17 votes
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Why was the second Beit HaMikdash destroyed?

The following is a list of Talmudic and Midrashic sources I've compiled, which address the destruction of the second Beit HaMikdash and suggested catalysts for this tragedy. I've included a brief ...
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17 votes
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How did the Kohanim eat in the Azara?

Tosafot to Yoma 25a discuss whether the kohanim sat down to eat korbanot in the 'azarah. They suggest three approaches: They would eat standing up in the 'azarah, due to the prohibition on sitting ...
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16 votes
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Was the Shamir worm used for the second Beis Hamikdash?

According to the Mishna (Sotah 9:12), the Shamir wasn't extinct until the destruction of the second Beis Hamikdash. ט:יב משמתו נביאים הראשונים, בטלו אורים ותומים. משחרב בית המקדש, בטל השמיר ונופת ...
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16 votes
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Do Kohanim fast on Yom Kippur in the Bet Hamikdash?

They would fast and would eat whatever sacrifices needed eating the following night (11 Tishrei) after the fast ended. We know this because the Mishna (Menachot 11:7) discusses how they would eat it ...
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13 votes

Cleaning blood from the temple

It is logical to think that the priests were careful, so that the blood only landed on the floor, and not on the actual curtains. Regarding Beit HaMikdash, the whole place was covered with aqueducts ...
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13 votes
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Can a Chanukah menorah share a single oil source?

The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch brings a case when one has a bowl filled with oil and places wicks around the perimeter to make a menorah. (Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 139:9) הַנֵּרוֹת, יִהְיוּ בְּשׁוּרָה אַחַת ...
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12 votes
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Was Yonah able to visit the Beis HaMikdash? What about other prophets of his time?

Your question assumes that there were guards blocking anyone from crossing from Judah to Israel. The background of the assumption is probably the following two sources: Sanhedrin 102a, according to ...
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12 votes
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Why was it improper to stick out a thumb in the Temple?

The Mishnah there is describing how certain jobs in the Basis Hamikdash would be appointed if there were multiple Kohanim vying for the same job. The Kohanim would form a circle around the supervisor, ...
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11 votes
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Could stones cut with a high powered laser be used to build the Beit Hamikdash?

Although the verse in Exodus (20:22) doesn't specify the type of metal used to cut the mizbeach, the verse in Deuteronomy (27:5) writes specifically that iron is prohibited. This is similarly implied ...
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11 votes
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In what sense did G-d live in the Temple, in the understanding of Jews prior to the Temple's destruction?

I have also thought about the same question and have come up with what seems most logical to me. I too think that talking about "God living" in the Beit HaMikdash causes many unnecessary ...
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Cleaning blood from the temple

To supplement, not supplant, Cauthon's good answer, I'll note that the mishna (Midos chapter 3) says that the altar and its ramp would be cleaned every Friday with a cloth, because of the blood. (This ...
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10 votes

Jewish Minecraft instructions?

Here is a YouTube video of someone's actual Minecraft model of the (first) Beit Hamikdash. If building based on that isn't enough, they provide some links in the video description. Disclaimer: I don'...
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9 votes

Why didn't the Kohanim wear Tzizis?

First of all, to clarify what the question is/should be, there's no obligation to wear tzitzis under normal circumstances, unless one is wearing a four cornered garment. Hence, the fact that tzitzis ...
9 votes
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Does the Beis Hamikdash require Mezuzos?

Fantastic Question! Yoma 11b asks this exact question, and answers that it does not require a Mezuzah: יכול שאני מרבה אף הר הבית והלשכות והעזרות ת"ל בית מה בית שהוא חול אף כל שהוא חול יצאו אלו ...
8 votes

Did people who were not priests ever enter the Tabernacle?

How about Yoav (Melachim I, 2:29)? He goes into "Ohel Hashem" (literally translated as Tabernacle in some places), and holds onto the "horns of the altar". Yoav was not a cohen (...
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8 votes

the lechem hapanim was NOT chametz - where is the source for this?

Second Rashi Pesachim 37a quoting Menachos 27a says that they were not allowed to be Chametz. Thanks to Rabbi David Lau for this answer. The Gemara Menachos quoted by Rashi as 27a it really Menachos ...
8 votes

Floor of Bais Hamikdash

It's the Mishna Shekalim 6:2. מעשה בכהן אחד שהיה מתעסק וראה הרצפה שהיא משונה מחברותיה בא ואמר לחברו לא הספיק לגמור את הדבר עד שיצתה נשמתו וידעו ביחוד ששם הארון נגנז:‏ It once happened that ...
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8 votes

Can a Chanukah menorah share a single oil source?

Yes you can learn this from Shulchan Aruch Orach Chayim 671, 3: נר שיש לו שתי פיות, עולה לו בשביל שנים.‏ an oil lamp which has two "mouthpieces" is considered as two lamps. Despite that ...
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8 votes

Why didn't Titus consort with someone worse than a harlot?

While I don't think that the premise for the question is very strong, as Titus may or many not have known about the technical severity of different relationships, and may or may not have cared, as ...
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8 votes
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How does the Motza Temple fit into our tradition?

From what I've gathered so far, researchers seem to agree that this temple was built prior to the religious reforms enacted by Kings Chizkiyahu and Yoshiyahu1. On-site, the altar and other cultish/...
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7 votes

Why was building the foundation of the second temple so emotional?

I think it means that they cried because they saw that the building was going to be smaller than the Temple that Shlomo HaMelech built, which is something that you can see from the size of the ...
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7 votes
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Where in halachah does it say that one is forbidden to go onto the Har HaBayis?

The Rambam in Sefer haMitzvos says in מצוה עח: שהזהיר לכל טמא להכנס תוך מחנה לוייה שכמוהו לדורות הר הבית That the Torah commands us not to go into the Levite camp if one is impure, which corresponds ...
7 votes
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Could the Temple vessels become tamei? What happens?

This is discussed in Mishna Chagiga 3:8. As seen below, most keilim could become tamei, at which point they would be subject to same purification process as a person -- sprinkling of ashes and mikvah. ...
7 votes
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Why don't we care if the Pesach pilgrims get rained on?

Daf Al Hadaf brings this question from Kovetz Bais Hillel He brings a few answers, two of them are below. Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach answers that when Jews went to Jerusalem for Succos they were ...
7 votes

Did people who were not priests ever enter the Tabernacle?

Dafdigest for Eruvin 105. I have extracted parts of the article which speaks about workers working in the Temple on the plating which was fastened on the walls of the Kodesh Kodoshim. The inside ...
7 votes
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Was the fast of Tisha B'av in effect during the second temple era?

This is a matter of dispute between the Rishonim. The Rambam in his commentary to the Mishna (Rosh Hashana 1, 3) wrote that the people observed the fast of Tisha b'Av even during the period of the ...
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7 votes

Are there any Jewish records of Ananus ben Ananus aside from Josephus?

Beit Chanan (Ananus ben Ananus in Hebrew is Chanan ben Chanan (חנן בן חנן)) appears in Sifrei Devarim 105:22 ("Beit Chanan" in at least one MS per the Finkelstein edition; "Bnei Chanan&...
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7 votes

Cleaning blood from the temple

In addition to the other answers, we have some evidence that blood did land on the veil in the Holy of Holies when the Kohein Gadol (High Priest) sprinkled it there on Yom Kippur, and that they weren'...
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7 votes
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What did the Kohanim do if there was nobody who hadn't already done the K'toret?

מִי שֶׁלֹּא זָכָה בַקְּטֹרֶת כָּל יָמָיו יָבֹא וְיָפִיס. וְלֹא הָיוּ מַנִּיחִים לְמִי שֶׁזָּכָה בָהּ פַּעַם אַחַת לִשְׁנוֹת בָּהּ, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁמַּעֲשֶׁרֶת, דִּכְתִיב (דְּבָרִים לג) יָשִׂימוּ קְטוֹרָה ...
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7 votes
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Status of stones that fell out of the Kotel

This article quotes Rav Yitzchak Herzog (Heichal Yitzchak OC 18). I do not have access to this source to confirm the accuracy of the following discussion, so take this with a grain of salt until it ...
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