If the Menorah or any other Temple Articles were theoretically found or any of the other less significant ones like the tongs used to change the wicks on the daily basis, would it be allowed to be displayed in a museum-type place or would that be against Halacha?

  • There's zero information provided to justify the question outside of mere curiosity; yet the same curiosity compels me to upvote. – Seth J Oct 3 '13 at 13:29
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    related judaism.stackexchange.com/q/30595/759 – Double AA Oct 3 '13 at 13:47
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    Welcome to Mi Yodeya, and thanks very much for this interesting question - may it become practical speedily, in our days! Please consider registering your account, which will give you access to more of the site's features. Also, please edit your profile and give yourself a name! – Isaac Moses Oct 3 '13 at 13:59
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    @IsaacMoses No offense, but I'd prefer we merit building a new Temple than merit finding a vessel from the old one :) – Charles Koppelman Oct 3 '13 at 14:43
  • @CharlesKoppelman, me, too, but something's better than nothing. – Isaac Moses Oct 3 '13 at 18:49

You cannot benefit (hana'a) from items of Hekdesh or you may violate the Biblical prohibition of meilah. Viewing an item would not be meilah, but may be forbidden rabbinically if it is avoidable.

I'm not sure if viewing an ancient item in a museum would be considered hana'a, but if it is, then it seems it would be rabbinically forbidden.

This means even viewing the Temple could be problematic if its done for your own hana'a and is avoidable! So displaying the items in a museum may be forbidden too.


(According to the first version of the gemara in Pesachim, there is no prohibition on viewing hekdesh, but the halacha follows the second version.)

Note that the stones to the walls of Har Habayis (such as the Western Wall) may be Hekdesh also. The Romans knocked down many of them and they remain on the ground today. So don't use them to build a house or even sit on!

Update: Answer changed based on Seth J's source.

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    "or even sit on"? So one couldn't stand on the floor of the azara, either? – msh210 Oct 6 '13 at 1:28
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    if its getting personal benefit from hekdesh that could be a problem. (but usually people standing there are involved in service.) you can't lean on the stones of hekdesh or even benefit from their shade. see Rambam mechon-mamre.org/i/8908.htm#3 – Ariel K Oct 7 '13 at 16:31
  • @ArielK, Pesaḥim 25b-26a discusses sitting in the shade of the Temple, and even looking at the walls of the Temple. – Seth J Oct 7 '13 at 17:58
  • @msh210 That is mechubar lakarka. – Double AA Oct 7 '13 at 18:10
  • @SethJ, changed answer. I guess I held like the first version in the gemara initially! I'm still not sure if this would be "hana'a" though, since I assume the items won't be viewed for aesthetic pleasure. – Ariel K Oct 7 '13 at 18:24

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