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Leviticus 16:23-24a says, “Then Aaron is to go into the tent of meeting and take off the linen garments he put on before he entered the Most Holy Place, and he is to leave them there. He shall bathe himself with water in the sanctuary area and put on his regular garments."

Where did the high priest store his garments once the Temple was built? (I'm specifically asking about the second Temple.) Did the tent of meeting exist next to the Temple? Was there a separate room in the Temple used in place of this tent? Was it attached to the Temple or separate? If separate, where was it located?

Where did the high priest keep his clothes when serving in the Temple?

  • My understanding had always been that the Tent of Meeting in the Mishkan was comparable to the Heichal in the Beis HaMikdash. – DonielF Jul 21 '16 at 22:03
  • Thanks, Monica, you have captured the essence of my question. I am also interested in the relationship between where the garments were stored and the Antonia Fortress which was positioned slightly north of the Harrods's Temple because I read somewhere that the garments were stored there, and to my mind, storing such holy items in a military facility is a conflict of interest. – Allyn Shell Jul 22 '16 at 14:05
  • Masechet Tamid states that the Kohanim slept in the Hall of the Flame/Fire which straddled the wall enclosing the Azarah. I have also seen an illustration showing their clothes being stored in there as well. – HaLailah HaZeh Mar 6 '17 at 5:13
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The Mishna in Middos 1:4 refers to a room underneath the Courtyard (Ezras Yisrael), with an entrance to the Women's Courtyard, called Lishkas Pinchas HaMalbish, the Room of Pinchas the Dresser, where all of the priests' priestly garments were stored. It is possible that the High Priest had a separate storage place for his own garments, but this is not specified anywhere.

The specific (two sets of) linen garments used during the Yom Kippur temple service, which Leviticus 16:23 is talking about, were not reused, even from the morning service to the afternoon service. This is understood from the words "והניחם שם", And he shall leave them there. (Rashi to v.23). His regular garments in v.24 refer to the normal set of 8 garments that the High Priest normally wore during temple service.

It is important to note that traditionally (Yoma 32a, cited by Rashi), this verse is understood to be somewhat cryptic and slightly out of place, as it describes an event that occurs after v.24-25:

"[After performing his burnt offering etc. (v.24) and the sin offering (v.25)] Aaron shall come [again] to the Tent of Meeting* [to remove the pan of incense]. [Then] he shall take off the linen garments he [had] put on when he entered the Most Holy Place, and he shall leave them there."

* In the First and Second Temples, the "Tent of the Meeting" was replaced by the Sanctuary (Heichal) and the Inner Sanctuary (Kodshei Kodoshim).

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