Zev Radovan

“Lavers of living water” should be set up in synagogue courtyards, one ancient source advised, “for the sanctification of the hands and feet.” The ritual bath (miqveh) shown here, built before the destruction of the Temple in 70 C.E., was uncovered just south of the Temple Mount. Soon after the Temple’s destruction, some Temple rituals were taken over by synagogues “in memory of the Temple.” While the Temple stood, purification in the waters of a ritual bath was required before one could ascend to the House of God; later, the ritual washing of hands and feet was required before entering some synagogues.