Monday, 4 June 2018

Zevachim 52: The Sovev and Sprinkling Blood

Some brief thoughts about today's daf:

  • communal and individual sin-offerings are slaughtered on the northern side of the Temple courtyard
  • The blood from those sacrifices is collected there and taken by the priest to the altar where it is put on the four corners of the altar
  • the priest must walk up the ramp and along the edge of the the altar
  • the walk around the altar begins in the southeast corner and then moves to the north east, the northwest and the southwest corner
  • measurements of and 'steps' at the edge of the outer altar
  • description of the priest walking on that sovev, step, used while putting blood on those corners
  • this was not the main ramp leading to the altar 
  • this was a small ramp leading to the step in the southeast corner
  • the priest begins his service in the southeast corner
  • chut hasikra, the horizontal line along the altar, about 8 feet above the yesod, foundation
  • the sin-offering blood was placed above the line
  • priest must have used the sovev to effectively sprinkle the blood of the sin-offering
In my reading it is difficult to believe that worship at the altar actually took place; it is more appealing to read these practices as theoretical rather than as historical. 

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