Hold your horses… No one is being sacrificed here… Well, at least in the way you may be thinking. You may have heard of sacrifices being offered in the days of the Temple, including the daily order of sacrifice offerings (key word offerings). If you haven’t heard about it, now you have. Checkout the section “Why Sacrifice?” in the article Korbanot: The Biblical Temple Sacrifices for more. I also wrote about how “bringing an offering” shares the root for “to draw near,” in Lesson 2 in my newsletter 5 Lessons from Week 3 of yeshiva.
In the prayer book, there is a sentence, “This is the daily burnt-offering [which you shall bring] as it was brought at Mount Sinai...” The Sidur Illuminated by Chassidus shares that this sacrifice is referred to as a continuous offering implying its ongoing effect, “elevating all other sacrifices brought throughout the day.” It was (is) offered first because of it’s effect throughout the day. This insight really sheds a light on the first things we do in the morning as they really set the tone for the whole day. You may be familiar with the following yiddish saying:
Lose an hour in the morning, chase it all day.
How do you start your days?
When we begin our day with a sacrifice, meaning offering up the part of ourselves that just wants to sleep in more, or wants to check our phone and social media feed, or that just wants to eat, or the like, when we offer that part of us up by engaging in meditation, prayer, exercise, or any activity that exercises presence and gratitude, there is a vastly greater chance we’ll be in that mode the whole day. Additionally, even if there is an unpleasant surprise, it will be less likely to knock us out of alignment. The sacrifice “is not confined to the moment when the commitment is made, but continues throughout the entire day” (Likkutei Sichos, Vol. 7, p232).
In business terms, the opportunity cost of spending at least the first hour of the day for G-d and for the G-d in you, is the merely a tiny piece of your day in discomfort. This discomfort, however, with great intention and commitment, will soon subside and your body will kick you out of bed in excitement to meditate, pray, exercise, and crush the day! When I am coaching someone with nutrition, this is also why we’ll focus solely on their first meal of the day as it greatly influences their food choices (and life choices) the rest of the day.
I’ll leave you with this awesome question from The Big Leap by Dr. Gay Hendricks (link to my podcast with him), “In my work [or day], what produces the highest ratio of abundance and satisfaction to amount of time spent? (Even if I do only ten seconds or a few minutes of it, an idea or a deeper connection may spring forth that leads to huge value). Mine would be a meaningful conversation… What’s yours?
Cheers to the weekend!