the inner sanctum
Posted: 03 March 2007 03:47 PM   [ Ignore ]
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does use of this phrase predate the 1941 radio program?

I just heard it used re hitler’s bunker and found myself wondering when these two words were first foist together into a recognizable phrase.  The hitler-bunker usage certainly put an “evil” connotation to it that i had never sensed in the term; i doubt, however, that many (if any) people do actually hardwire an evil sense to it with underpinnings to hitler.  but maybe?

thoughts?  etymologies offered?

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Posted: 03 March 2007 11:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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From this website

http://www.torah.org/learning/rabbiwein/5764/yomkippur.html

This excerpt:

The Torah teaches us that the High Priest of Israel entered the holy sanctuary - the inner sanctum - of the Temple on Yom Kippur. The Talmud called that entrance of the Kohein Gadol, the High Priest, as entering “Lifnai u’lfanim.” This phrase meant entering deep within. The rabbis of the Talmud were not only referring to the physical entering into the chamber of the Holy of Holies in the Temple in Jerusalem but they were obliquely referring to entering our own very most inner chambers of heart, mind and soul. All of us are bidden on Yom Kippur to enter “Lifnai u’lfanim.”

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Posted: 03 March 2007 11:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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First cite in OED is 1843:

1843 U.S. Democratic Rev. Apr. 387/2 Let no inkling of our present confidential whisper get out beyond the inner sanctums of our own private party caucuses.

I think Jim’s right about the connection to sanctum sanctorum.

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