By Rabbi Dovid Markel
The verse concerning sacrifices states: “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: When a man from [among] you brings a sacrifice to the Lord; from animals, from cattle or from the flock you shall bring your sacrifice.”
The literal rendering of the actual language of the verse “Adam ki yakriv mikem korban laHashem,” is “when a man will sacrifice, the sacrifice should be from yourself.” It is not enough to give an animal to G-d. Rather the primary sacrifice that man is to bring is himself. He is to sacrifice his wants and desires for the will of the Almighty.
This also is the essence of prayer. The Talmud explains that prayer today takes the place of sacrifice. One must endeavor in prayer to transform our animalistic-soul so that it too serves G-d and is in love with the creator.