When our forefather Yaacov was leaving the land of Israel to look for a wife, the Torah relates that he stopped at a ‘place’ where he prayed and then went to sleep. Our Sages teach us that he established the nightly Maariv prayer. That night he had a prophecy of a ladder which stemmed from the ground and extended to the heavens and saw angels going up and down. The Medrash relates that this prophecy alludes to the four exiles which Yaacov’s descendants will go through. Two of them will be the Babylonians and Romans who will exile the Jews and  will destroy the first and second Temples in Jerusalem.

When Yaacov woke from his prophetic dream, he realized that he had slept upon the place where the Temples will eventually be built. Yaacov exclaimed, “This is the gateway to Heaven.” Rashi explains that Yaacov was telling us that this mount is where all uttered prayers rise to Heaven. Rashi also quotes the Medrash that tells us that there is a Temple in the heavens which aligns itself to the Temples that King Solomon and Ezra the prophet built on Mount Moriah.

Based on this Medrash, Rabbi Yehuda Tzadaka o.b.m. writes that when the Temples in Jerusalem were destroyed, the Temple in Heaven was also taken down.

The Prophet in Hoshea tells us that G-d will only rebuild the Heavenly Temple after the actual Temple in Jerusalem will be rebuilt, and that G-d yearns for us to rebuild the Temple so He could rebuild the Heavenly Temple.

To this, the Jews turn to G-d and tell Him that we don’t have the necessary merits to rebuild our Temple. We therefore turn to a Mishnaic law that states as follows. If there was a two story/unit condominium building that collapsed, the upper floor owner can tell the lower floor owner to rebuild so that he could rebuild his upper floor.

However, if the lower floor owner states that he cannot afford rebuilding his floor, then the upper floor owner can build the lower level and the upper level and has rights to use the entire house until the lower level owner pays him for what he spent to build the lower floor.

The Jews turn to G-d and tell Him the same applies to our situation. Yes, we are responsible to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem, however, we lack the “funds’ – the merits – to afford to rebuild the lower earthly level of the Temple. In this case we turn to G-d who cannot build His upper level Temple in the Heavens until the lower level Temple is built, and tell Him to build the lower Temple in Jerusalem and then He could build the upper level Temple in Heaven.

The only problem with this is, the lower level Temple cannot be used by us until we pay for it – through our study of Torah, performance of Mitzvos, doing good deeds and getting along with each other.

The verse in King David’s Psalms states, “G-d rebuilds Jerusalem, and allows the dispersed Jews to enter.” The Medrash explains this verse to mean that in our situation when we cannot spiritually afford the rebuilding of the Temple, G-d says, “when I see that you are trying to do what you can spiritually to regain the Temple, even if your deeds are not fully paid up, I will lovingly and compassionately allow the dispersed Jews to enter the lower earthly Temple that I rebuilt!

Our Sages teach us that anyone who mourns over the destruction of the Temple merits to see it rebuilt.

The Chasam Sofer o.b.m. explains that when our forefather Yaacov thought that his son Yosef was killed, he mourned over him for 22 years. The reason why G-d’s gift that we eventually forget a loss did not apply to Yaacov is because Yosef was indeed alive. Since Yaacov’s Neshama – soul knew that Yosef was alive, Yaacov couldn’t be comforted over his loss – since Yosef was not dead.

Says the Chasam Sofer, the same thing applies to us pertaining our mourning over the Temple. If we are not getting over it and forgetting about it, rather, we are praying each day for its rebuilding and we mourn and fast over its destruction each year, this means that the Temple and Moshiach is very much alive and will become a reality.

Thus, it is through our actual mourning over the Temple that causes us to merit the Redemption and the Temple to be rebuilt!