EXTREME MAKEOVER: Temple Edition ~ The Laws on G-d’s Residence of Choice Rambam: Hilchot Beit HaBechira. Chapter 8; 10b
Episode #86 — “YOU’RE FIRED!”
In our previous Episode we learnt about a Powerful Officer who oversaw the 24 watches of Cohanim and Levites who were supposed to be minding the Har HaBayit perimeter, and Beit HaMikdash proper.
Making torch-lit rounds he would review the sentries all night-long. And he would enforce full compliance. Anyone caught sleeping on the job would receive immediate corporal punishment.
In the new Episode we learn more about radical methods of enforcement. In addition to striking the sentry with his staff, he was even allowed to light his clothes on fire!
Were Cohanim included, or did this only apply to the Levites, were such extreme measure ever actually employed, and finally, how could that even be legal?
Our illuminating analysis will shed much light on this hot button, burning issue!!