EXTREME MAKEOVER: Temple Edition ~ Laws on G-d’s Residence of Choice Rambam: Beit HaBechira. Chapter 7; 18-19
Episode #67 – “THE GREAT OUTDOORS” Moving inwards from the Ezrat Kohanim (lit. Courtyard of Cohanim) we encounter outdoor space known as the “Arena of the Alter.” From this point onwards, additional biblical grade restrictions (at least in the opinion of the Rambam) apply, although by scriptural ordination there was never any formal line of sacred scrimmage drawn.
This, of course, sounds rather odd and does require a fuller explanation. Yet, the fact remains that notwithstanding, absence of Torah Law defining a shift in space, the increased level of restriction applies by dint of an actual biblical verses.
Furthermore, from Rambam’s perspective it remains reflective, or perhaps is even tethered to the Commandment of the “Awe and Reverence” due at the hollowed site of the Beit HaMikdash. A Mitzvah that is woven into the entire fabric of this variegated chapter.
Interestingly, at this point the rules that disallow entry refer not to ordinary Israelites (which is self understood) but rather Cohanim who are not allowed to serve due to physical blemish, (lack of sobriety) and being in a dishevelled or unkempt state. Here, the no trespassing rule is due to a clearly defined status exemplified by “Broken Bodies” or “Torn Tunics.”
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