1. Here's the Tifferes Isroel's plan of the Temple drown to scale (on the bottom), which aligns with the plan of the Second Temple on the WIKI,

enter image description here

According to those plans, the size of the whole Lishkat Hagazit was about 25 Amas long (12 meters/40 feet) - close to the Mizbeach which was 32 Amas by 32 Amas.

  1. The Gemmorah in Yomah 25a limits the Sanhedrin to half of that size:

"אמר אביי שמע מינה לשכת הגזית חציה בקדש וחציה בחול ושמע מינה שני פתחים היו לה אחד פתוח בקדש ואחד פתוח בחול"

Bartenurah explains the reason perfectly:

"שם היתה סנהדרי גדולה של ישראל יושבת. בצד החול שבה. לפי שלשכת הגזית היתה חציה בקודש וחציה בחול, ובחציה של קודש לא היה אפשר לסנהדרין לשבת, שאין ישיבה בעזרה אלא למלכי בית דוד בלבד וכו'."

Therefore, if you look closely, the Sanhedrin can only accommodate the part that's INSIDE THE WALL, which is Chol, which is about 7x10 Amas (or 3.5x5 meters, 10x15 feet), less than my living room (not pictured here).

  1. The Sanhedrin seated at least 71 judges, 3 rows of 23 students (69) and a couple of servants - a total of 150 people.

This is a "sample" 17th-century depictions of the Sanhedrin, where [only] 49 (not 71) judges sit comfortably side by side (just for fun). Lishkat Hagazit WIKI.

  1. No sources mention a miracle by which the Sanhedrin fitted in (unlike the miracle of fitting people in the Temple - Mishnah in Avot).

Please, explain how 150 people sit comfortably in a 10 by 15 feet chamber?

  • 3
    How wide was it? I’m also struggling to find where you’re getting 100-140 Amos from. I’m not sure that an artistic rendition from the 1700’s found on Wikipedia is necessarily the best source to its dimensions.
    – DonielF
    Sep 16, 2018 at 1:42
  • @DonielF That was my first sentence - look at the plans on WIKI or elsewhere - the Lishkat Hagazit is hardly larger than the Mizbeah (32 Amas)
    – Al Berko
    Sep 30, 2018 at 0:56
  • I don’t see anything on that link that gives a number. Further, it doesn’t give the width; remember that they sat in a semicircle rather than a line, so that affects the math.
    – DonielF
    Sep 30, 2018 at 2:22
  • @DonielF If you look at the plan, you can compare the Lishka with the width of the Mizbeah - 32 Amas.
    – Al Berko
    Sep 30, 2018 at 2:33
  • You assume that it’s drawn to scale. How do you know this? How do you know it’s accurate?
    – DonielF
    Sep 30, 2018 at 2:36

3 Answers 3


there are mefarshim that are mashma that the liskas hagazis was built on pillars and was in the azara but since its a second floor it doesnt have kedushas azara and ppl could sit there. Here are 2 posts which go thru all the problems and give a few answers:



  • Thank you, he arrives at the conclusion that the chamber was outside the Temple completely.
    – Al Berko
    Aug 26, 2019 at 18:43

Another answer i saw is that it was on a 2nd floor building built on pillars and opened to the cheil so that half didnt have kedushas azara but the entire building was in the azra


While this is not a true answer, I've just bumped into a hint Succah (8a):

"אמר ליה רב אסי לרב אשי לעולם גברא באמתא יתיב" - that one [regular, not a judge] person occupies one Ama.

Another view is even smaller (ibid):

"א"ל מר קשישא בריה דרב חסדא לרב אשי מי סברת גברא באמתא יתיב תלתא גברי בתרתי אמתא יתבי" - three men are seated in two Amas.

The first estimate of 71 people sitting in a perfect half-circle gives us 71*2/pi=47 Amas (23 meters) and the second is even better ~16 meters, which fits the size of the Mizbeach - 16 meters.

So if a person can theoretically occupy (according to R' Kashisha) about 1 foot like in Succah calculations then they all can fit the Lishkah! Hurray!

  • Keep reading in the Gemara. Mar Keshisha is disproven, and the Gemara comes out like Rav Assi.
    – DonielF
    Sep 30, 2018 at 2:21
  • @DonielF Yes I know, that's why I brought it second, not first, but it gives the best approximation.
    – Al Berko
    Sep 30, 2018 at 2:22
  • Similar judaism.stackexchange.com/a/55534/759
    – Double AA
    Oct 3, 2018 at 15:51
  • @DoubleAA I don’t get the relevance.
    – DonielF
    Oct 3, 2018 at 16:03
  • 1
    @Donie both use the Gemara in Sukkah to calculate unrelated areas
    – Double AA
    Oct 3, 2018 at 16:08

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