The Temple was situated on a large rectangular platform on the Temple Mount that was divided into a large open area to the east called the Ezrat Nashim and a large area to the west called the Ezrat Kohanim, where the Temple itself was located, together with an open area which was where the animals were slaughtered and prepared for sacrifice. This area also contained the outer altar. Between the Ezrat Nashim and Ezrat Kohanim there was a much smaller area called theEzrat Yisra’el. (See this diagram of the Temple.)
The Gemara on today’s daf (=page) relates that the following baraita was taught before Rav Nahman – that the azarah, the Temple courtyard to the east where the Temple was situated, was 187 amot (=cubits) by 130 amot. Rav Nahman responded by quoting his father who taught that it was only in this area where kodashei kodashim – the meat from the holiest sacrifices – were eaten by the kohanim, and it is here that kodashim kalim – the ordinary sacrifices – were slaughtered, and that someone who was ritually impure would be held liable for entering the Temple precincts.
From the Talmud Yerushalmi we know that Rav Nahman’s father’s name was Ya’akov – in the Babylonian Talmud this Rav Nahman is referred to simply by his own name. In the Gemara Bava Metzia (16b) Rav Nahman identifies his father as one of the judges in the court led by the amora Shmu’el, and that as a child Rav Nahman would accompany his father to his work and study. It appears that Rav Nahman’s foundational learning was acquired from the time that he spent with his father, and we find in Masechet Beitzah (24b) that he asks questions based on his father’s teachings. Although we do not find Rav Nahman’s father appearing anywhere in the Talmud as a participant in discussions of halakhah or aggadah, nevertheless it is clear from our Gemara and from other stories that he not only taught his son straightforward Mishnah, but also the concepts upon which they were based, even in areas like kodashim.