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The prophet Ezekiel (46:9) tells us of an obligation when visiting the Temple.

וּבְב֨וֹא עַם־הָאָ֜רֶץ לִפְנֵ֣י יְהוָה֮ בַּמּֽוֹעֲדִים֒ הַבָּ֡א דֶּרֶךְ־שַׁ֨עַר צָפ֜וֹן לְהִֽשְׁתַּחֲוֺ֗ת יֵצֵא֙ דֶּרֶךְ־שַׁ֣עַר נֶ֔גֶב וְהַבָּא֙ דֶּרֶךְ־שַׁ֣עַר נֶ֔גֶב יֵצֵ֖א דֶּרֶךְ־שַׁ֣עַר צָפ֑וֹנָה לֹ֣א יָשׁ֗וּב דֶּ֤רֶךְ הַשַּׁ֙עַר֙ אֲשֶׁר־בָּ֣א ב֔וֹ כִּ֥י נִכְח֖וֹ יצאו [יֵצֵֽא׃]

But on the fixed occasions, when the common people come before the LORD, whoever enters by the north gate to bow low shall leave by the south gate; and whoever enters by the south gate shall leave by the north gate. They shall not go back through the gate by which they came in, but shall go out by the opposite one.

We see one should leave through a different gate than the one they entered from. Is this an obligation? A nice thing to do? Does the Rambam or others bring it as a halacha? I did see the Ben Ish Chai says it's a mitzvah to do this with a synagogue, but I'm looking for the Temple specifically (first, second, and third).

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    Great question. I am only aware of the comparison to a shul by e.g. the Chafetz Chaim (Sefer HaMitzvot HaKatzar, #18) and the Mishnah Berurah 141:25. I will read along with possible answers.
    – Shmuel
    Apr 2 at 20:16

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I recall seeing in the שיחות of Rav Chaim Shmuelivitz זצ"ל in the name of Rav Yosef (Hachasid) Yaavetz that this is an obligation, as going out through the same entrance creates a familiarity with the Temple area, which, because of its sanctity, must be avoided. But I have neither ספרים at hand to check it. Will try and find it and post it.

I have finally had a chance to look into it a little bit. In מדות ב-ב it states: כָּל הַנִּכְנָסִין לְהַר הַבַּיִת נִכְנָסִין דֶּרֶךְ יָמִין וּמַקִּיפִין וְיוֹצְאִין דֶּרֶךְ שְׂמֹאל and the רמב"ם paskens that in הל' בית הבחירה ז-ג. From the ר"ב it appears (and so understands the תוס יו"ט the ר"ב) that he learns that one has to leave through another gate than through the one he entered. As exit gate he (quoting whom?) uses as example שער טדי. The תוי"ט points out that this can't be true, as the משנה earlier (א-ג) told us that שער טדי served no purpose. He points to the פירוש הרמב"ם who seems to learn that the שער טדי was only used as an indication which way to walk. As such, it isn't clear whether according to the רמב"ם one may leave through the same gate or not.

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  • To be honest his sicha is how I came up with the question. He talks about it in Sichos Mussar § 11, quoting HaChossid Ya’avetz to Avos 1:4. He doesn't say it's an obligation, and even if he would, I'm looking for a halachic source, not a mussar source. Thanks!
    – robev
    Apr 5 at 19:50

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