Yoma 16bיומא ט״ז ב
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16bט״ז ב

עשר אמות כנגד פתחו של היכל י"א אמה לצפון וי"א אמה לדרום נמצא מזבח מכוון כנגד היכל וכותליו

Ten of those cubits stood opposite the entrance to the Sanctuary. Eleven of those cubits were to the north of the entrance and eleven of those cubits were to the south of the entrance. It follows that the altar was aligned precisely opposite the Sanctuary and its walls. According to this opinion, since the altar was directly aligned with the entrance of the Sanctuary, it blocked the entrance. The floor of Israelite courtyard was thirteen and a half cubits above the threshold of the Eastern Gate. Add nine cubits, which was the height of the altar, and the result is that the top of the altar was twenty-two and a half cubits higher than the threshold of the gate, rendering it impossible to see the entrance of the Sanctuary through the eastern gate of the Temple Mount. Therefore, it was necessary to lower the eastern wall to enable the priest standing on the Mount of Olives to see the entrance of the Sanctuary.

ואי סלקא דעתך מדות ר' יהודה היא מזבח באמצע עזרה מי משכחת ליה והתנן כל העזרה היתה אורך מאה ושמונים ושבע על רוחב מאה ושלשים וחמש מן המזרח למערב מאה ושמונים ושבע מקום דריסת רגלי ישראל י"א אמה מקום דריסת רגלי הכהנים י"א אמה מזבח שלשים ושתים בין האולם ולמזבח עשרים ושתים וההיכל ק' אמה וי"א אמה אחורי בית הכפורת

And if it enters your mind to say that the mishnayot in tractate Middot are in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda, do you find that the altar stood in the middle of the courtyard in tractate Middot? But didn’t we learn in a mishna there: The dimensions of the entire courtyard were a length of 187 cubits by a width of 135 cubits. That mishna elaborates: The length of the courtyard from east to west was 187 cubits, divided as follows: The area of access for the Israelites, known as the Israelite courtyard, was eleven cubits long. The area of access for the priests to walk and serve was eleven cubits long, and the altar itself was thirty-two cubits long. There were twenty-two cubits between the Entrance Hall and the altar, and the Sanctuary was one hundred cubits long. And there was an additional eleven cubits of space behind the Hall of the Ark Cover, the Holy of Holies, which was at the western end of the Sanctuary.

מן הדרום לצפון מאה ושלשים וחמש הכבש והמזבח ששים ושתים מן המזבח ולטבעות ח' אמות מקום הטבעות עשרים וארבע מן הטבעות לשלחנות ארבע מן השלחנות לננסין ארבע מן הננסין לכותל עזרה ח' אמות והמותר בין הכבש ולכותל ומקום הננסין

The Gemara provides the dimensions of the Temple’s width from south to north, a total of 135 cubits. The ramp and the altar together were sixty-two cubits. The ramp and altar were each thirty-two cubits long, but two cubits of the upper part of the altar were subsumed in the base and ledge surrounding the altar. There were eight cubits from the altar to the rings to the north of the altar, through which the heads of the sacrificial animals were placed for slaughter. The area of the rings itself was twenty-four cubits, and from the rings to the tables on which the animals were rinsed there were an additional four cubits. From the tables to the pillars on which the animals were suspended for flaying there were an additional four cubits. From the pillars to the courtyard wall there were eight cubits. The total to this point is 110 cubits. And the balance of twenty-five cubits was between the ramp and the southern wall, along with the area filled by the pillars themselves, which was not included in the above tally. This yields a total of 135 cubits.

ואי סלקא דעתיך מדות ר' יהודה היא מזבח באמצע עזרה מי משכחת ליה הא רובא דמזבח בדרום קאי

And if it enters your mind to say that the mishnayot in tractate Middot are in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Yehuda, do you find the altar in the middle of the courtyard? Most of the altar stands in the southern part of the courtyard.