holy of holies


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holy of holies

A sacred or special place. Although used more generally today, the phrase originally described the sanctuary of the tabernacle in the Temple of Jerusalem where the Ark of the Covenant was kept. When it comes to college basketball, this is sacred ground—the holy of holies.
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holy of holies

A place of awe or sacredness, as in The corporate board room is the holy of holies here. This expression is a translation of the Hebrew term for the sanctuary inside the tabernacle of the Temple of Jerusalem, where the sacred Ark of the Covenant was kept (Exodus 26:34). Its figurative use dates from the second half of the 1800s.
See also: holy, of

the holy of holies

If you describe something, especially a place, as the holy of holies, you mean that people think it is the most special or important thing of its kind. Last year, his work was performed at the Aldeburgh Festival, the holy of holies in the contemporary British music scene. Note: In a Jewish synagogue, the holy of holies is the inner room which only the chief rabbi may enter.
See also: holy, of

holy of holies

a place or thing regarded as sacrosanct.
The reference here is to the Hebrew phrase for the inner chamber of the sanctuary in the Jewish Temple at Jerusalem, separated by a veil from the outer chamber.
See also: holy, of

ˌholy of ˈholies

(humorous) a special place which only particular people can enter: This room is the holy of holies. It contains the most valuable books in the world.The boss invited me into his holy of holies this morning. What a fantastic office he’s got!
In a Jewish temple, the holy of holies is the inner part, which only the chief priest can enter.
See also: holy, of
References in periodicals archive ?
By invoking the Holy of Holies, Bakhtin's distinction between monologic and dialogic authors implies a similar distinction between the Old Testament and New Testament Deities.
Kathy describes the Holy of Holies she and her partner created in their home.
We read: The priests brought the Ark of the Lord's Covenant to the place underneath the wings of the cherubim in the Shrine of the House, in the Holy of Holies (I Kgs, 8:6).
Initiates learned key words and gestures which qualified them to pass from the prosaic and profane world into the realm of mystery, the Holy of Holies.
The Ark of the Covenant was kept in a special chamber within the Temple called the Holy of Holies (Kodesh Kodashim).
Much damage has been caused and thousands of priceless artifacts from the First and Second Temple eras have been destroyed due to damage caused by construction near the Dome of the Rock mosque -- which rests on the Temple Mount, where the Jewish Holy of Holies is located -- authorized by the Waqf.
It doesn't say much for Rome's claim to be the holy of holies.
I'll have no truck with those curmudgeons who believe racing is sacrosanct, that the racecourse is an inviolable holy of holies, and that any cross-fertilisation between the Turf and other sports is to be discouraged in the same way that certain aristocratic families guard their heritage by having sexual intercourse only with close relatives.
When the temple curtain is torn, God is no longer confined to the holy of holies.
To walk into the Holy of Holies was a tremendous moment for everyone connected with Willsford Racing and the horse himself.
This is the name the High Priest would pronounce when he entered the Temple's Holy of Holies once a year, on Yom Kippur, and which the kohanim would use in their priestly blessing.
The events of Jesus' life are handled by Matthew like the warp and weft on a loom as if he is weaving a new, transparent veil to replace the one that is torn in two in front of the Holy of Holies (Mt.
He imagines Pompey the Great climbing the steps to the Holy of Holies and barking, "What the hell d'ye suppose they have in there?
Police said that the arrested belonged to three spinoff clans of the infamous Sicilian Cosa Nostra and were considered the "Sancta Sanctorum" - Holy of Holies - of crime in the Rome area.
They were gripped by excitement when one of the rabbis prostrated himself facing the presumed location of the Temple's Holy of Holies in ancient times.