The Temple Institute: A Day in the Life of the Holy Temple: Three Fires Atop the Altar

Three Fires Atop the Altar

Three separate piles of wood burned atop the altar. The largest of these arrangements was designated to receive all the sacrifices; the second provided the coals for the incense altar within the sanctuary, and the third was the "perpetual fire" which constantly burned on the altar, as the verse states (Lev. 6:5) "And a fire shall burn there on the altar constantly; it shall not be extinguished." A large pile of ashes formed in the center of the altar from the remnants of these fires. G-d commanded that the coals be removed from here, and brought to another location outside of the Holy Temple which was known as the "place of ashes."

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