Shekalim 17 - Bow down thirteen times

When one visited the Temple, he had to bow down (actually, completely prostrate himself on the floor) thirteen times, against each of the thirteen gates. The gates each had a name, and some - a story connected to them. This, however, is the opinion of Rabbi Abba, but the Sages say that there were only seven gates. If so, what were the thirteen prostrations for - since the Sages agree to that fact? - The Sages say that after the Greeks made thirteen breaches in the Temple inner wall, and then the Hashmonaim (in the time of Chanukkah) repaired them, the thirteen bowing down commemorated that fact.

One of the gates of the Temple was called "The Water Gate," because in the future a spring of water will issue at this place from Jerusalem . The Talmud described how it will happen: from the Holy of Holies the stream will be like the antennae of the smallest snail; then like locusts’ antennae, and by the time it goes out and connects to the rivers, lakes, and seas of Israel, it will be so powerful that a mighty vessel won’t cross it.

Back to the subject of Temple destruction, when Nebuchadnezzar came up to Israel, the Sanhedrin went out to ask him if the time for Temple destruction had arrived. He told them to give out their king. They told the king Yehoyachin about it, and the latter took the keys of the Temple and threw them to Heaven, from where they did not come back; and some say that a hand came to receive it. When the nobles saw it, they all went to the roofs and jump off there to their death. This is what Isaiah said, " Why have you all gone to the rooftops ?"

Art: Daniel Before Nebuchadnezzar by Salomon Koninck