On the north side of the Har Habayis, in the eastern part, there is a large pool, called by the Arabs Birket Isra'in, a corruption of Birket Beni Israil, pool of the sons of Yisroel. It is first mentioned by this name by Muqadassi, an Arab geographer, in the tenth century. There are different opinions about its date, with some dating to Herodian times, and some dating it to later times, like when the Romans rebuilt Yerushalayim as a pagan city, called aelia capitolina, during the times of Hadrian yemach shemo. Towards the end of the 19th century, the pool was being used as a garbage dump, as well as a vegetable garden. In 1934 the pool was filled in because its condition posed a threat to public health. In 1981 a small square equipped with benches was constructed on part of the covered pool. Today the area is known as el-Ghazali Square, and is used as a parking lot, as well as a collection point for garbage, before it is dumped outside the city. Some small shops also exist at the site.
Josephus (Wars 5:4:2) writes amount the east wall of Yerushalayim, that at its end, "it was joined to the eastern stoa of the temple". Some (R' Yehosef Shwartz, in Tevu'os Ha'aretz chapter 7, Michael Avi-Yonah, in his famous model; the Holyland model, and others,) have understood this to mean that it joined the southeast corner of the Har Habayis, and the east wall of Har Habayis was also part of the east wall of the city, like it is today. However, this cannot be, as Rashi (סוכה נא ע"א ד"ה שלא היתה מאירה מאור בית השואיבה) seems to imply that (at least part) of Yerushalayim was to the east of the Har Habayis. Furthermore, the Gemarah (Shavuos 16a) talks about two areas on Har Hazeisim, which is located east of Yerushalayim, that were added to Yerushalayim.
Running under the main street of Yerushalayim was a large drainage channel, partly cut into the rock. This channel went from the north of the city to the south, passing on the west of the Shiloach pool and exiting the city there. This drain was originally built at some point before Hurdus's time and was roofed with flat stone slabs. When Hurdus expanded the Har Habayis, the walls cut this drain, so a "by-pass” (with a vaulted roof) was made to connect the two severed sections of the drain. This "bypass" cut through several underground caves and cisterns in the area. A network of channels brought the water from the street and nearby buildings to this drainage channel. One paving stone by the western curb of the street, (right by the southwest corner of Har Habayis,) has five slots in it, for the water to go down to these channels, and from there to the main drainage channel. When the Romans destroyed Yerushalayim, some Yidden tried hiding in this drainage channel, but the romans searched for them and found them, and killed them. (Josephus, Wars 6:9:4 [6:429]).
In the previous post, I wrote about the monumental dining hall built during the Second MIkdash era. However, this building underwent significant changes at some point before the Churban
In the post about Wilson's arch, I have described a monumental building located next to it, called by Warren the Masonic Hall. After writing that post, I found more information about the hall, the thick wall next to it, and the Mikva'os behind the pier of Wilson's arch. In the next few posts, I will redescribe these places, based on this new information.
I have added a new video of the Lishkos on the northern side of the first Beis Hamikdash..
My name is Mendel Lewis.
Hashem said to Yechezkel, "Its reading in the Torah is as great as its building. Go and say it to them, and they will occupy themselves to read the form of it in the Torah. And in reward for its reading, that they occupy themselves to read about it, I count it for them as if they were occupied with the building of it. (Tanchuma tzav 14)