Questions tagged [architecture-design]

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Why was Herod allowed to renovate the Temple?

Follow-up to this question. Why was Herod even allowed (/why was it suggested to him) to renovate the Temple, considering that he had so much blood on his hands? It was for this reason that David wasn'...
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1 vote
0 answers
55 views

Is cutting corners in the Temple allowed?

Last week I went on an archeology studies field trip from my university. We toured parts of the City of David and around and under the Kotel. It turns out that the bottom-most blocks that form the ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Side Ramps on the Mizbeach [closed]

Someone asked me to build him a model of the mizbeach for his class. I understand the dimensions of the mizbach from the Mesaches Middos in the beginning of the third perek. It does not discuss the ...
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4 votes
0 answers
45 views

The prohibition of "Bekhukoteyem" (in their likeness) and the Jewish architecture

"Rabbi Yehuda says: One who did not see the great synagogue [deyofloston] of Alexandria of Egypt never saw the glory of Israel: They said that its structure was like a large basilica, with a ...
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7 votes
1 answer
393 views

What is the platform on the side of Me'arat Hamachpela?

When I recently visited Me'arat Hamachpela ("Cave of the Patriarchs) in Hevron, I noticed that there was a ramp leading to a platform facing the outside wall of the building. A few people were praying ...
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7 votes
1 answer
186 views

What was the shape of Noach's Teivah? Box or Houseboat?

I always recall learning that Noach's Teivah was a box-like shape. The secular world have always depicted it as a houseboat. The secular site of the Teivah's resting place which is the most ...
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1 vote
0 answers
67 views

Online Depictions of the Colorful Second Temple

Are there any artistic depictions, available online, of the multicolored appearance of the Second Temple, based on archaeological finds (see, e.g., here), or, e.g., the depiction of the blue/green and ...
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3 votes
3 answers
343 views

Fitting the Sanhedrin (150) into Lishkat Hagazit (10x15 feet chamber)?

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, According to those plans, the size of the whole Lishkat ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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slanted sukka roof frame [duplicate]

Would a sukkah frame design with a slant on the roof, e.g. following the diagram on this page, be kosher?
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2 votes
0 answers
41 views

How do we know/why do we assume the mishkan's components were rectangular?

The sizes of the objects in the mishkan are mostly described in terms of 3 lengths. E.g. שמות כה:י: וְעָשׂ֥וּ אֲר֖וֹן עֲצֵ֣י שִׁטִּ֑ים אַמָּתַ֨יִם וָחֵ֜צִי אָרְכּ֗וֹ וְאַמָּ֤ה וָחֵ֙צִי֙ רָחְבּ֔וֹ ...
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3 votes
0 answers
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Carrying under second story deck

I recently spent Shabbos in an area where there was no community eiruv. The house I stayed in had a deck that one could walk out onto from the second story of the house. The deck was enclosed by walls ...
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1 vote
0 answers
39 views

Two Towers in Schul Façade

I have noticed in many examples of traditional Ashkenazi schul architecture that there are two towers flanking the entrance. Examples may be seen in such disparate locations as Gąbin, Poland (Gombin),...
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2 votes
1 answer
3k views

Closing up a window

Someone mentioned to me that there are some Jews who have a Jewish tradition to be careful to never close up/cover a window due to some sort of danger. Can someone give me some of the parameters for ...
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4 votes
2 answers
64 views

Shemot describes the construction of the tabernacle. I have a question about the engineering

In the description of the construction of the tabernacle in Shemot (Exodus) 26 The JPS translation of Exodus 26:28, it says "and the middle bar in the midst of the boards, which shall pass through ...
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10 votes
2 answers
434 views

Jewish Minecraft instructions?

My 8 year old son wants to build a mizbeyach or a simple beit hamikdash structure on Minecraft. I know nothing about Minecraft and he is not great at it, though he uses it a lot. Does anyone know how ...
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12 votes
3 answers
401 views

What are the halachic considerations that might come up when designing and building a house

I'm curious what are the Halachic considerations that need to be taken into account when building a house. A few possibilities that come to mind may include: position of the bathroom (Rambam, ...
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4 votes
3 answers
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How did the Kerashim / Beams of the Mishkan remain upright?

The beams that constituted the walls of the Mishkan seem to be free standing. They did have rings at the top to hold them to each other and there was the 2 outer bars and one inner bar that also acted ...
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  • 287
12 votes
1 answer
178 views

Where would a mezuzah go on a completely round doorway?

I’ve recently come across the site of a construction company making houses modeled after hobbit holes. I don’t know how this company is going to shape the doorways, but the image below is how they’re ...
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2 votes
2 answers
100 views

Is there nowadays any advantage in having an Ark which is movable?

The Mishnah in Taanis 2 (1) refers to the practice of taking the Ark out of the synagogue into the the town square on the more serious fasts for rain and putting ashes on the ark: סדר תענייות כיצד::...
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3 votes
1 answer
216 views

Does a succah require a definitive roof?

Let's say your entire succah is made from very large bamboo poles, which are eligible to be used for schach. You decide to make a true 3-sided pyramid, where you lay the poles at an angle making a 3-...
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2 votes
2 answers
296 views

May a 3 sided pyramid (almost) be used as a succah?

Talmud succah states that a succah must have a minimum of 3 sides. Can a person build a 3-sided pyramid, but rather than a "full" pyramid, where all the sides meet at the same point at the top, let's ...
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  • 69k
6 votes
1 answer
232 views

Mezuzah on window

Many homes have a porch over the first level which is only accessible by going out and back in through a window on the second level. Would this window/doorway require a mezuzah? Is there something ...
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5 votes
0 answers
34 views

Apartment buildings higher than the shul

Shabbat 11a states that a city in which houses (but not towers or castles/fortresses [unsure about the translation]) are built higher than the synagogue will eventually be destroyed. ואמר רבא בר ...
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1 vote
1 answer
446 views

What is the ideal design of a synagogue?

What guidance is given for ideal qualities of a synagogue? (eg what shape) Since most buildings require a degree of compromise, are we told which architectural features should be actively avoided? ...
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4 votes
0 answers
164 views

Where does the zecher lechurban go in an apartment building?

(A zecher lechurban here refers to the part of a house that is intentionally left unfinished to commemorate the Temple's destruction.) In an apartment building, does there have to be a zecher ...
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3 votes
1 answer
131 views

Opposite vs. closer regarding the amah-by-amah

The gemara in Bava Batra 60b records a takkana d'rabanan (Rabbinic enactment) to leave a square cubit unfinished in one's house in commemoration of the destruction of the Temple (codified in the ...
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1 vote
1 answer
208 views

Genesis 39:20 Potiphar's prison

Was the prison into which Joseph was placed (Genesis 39:20) located in Potiphar's basement?
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5 votes
0 answers
143 views

Can you carry an object from the step outside your house inside your house?

According to the laws of carrying on shabbos one may not carry from one domain to another aside from a makom petur ("exempt area"). A makom petur is less that 4X4 handbreadths and more than three ...
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3 votes
1 answer
450 views

"Pulpit" on the Bimah

In most Orthodox Ashkenazi schuls, it is customary to have a lectern (the amud) at the front of the room, below the duchan, from whence the baal tefillah leads. Typically, I have noticed that it is ...
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15 votes
2 answers
259 views

Why didn't the Israelites build Yechezkel's temple when they returned from exile?

G-d gave Yechezkel the blueprints for what is now known as the third temple. Later the Israelites returned from exile and built the second temple... according to the blueprints of the first one? Why? ...
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3 votes
1 answer
130 views

Kohen-accessible Cenotaph

Scenario: An architect is building an extension onto a cemetery. As it will engulf the section traditionally reserved for Kohanim, he wishes to build an "overpass" with cenotaphs holding the ...
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1 vote
0 answers
55 views

Hagbah in a partitioned room

Over Yom Tov I was in a shul which was converted from a house into a shul. The sanctuary was divided by a walled staircase, such that one could not see from one part into the other, like so: | | ...
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1 vote
2 answers
213 views

Questions related to shul structure

I am seeking sources related to the origin of the physical structure of a shul. Specifically: Placement of the ark in the front of the shul. Torah reader's bimah - I've seen 3 arrangements: Most ...
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14 votes
4 answers
593 views

Why was שמאי holding a ruler?

The Bavli, Shabas 31 amud 1, has two stories in which a gentile came to Shamay asking to be converted to Judaism, upon which Shamay "pushed him with the construction cubit in his hand". Rashi explains ...
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14 votes
1 answer
631 views

Was the Shamir worm used for the second Beis Hamikdash?

Shlomo Hamelech used a 'Shamir' worm to quarry and cut the stones for the first Beis Hamikdash. Did they still have this worm for the second Beis Hamikdash? If not, how were the stones cut (as no ...
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6 votes
1 answer
3k views

Why was Batsheva bathing on the roof

In 2 Shmuel 11:2 it says that Dovid saw "וַיְהִי לְעֵת הָעֶרֶב וַיָּקָם דָּוִד מֵעַל מִשְׁכָּבוֹ וַיִּתְהַלֵּךְ עַל־גַּג בֵּית־הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיַּרְא אִשָּׁה רֹחֶצֶת מֵעַל הַגָּג וְהָאִשָּׁה טוֹבַת ...
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5 votes
2 answers
186 views

Prayer in the "House of the One"

I recently read this article on the new "House of the One". The building will feature three separated spaces for prayer: a mosque, a church, and a synagogue. There will be a central courtyard, but ...
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5 votes
1 answer
144 views

Can one declare an area to be "not a shul" if it is in the same room as a shul?

Recently, my congregation moved into a temporary space while a new building is under construction. This space is essentially a single large room into which all the various elements of the old building ...
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4 votes
2 answers
364 views

Explanations from חז״ל for Noah's ark?

Today, a very learned friend of mine and I were discussing the difficulty of the literal interpretation of Noah's ark. That is, we could not fathom how multiple samples of every animal on earth could ...
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4 votes
0 answers
125 views

Where exactly should the amud be placed?

In some synagogues I have seen the amud (lectern) from where the chazan (prayer leader) stands to say the prayers, placed a few feet in front of the aron (cabinet) where the torah is kept or between ...
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1 vote
2 answers
82 views

Washing station where one eats

We have a small synagogue: the room where we pray gets converted into the dining area. The back wall of the room has a washing station already. There is some money to update the synagogue, and some ...
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3 votes
1 answer
98 views

Building on top of an aron kodesh

Are there any halachic parameters regarding a building which has an aron kodesh in it and what may or may not be built on top, meaning on the floors above? For example it would seem to me that it ...
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19 votes
1 answer
387 views

Why was the side door to the hechal unlocked so oddly?

The hechal (central room) of the bes hamikdash had its main entrance on its eastern end. To either side of that entrance were cubicles, and the main-floor cubicles on each side had a door to the east ...
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3 votes
0 answers
585 views

Why was the Israelite section in the Beis Hamikdash so small?

The size of the Ezras Israel (where male Israelites are allowed) is 11 Ammos (cubits) long while the Ezras Nashim is so big (135x135 cubits). Yet, it was the men who had to be Oleh Regel (when the "...
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  • 39.9k
3 votes
1 answer
390 views

Who needs a fence around their roof?

I recently called an exterminator to remove a hornets' nest in a tree overhanging my roof. Since my roof is slanted, with no direct access to it, and it starts at about 9 feet off the ground and peaks ...
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2 votes
0 answers
507 views

How is a ten tefachim wall hard to use?

The Gemara in Eiruvin 77a says that when a ten tefachim wall is between two courtyards, but is less than that to one courtyard (the floor of the courtyard is heigher), we give it to the one which is ...
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2 votes
1 answer
302 views

Mikvah with three additional chambers

I was looking at documentation of a mikvah being constructed, and it confused me. In addition to the immersion pool, this mikvah had three additional chambers. From what I have gathered, they appear ...
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5 votes
4 answers
187 views

Doors and Doorways in Parshat Vayeira

In this weeks parsha of Vayeira, I counted 6 references to the words דלת and פתח, all in the story of Lot and Sodom. I don't believe this is a coincidence, since its all about standing in the door, ...
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8 votes
1 answer
984 views

Filling a Mikvah from the Faucet

I read a book by Rabbi David Miller (1869 – 1939) ( he had semicha from Rabbi Isaac Elchanan of Kovno ) , The Secret of the Jew, which says you can fill an empty mikveh straight from a faucet (see ...
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4 votes
0 answers
81 views

Are adjoining Sukkoth ok?

Is there any reason* neighbors could not build adjoining Sukkoth? What I mean is, suppose there were four** row houses, which shared an open patio/courtyard with four** row houses behind them, and ...
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