shalom, I want to understand more about the paroches that existed in the second mikdosh. I’m familiar with the reference from a mishna in yoma that there was either one curtain or two curtains. My question really is that when I was growing up in yeshiva, are used to see all these diagrams that depicted a curtain placed in front of some of the openings in the bais hamikdosh or the mishkon. Specifically I want to know if there are any resources that believe that there was a curtain placed in front of the holy of holy’s in the 2nd mikdosh. In other words according to the view in Yoma that there was one carton separating the holy from the holy of holy’s, where was the split in that curtain? Could it be that The opening was in the middle and that there was another curtain placed in front of that opening so that when you entered the holy place you would not see directly into the ark. Thank you! Avi
Shalom, Thank you for your question. I am not so certain that I fully understood what it is you are asking. You asked that "according to the view in Yoma that there was one curtain", but then go on to ask whether "there was another curtain placed in front of that opening". According to Rabbi Yosi in the mishna in Yoma (53b) that there was only one curtain, how can you ask if there was "another curtain"? Rabbi Yosi says clearly that there was only one curtain! [Perhaps you could clarify what it is you are asking more clearly and write to us again]. As to where the entrance in the curtain that opened to the holy of holies was according to Rabbi Yosi, the Talmud (Yoma 53b) writes that "R. Jose, who said: The entrance was to the north." That is Rabbi Yosi believed that there was but one curtain which was able to be opened from the northern most end of the curtain. So, it was not spit in the middle as you suggest. I hope this is of some help. May we be blessed to see the rebuilding of the Temple speedily in our days.