SACRIFICE - THE GREAT TEMPLES
practice of preserving food can be traced to prehistory, when fruits and vegetables were
dried, cereal grains were parched, and fish and game were salted and dried.
These age-old methods developed slowly and were purely
empirical. -- Fermentation, drying, smoking, and finally curing with salt
was the principal of these techniques. They were the
only means until modern refrigeration replaced them.
The "Kosher" guiding law developed by most to ensure the hygienic distribution and
consumption of the meat, was also accompanied by a Vedic type of ritual,
mirrored in many other religions. The ritual of sacrifice and then salting which was the basis
for a healthy life sustaining meat and protein diet, at the same time fulfilled critical physiological needs. It became
part of a "covenant", particularly for the Jewish religion, and around which
most other religions, and many religious traditions developed
- - and their "abattoir", became their temple..
TEMPLE services to the public
Herod's monopoly of the salt supply from the Dead Sea salt mountain, carefully guarded
and protected en route to Jerusalem by fortifications such as Masada, finally
provided the Temple in Jerusalem with a highly profitable and exclusive source of income.
Salting meat from a domesticated animal was only
possible in the temple and any family owning an animal, and wishing to preserve the meat for the
coming months was obliged to take the animal to the temple.
The Temple for all intents and purposes, was a sophisticated 'abattoir' providing an
hygienic and very well organised service to the community for the purpose of
producing 'kosher' meat. The leather, hides, and allied bye-products were direct
unlaundered income and were almost certainly the reason for the "overturning of the
money changers tables" .
Domesticated animals taken to the temple were handled
with the utmost care and respect by the priests on behalf of their owners and with
the ritual and piety that vindicated any possible misunderstanding as to the purpose
of the 'sacrifice'
It is clear that the ceremony and ritual accompanying this
community service, was the result , and not the cause of it, and when examining other
temples so central to other civilisations, it becomes clear that this was the case with
almost all other cults and religions.
Whilst this highly commendable service was so necessary to
any civilised and developing population, the key element of exclusive salt supplies also
established it as a very effective monopoly with considerable governing power
particularly at the local community level.
The salt monopolies were to be the instrument of power until the Industrial Revolution when the invention of modern burning fuels allowed
the efficient mass production of salt by vacuum evaporation and the elimination of
religious and controlled coercion.
The first salt monopoly may have been enforced by animals
protecting a salt lick exclusively for its own species.
Human beings learned the locations of salt licks from the
animals by following them and the first animal sacrifices, meat
proteins began to be distributed without fear of bacteria spoiling
the meat. Monopolising and protecting this
distribution to the growing domesticated civilisations gave
undisputed power to certain groups
Today The political inferences are
A religious organization monopolizing such a
service was to be treated as any other commercial enterprise, which
provides a service, and which endeavors to control the market sector
As with any political or lobbying movement
representing an economic sector, its income, profits and its spending, would
be carefully supervised and be subject to the same laws as other political parties and
organisations funded by business and private interests.
More importantly, anti-trust and monopoly laws
must therefore also
apply to all religions. It is logical that religion must not be separated
from administrations or politics, but be considered as one of the most important
economic and lobbying movements, and be an essential part of our civil rights organisation. Religion and religious leaders may not be 'above' these every-day
The Religious inferences are less clear.
Belief is a very personal freedom. Today multimedia allows us to choose our own
beliefs from a myriad of concepts either inherited or propagated by the remnants of
latter-day religions still rich from the pickings of their historical salt monopolies.
It is not difficult to understand that the authoritarian regimes
controlling such monopolies left little room for freedom of choice, and that today we are
only at the advent of a new era free of coercion.
"Big Brother" will certainly be
watching over us, but will he have a power tool like a salt monopoly to direct
or change our beliefs?.
Book of Leviticus
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Book of Leviticus (from
Greek Λευιτικός, Levitikos, meaning "relating to the
Wayiqra, "And He called") is the third book of the
Hebrew Bible, and the third of five books of the
English name is from the Latin Leviticus, taken in turn from
Greek and a reference to the
the tribe from whom the priests were drawn; Leviticus is not, however, a
manual for priests, as it concerns itself at least equally with the role
and duties of the
Leviticus rests on two crucial beliefs: the first, that the world was
created "very good" and retains the capacity to achieve that state
although it is vulnerable to
defilement; the second, that the faithful enactment of ritual makes
God's presence available, while ignoring or breaching it compromises
the harmony between God and the world.
The traditional view is that Leviticus was compiled by
or, in less extreme form, that the material in it goes back to his time.
However, the tradition is comparatively late (it dates from
Josephus, a 1st century CE historian),
and scholars are practically unanimous that the book had a long period
of growth, that it includes some material of considerable antiquity, and
that it reached its present form in the
DEHYDRATION Sacrifice - Embalming
& Rituals - Kosher - Slaughter - Tophet
Sodium salt solution has a
desiccating effect of attracting water from the animal tissues since the salt solution
water pressure is considerably lower than the tissue liquids. In effect osmosis. The
result was to dehydrate the meat to a point where no bacteria could grow and cause
decomposition of the meat. The required salt solution for cheese and butter, is 2%, 6% for
meat, and 20% for fish. For this additional use of salt, for the preservation of meat, the
daily individual consumption of salt could be as high as 100 g per day. Jewish
"KASHRUT" [health] laws, involve the dehydration of meat for its preservation,
or the draining of all liquids including blood from the carcass. The requirement in
ancient times, and to this day, was to prevent the meat from deteriorating, so that it
could be kept long enough, to allow its gradual consumption over a period of time after
the slaughter of the animal.
An old Persian word for the shekel was a [pathuka]--a 'ram'" (Dandamaev and Lukonin) It also meant five fingers [or worth a handful of salt?]
possibly the handful of salt was the amount required to de-hydrate
by osmosis the meat of one ram and render it "kosher"
The SAFFRON REVOLUTION Summary
D.N. Jha, professor of history
at Delhi University, all copies of whose recent book, The Holy Cow, is
accused of offending one of the most cherished sentiments of India's Hindu majority.
The book, banned by India's courts, says
beef-eating and ritual cow slaughter were widespread among upper-caste Hindus during and
after India's Vedic "golden age" (named after the Vedas, Hinduism's oldest
texts) between 1500BC and 600BC.
"The Hindu fundamentalists say that all
impure practices, including beef-eating, were introduced to India by the Muslims after the
12th century (AD), or by the British after the 18th century," said Jha. "But
there is overwhelming textual evidence to show that beef-eating was common a long time
before then. What my book says has hit them squarely in the face."
PIGS FOR THE GODS: BURNT ANIMAL SACRIFICES AS
EMBODIED RITUALS AT A MYCENAEAN SANCTUARY
YANNIS HAMILAKIS AND ELENI
"Abattoir" production line:
BACKGROUND ON THE DAILY DAF
brought to you by Kollel Iyun Hadaf of
Har NofFor further information on
subscriptions, archives and sponsorships,
contact Kollel Iyun Hadaf,
the production section of
HEROD's temple:SEE DIAGRAM NUMBERS
11 - Lishkas
ha'Nezirim - The room where the offerings of Nezirim were cooked and their newly shorn
hair was burned. (Bamidbar 6:18)
12 - Lishkas ha'Eitzim - The Wood Storage Room where wood for the
Mizbe'ach and fireplace was kept.
13 - Lishkas ha'Metzora'im - The room with a Mikvah for the final
cleansing of the Metzorah. (Vayikra 14:11)
14 - Lishkas ha'Shemanim - The Oil Room where oil for the Menorah and
Menachos as well as wine for Nesachim were kept.
15 - Lishkas Sanhedrei Ketanah (second) - The room of the second Sanhedrin
of 23 judges to whom more difficult questions were referred.
16 - Fifteen Steps - Fifteen steps on which the musicians of the Leviyim
stood while playing for the Simchas Beis ha'Sho'evah. (The 15 Shir ha'Ma'alos in Tehilim
were so called because they were sung on these steps.)
17 - Two Leshachos Underneath Ezras Yisroel - Entrances to the two rooms
under the Ezras Yisroel where musical instruments were kept and the musicians and choir
18 - Sha'ar Mizrachi of the Azarah -The Eastern Gate, The Gate of Nikanor,
was named for the man who donated the brass doors of the gate (see Yoma 38)
19 - Two Small Entrances - Two small doorways on either side of the Gate
of Nikanor used by people who were exiting; these doorways were not oppposite the entrance
of the Heichal so that the people exiting would not have their backs turned to the
20 - Lishkas Pinchas ha'Malbish - The Room of Pinchas the Dresser was
named for the man who was originally in charge of distributing and collecting the
Kohanim's clothes. It contained 96 closets where sets of clothes were kept for each of the
24 families of Kohanim. (The Kohanim were divided into 24 Mishmaros (watches), each
serving one week. Each Kohen was required to wear four garments.)
21 - Lishkas Osei Chavitin - The room where the 12 Chalos of the Kohen
Gadol were baked every morning. (They were offered daily in two parts, half in the morning
and half in the afternoon.)
22 - Ezras Yisroel - The Court of the Israelites which was 11 Amos by 135
Amos, beyond which Israelites would not go unless necessary. (Kelim 1:8)
23 - Roshei Pispesin - Posts set in the wall to separate Ezras Yisrael
from Ezras Kohanim. (Alt., Pesifasin; a Mechitah of stones laid out in mosaic form) (Midos
24 - Ma'alah Achas - a step of one Amah.
25 - Duchan - A stage with 3 steps on which the Leviyim stood facing the
Sanctuary (their backs to the people) while singing. From the Duchan to the Mizbe'ach were
11 Amos which was Ezras Kohanim.
26 - Shesh Leshachos - The following 6 rooms were on either side of the
entrance: 27 - Lishkas ha'Gazis - The Room of the Great
Sanhedrin of 71 judges, the highest Halachic authority before which the most difficult
cases were brought. (Devarim 17;8)
THE PROCESS 'PRODUCTION' LINE
28 - Lishkas Parhedrin - The room used by the
Kohen Gadol daily, and in which he lived during the 7 days before Yom Kippur. (Parhedrin
were government assessors who were appointed for one year. This room was so named when
Kohanim began to pay money for the office of Kohen Gadol and were changed from year to
29 - Lishkas ha'Golah - The room where fresh water was drawn from a well.
The Lishkah was name after the people from the Golah (exile) who had dug the well
(BARTENURA). According to Rabbeinu Yehonasan (at the end of Eruvin), the name of this
Lishkah is Lishkas *ha'Gulah* because of the large bowl (Gulah) that was set near the well
and which was filled every day with water. 30 - Lishkas ha'Melach - The room where salt
31 - Lishkas Beis ha'Parvah - The room where hides of the offerings were
preserved. On its roof was a Mikvah used by the Kohen Gadol on Yom Kippur. This room, with
an ingenious system for bringing water to the roof, was designed by Parvah
32 - Lishkas Ha'Medichin - The room where the Korbanos were rinsed.
33 - Sha'ar ha'Mayim - The Water Gate, opposite the Mizbe'ach, was opened
only on Sukkos to bring water for the Nisuch ha'Mayim. A stream passed through the Azarah
and flowed through this gate. When necessary, its flow was blocked, causing it to overflow
and cleanse the Azarah floor.
34 - Lishkas Beis Avtinas - The room where the Ketores was compounded,
named for the Avtinas family of Kohanim. (The Kohanim of the family of Avtinas were the
only ones who could identify the Ma'aleh Ashan, an herb which caused the smoke of the
Ketores to rise in a column.) Next to this room was a second Beis Tevilah for the use of
the Kohen Gadol on Yom Kippur.
35 - Sha'ar ha'Bechoros - The Gate of the Firstborn through which were
brought the offering of first born animals (Shmos 13).
36 - Sha'ar ha'Delek - The Gate of Kindling through which wood was brought
for the Mizbe'ach.
37 - Sha'ar ha'Elyon - The Upper Gate, a smaller entrance for which no
special use is mentioned.
38 - Eleven Amos - Eleven Amos between the western well of the Ta'im and
the western wall of the Azarah.
39 - Two small Gates - Two small gates in the northwest and southwest part
of the west wall for which no special use is mentioned.
40 - (Sha'ar Yechanyah) Sha'ar ha'Nitzotz -The Gate of the Spark, a roofed
entrance under which burning coals were kept for rekindllng purposes. It was formerly
called the Gate of Yechanyah for it was through this gate that the king passed when he
went into exile to Babylon. On its roof was a watchtower.
41 - Sha'ar ha'Korban - The Gate of the Offering through which Kodshei
Kodshim offerings were brought.
42 - Sha'ar ha'Nashim - The Women's Gate, an entrance for women bringing
OVERALL PLAN of the TEMPLE and the
processing section [red]
THE PRODUCTION SECTION OF THE
TEMPLE : [note the well
of the sequential processing
line in particular:
47 The altar
46 The lines of rings to 'hold the animals necks during 'slaughter'
45 The 'rinsing' tables
44 The 'skinning ' posts
30/32 The storage rooms including storage of SALT
43 - Beis ha'Moked - - The Fireplace Room - A large, domed room where
Kohanim could warm themselves during the service. (They became chilled easily while
working barefoot in the open, and on cold, marble floors.) There were 4 smaller rooms in
the corners of this large room: SW - Lishkas Tela'ei Korban, where at least 6 blemish-free
sheep were kept. SE - Lishkas Lechem ha'Panim, where the Lechem ha'Panim was baked. NE -
Lishkah of the Avnei Mizbe'ach, where stones of the Mizbe'ach defiled by the Greeks were
stored. It is also called Lishkas ha'Chosamos because tokens exchangeable for flour and
wine were sold there. NW - Beis Ha'Moked ha'Katan, which had a fireplace and an entrance
to a basement Mikvah and washrooms.
44 - Shemoneh Amudim Nanasin - Eight short posts with hooks used for
45 - Shemoneh Shulchanos Shel Shayish - Eight marble tables on which
Korbanos were rinsed.
46 - Twenty Four Rings - 24 rings, set into the floor for use during
Shechitah. The animal's neck would be held firmly by the ring which opened and closed on a
47 - The Mizbe'ach - The Altar for burnt offerings measuring 32 Amos
square at its base and 10 Amos high including the Keranos (horns).
48 - The Kevesh - The ramp to the Mizbe'ach on its south side which was 32
Amos in length and 16 Amos wide. (There were 2 smaller ramps on either side of the ramp
leading to and from the Sovev.)
49 - Square Amah - Entrance to the Shis, an underground hollow where blood
from the Yesod collected. A marble slab covering this opening in the floor was removed
when it was necessary to clean the Shis.
50 - The Machtah - The shovel used daily for Terumas ha'Deshen was left on
the floor at the bottom corner of the ramp.
51 - Two Tables - Two tables, one of marble for holding fats to be burned,
and one of silver for holding the 93 Klei shares (vessels used by the Kohanim.)
52 - The Kiyor - The Basin for washing hands and feet (Shmos 30). It had
12 faucets and was attached to a pulley that lowered it into a well of water.
53 - Twelve Steps - Twelve steps leading to the Hall (Ulam) of the
Sanctuary where the Kohanim stood for the daily Birkas Kohanim. 54 - The Wall of the Ulam
- The wall of the Ulam was 100 Amos long, and 5 Amos thick, and as high as the
55 - The Entrance To The Ulam - The entrance to the Hall was 20 Amos wide
and 40 Amos high. An embroidered curtain hung there in place of doors.
56 - The Ulam - The inside measurements of the Ulam were seventy Amos by
eleven Amos. 57,
58 - Two Tables - A table was on either side of the entrance. The right
one was of marble for holding the Lechem Ha'Panim before it was brought into the
Sanctuary. The left one was of gold for holding the Lechem Ha'Panim when it was being
59 - Beis ha'Chalifos - At the far ends of the Ulam were two rooms,
fifteen Amos by 11 Amos, where the Shechitah knives of each Mishmar (family of Kohanim)
60 - Two Pishpeshim - Two doors, 8 Amos high, in the corner of each of the
Beis ha'Chalifos. (These doors were not used for entering or exiting, but to allow the
Shechitah of Kodshim Kalim in any part of the Azarah by complying with the Pasuk requiring
to slaughter the Korbanos at the entrance to the Sanctuary (Vayikra 3:2).) [It was through
the northern Pishpesh that the Romans threw the torch which set the Mikdash ablaze, when
it was destroyed - Josephus]
61 - The Entrance to the Heichal - The entrance to the Sanctuary was 10
Amos wide and 20 Amos high. Above it hung a golden vine to which new leaves and grapes of
gold would be donated. (When necessary, grapes and leaves were removed and given to
support the poor Kohanim.) High above the entrance, near the roof, was a golden menorah.
(The reflection of the sun's rays from the Menorah each morning showed that it was time
for Keri'as Shema.) It had 2 sets of doors, one at each end of the 6 Amos thickness of
62 - Two Small Entrances - On either side of the Sanctuary entrance was a
smaller entrance to the Ta'im. The left entrance was never opened because of the verse in
63 - Thirty Eight Ta'im - Thirty eight compartments for storage; 15 on the
north side (3 levels of 5), 15 on the south side (3 levels of 5) and 8 on the west side (2
levels of 3, and another one on top of 2). Each compartment had 3 entrances; two to the
compartments on either side, and one in the ceiling to the compartment in the level
64 - Lul - An opening 8 Amos high in one of the western compartments to
allow the Shechitah of Kodshim Kalim on the west, if necessary. (see #60) 65 - Mesibah - A
ramp extended upwards from the floor at the northeast of the Sanctuary to the roof at the
northwest, level across the roof to the southwest, and upwards on the south to the
entrance of the Sanctuary attic. (The attic was rarely entered. Once in 7 years, when it
was necessary to inspect or repair the walls of the Kodesh ha'Kodashim, workmen would be
lowered in boxes from openings in the attic floor. These boxes were open in front to allow
the workmen (Kohanim, if possible) to make their repairs without viewing the rest of the
Kodesh ha'Kodashim. (King Yoash was hidden here as a child to prevent his murder by Queen
Atalyah (Melachim II 11: )
66 - Beis Horadas ha'Mayim - A corridor, 3 Amos wide, extended along the
south wall to carry off rain water from the roof of the Sanctuary, which slanted in that
67 - The Heichal - The Sanctuary was 40 Amos long, 20 Amos wide and 40
Amos high. On the outside it reached a height of 100 Amos. (King Herod raised its height
to 120 Amos (Josephus 55).
68 - Tavlah Shel Shayish - A marble slab which was removed when it was
necessary to take earth for the "bitter waters" of the Sotah. (Bamidbar
An example of a MINOAN temple palace MALIA
where clearly the drainage systems built into the alter had similar purpose
What is Koshering ?
Deuteronomy 15:3 Excluded are those species "that only
chew the cud, or them that only have the hoof cloven: the camel and the hare...because
they chew the cud, but part not the hoof...and the swine, because he parteth the hoof, but
cheweth not the cud."
Deuteronomy 15:21 " Thou shalt nor seethe a kid in its
Deuteronomy 14:21 " Ye shall not eat of anything that
dieth of itself.
Deuteronomy 15:23 "Thou shalt not eat the blood thereof;
thou shalt pour it on the ground as water."
the carcass, of the blood, was a relatively easy process, and most of the blood could be
drawn off in two stages:
Gravity drainage .
This is known as "hanafesh" in
Jewish law However the remaining body liquids in the tissues could only
be drawn off by an:
by increasing the liquid
pressure, with salt, either with solid salt crystals, or by soaking in a concentrated
brine, and attracting the remaining liquids [known as "hamatzitz" or liquid
residues, ] with a pressure difference, very similar to the process our own bodies employ
to retain the required ratio
between salt and water.
There are a number of ways
of achieving this preservation. The dehydration process includes soaking the carcass in a
"natrum" brine [ salt solution] or washing the carcass with salt brine, or
placing the carcass in a bed of salt crystals. Other methods involved, for example the
'anointing' of oils, and "broiling" with vinegar and water, to 'seal' the
carcass, if complete drainage was not possible. The process of dehydration was well known
to most ancient civilisations, and although the 'salt' process was not exclusive to all
communities, it was recognised as the easiest and the most efficient, provided that salt
was in good supply.
The preparation and the concentration of
the salinity of the brines, was not so easy and it required a sophisticated water supply
and a drainage system.
A typical example of such a system designed for this purpose
was Hezekiah's centralising of an hygenic hydraulic system in the Temple in Jerusalem,
from a fresh water source, the Gihon spring, amongst others, into a resevoir called the
Pool of Siloam [Shiloach] The water was cleverly directed through the Temple by gravity,
and exiting the Temple as waste at the southern side. 2000 ritual baths were reputed to
have been available in the Temple, with a hydraulic circuit for feeding and draining the
baths and reslurrying the salt.
. The ritual of sacrifice, and salting, which was the basis
for a healthy, life sustaining meat and protein diet, at the same time fulfilled critical
physiological needs.Itbecame part of a "covenant", particularly for the Jewish
religion, and around which, many other religions, and many religious traditions
developed:- and their "abattoir", became their temple.
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