There is a "classic" model of the Beis Hamikdash (I think it's from the HolyLand model).

Are there any sources for the decisions taken in the model (for example, what components were done based on

  1. Rambam/Mishna [Jewish traditional sources]
  2. Josephus
  3. Archeology
  4. Assumptions of the designer. )

For example, most models that I've seen had those triangles on top of the Ulam (which are meant to chase away the birds) the same size (and the same amount of) as other models. Is this based on anything or just an assumption of the architect behind the Holyland design?

  • @msh210 You added the tag "ouhistory." I can't figure out the meaning of it. Is it possible that it was a typo and you meant to write "history" by itself?
    – b a
    Jan 2, 2013 at 7:18
  • @ba, I have no recollection of what I meant. Probably history. But I'm not sure (now) that that's a good tag for this question.
    – msh210
    Jan 2, 2013 at 14:43
  • Professor Avi Yonah, of the Hebrew University, based his model of 2nd Temple Jerusalem on Mishnah, Gemarah, the writings of Josephus and other lesser known classical sources, as well as the best archeology of his day (completed 1967). Some of his decisions have been shown to be incorrect by further excavations, such as the locations of the theater and hippodrome. As to his specific decisions about the Beit Hamikdash, I don't know his thinking, but he was a widely published author, and I'm sure you could find him discussing it somewhere by searching for books and articles he wrote. Hatzlacha!
    – Eitan Levy
    Mar 4, 2013 at 10:31

3 Answers 3


I know there is a model in the Chabad library that is based on the opinion of the Rambam.

It was made by Rabbi Dov Lavnoni, and he published a book with pictures of the model, and sources for all the design choices etc.

although i can't seem to be able to find any links to buy it other than this: http://www.gilboabooks.co.il

here is also a video of him speaking about making the model: Youtube


The Holyland Hotel model of Jerusalem was designed by Israeli historian and geographer Michael Avi Yonah. He based his model on the writings of Flavius Josephus and on other historic writings, according to Wikipedia. If one compares the model (or the one in the Western Wall tunnel) to the description of Herod's remodeled Temple in Babylonian Talmud Tractates Tamid and Yoma, I think you'll find that they are pretty close. The Art Scroll edition of Yoma, Vol I has a really good diagram and their edition of Tamid has many illustrations that are helpful as well. As for the anti-bird devices, the Talmud (in Tamid, I think) states that they existed there for that purpose.

  • 4
    I don't think that's what he's asking.
    – Seth J
    Jan 2, 2013 at 21:00
  • 3
    Or the mishnayis of middos.
    – sam
    Mar 4, 2013 at 1:33
  • 1
    I know there were anti-bird devices. I just don't remember a number mentioned. Dec 30, 2013 at 23:35

The anti-bird devices (called כָּלֵה עוֹרֵב) are discussed in Middot Chapter 4 Mishnah 6. The Tanna states that on the roof of the Heikhal, there was a fence 3 amot high and above that were the anti-bird devices 1 amah high. Rabbi Yehuda disagrees and says that the anti-bird devices were not included the the total 100 amot height of the Heikhal and rather the fence was 4 amot.

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