The Temple Institute: A Day in the Life of the Holy Temple: Beginning the Day with Ritual Purification

Beginning the Day with Ritual Purification

All of the priests who were eligible and desirous of performing the first service would rise up early and purify themselves by immersing in the water of a mikvah, a special pool of naturally-collected water (such as natural spring water, or rainwater) containing the amount of 40 se'ah (app. 340 liters). This immersion was necessary for everyone, even for a priest who was certain that he had not become defiled. On account of the great sanctity of the Temple, "no man may enter into the Temple court to serve there (or for any other purpose) - even if he is already pure - until he purifies himself again by immersing" (Yoma 3,3).

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