Rabbi Aron Tendler - 5763

Play It Again, Shmuel
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5759

Frumster - Orthodox Jewish Dating

To Walk With God
Rabbi Pinchas Winston - 5773

How Close Is Hashem to Us?
Rabbi Yosef Kalatzky - 5763

The Essence of Jewish History
Rabbi Berel Wein - 5773

> The Mystical Tug of the Shofar
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5766

Reversing the Chain Reaction
Rabbi Naftali Reich - 5767

We Don't See the Whole Picture
Rabbi Yaakov Menken - 5756

ArtScroll

Are we a Role Model to the Nations?
Rabbi Yosef Kalatsky - 5763

A Song and Its Allusions
Shlomo Katz - 5769

Overlook It When You've Been Wronged
Rabbi Yisroel Ciner - 5759

More and More Ourselves
Rabbi Label Lam - 5764



Project Genesis

Torah.org Home


Torah Portion

Jewish Law

Ethics

Texts

Learn the Basics

Seasons

Features

TORAHAUDIO

Ask The Rabbi

Knowledge Base




Help

About Us

Contact Us



Free Book on Geulah!




Torah.org Home
Torah.org HomeCapalon.com Copyright Information