Yerushalyim is the holiest city in Eretz Yisrael (the Land of Israel) and the city in which the Beit HaMikdash (Temple) is built. In the desert, there were three machanot (camps) of descending kedushah (holiness): Machane Shechinah (the camp of the Shechinah), Machane Levi’ah (the camp of the Levites), and Machane Yisrael (the camp of the Israelites). Similarly, within Yerushalayim there were three machanot of kedushah:
- Machaneh Yisrael-within the walls of Yerushalayim until the entrance to Har HaBayit (the Temple Mount)
- Machaneh Levi’ah-from the entrance to Har HaBayit to Sha’ar Nikanor (the gates of Nikanor)
- Mechaneh Shechinah-from gates of Nikanor inwards
Since Yerushalyim is Machaneh Yisrael, is has special status- Kodshim Kalim (the offerings Shlamim, Todah, Bechor, Ma’aser and Pesach) and Ma’aser Sheni (the second tithe) may only be eaten within the walls of Yerushalayim.