The Heichal, the actual building of the Beis Hamikdash, stood over 100 Amos (50 metres) tall. The top few Amos of height included a Maakeh – a 3 Amah (1.5 metre) wall to fence off the flat roof. This was to keep the Mitzvah of fencing our roofs to prevent someone from falling off and coming to harm. The Mitzvah applies to the roof of the Holy Temple as it does to the roof of a private home.
The roof, the highest point of a building, represents arrogance and feeling ‘tall’. The Mystics explain that arrogance is the ultimate source of all spiritual deficiencies and can lead a person to spiritual free-fall. Making a fence around the roof alludes to curbing one’s feelings of arrogance and developing an attitude of humility.
Like the Maakeh atop our private homes, we certainly need to humble ourselves and avoid arrogance that comes from our personal worldly success, qualities and achievements. The Maakeh on top of the Beis Hamikdash teaches us that we need to take equal care to make sure that even our spiritual accomplishments don’t feed our egos either.