Keys for the Temple

 

Keys for the Temple

70 cm /49,5 cm
acrylic paint and ink on paper
text: Mishna, fragments of tractate Middot, describing the measurements and the plan of Beit Hamikdash.

“The great gate had two wickets, one to the North and one to the South. By the one to the South no man ever went in, and concerning this the rule was distinctly laid down by the mouth of Ezekiel, as it says, and the Lord said unto me: this gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, neither shall any man enter in by it, for the Lord God of Israel hath entered in by it; therefore it shall be shut. He [the priest] took the key and opened the [northern] wicket and went in to the cell, and from the cell he went in to the Hekal”.(Mishna, Middot 4:2)

“At the time of the destruction of the first Beit Hamikdash, groups of young priests, holding the keys of the Bet Hamikdash in their hands, climbed up to the roof of the Sanctuary and exclaimed: Master of the universe! Since we were not privileged to be faithful treasurers, we herewith return the keys. They then threw the keys upward toward heaven, and a semblance of a hand appeared and took hold of the keys”. (Talmud Bavli, Taanit 29a)

(based on Soncino translation)