1. We were commanded by the Torah to build a special place for prayer, for the offering of sacrifices, and for receiving the Divine Presence, as it says: “Make for Me a Temple, and I shall dwell inside them.” The fact that it says “inside them” indicates that every Jew should prepare his heart to be a dwelling place for the Divine Presence. ‘Inside them’ means, inside each and every one of the children of Israel.
2. The place that was chosen for the Temple was on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem. In fact, only 480 years after the exodus from Egypt was the Temple erected in its chosen place. Until then, they had the Tabernacle, which served as a temporary dwelling place called Ohel Moed.
3. The word Beit Mikdash appears for the first time in the teachings of our sages. It is often referred to in Tanach as Beit Hashem (The House of G-d).
4. The first Temple was built on Mount Moriah around the year 950 BC by King Solomon, and was destroyed on 586 BC by Nebuchadnezzar – King of Babylon.
5. About 70 years after the destruction of the First Temple, the Second Temple was built by Babylonian immigrants who were led by Zerubavel from the house of David, and Yehoshua the son of Yehotzadak – the high priest.
6. The Second Temple was built with the support and encouragement of Cyrus, king of Persia, and was renovated and expanded by Herod.
7. During the time of the Second Temple, the Greeks began to interfere with the autonomy of the Jewish people in the land of Israel. They made religious edicts, intervened in the Temple and defiled it with their idols. As a result, Matityahu and his sons led the Maccabean revolt, and great miracles purified the temple again, and established the Festival of Hanukkah.
8. In the year 70 BC, Titus, the Roman Emperor, son of Aspasianus the Emperor, destroyed the Second Temple.
9. On the 17th of Tamuz, the walls of Jerusalem were breached before the Second Temple was destroyed, and on the 9th of Av, both Temples were destroyed. Therefore, the sages established these two dates as fast days and days of mourning for the destruction of the Temple.
10. According to the holy prophets, when the Messiah will arrive, the third Temple will be built and peace will be restored in the world. The belief in the coming of the Messiah is included in the ‘thirteen principles’, which every Jew is obligated to believe in.