Ask the rabbi

  • Family and Society
  • The Temple and Sacrifices

Non-Jew in the Temple.


Rabbi Jonathan Blass

15 Tevet 5763
Could a ger or proselyte enter in and give an offering to the cohen or give it to the cohen outside the temple? Who could not enter into the temple? Is being inside the court of gentiles considered being inside the actual temple or not? Could a male proselyte enter into court of the israelites? could females offer a burnt offering?
A gentile, even an idol-worshipper, could volunteer a sacrifice to be offered at the Temple (Menachot 73b). The only sacrifice accepted from him was a burnt-offering (Olah); Jews, on the other hand, whether they were men or women or converts to Judaism could volunteer any kind of sacrifice (Hilchot Maaseh Hakorbanot 3,2). There are ten levels of sanctity in the Land of Israel, eight of them within the Temple Mount. As the level of sanctity ascends, those permitted to enter decrease. A gentile, for example, was not permitted to enter even the “Chail”- which was on the outer perimeter of the “Ezrat Nashim” (women’s court). Jews who were not Cohanim could enter the “Ezrat Cohanim” (the court of the Cohanim) even if they were free of all defilement (“tumah”), only to play their role in the offering of their sacrifice (Hilchot Beit HaBechira 7,19).
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