G‑d gave Moses further instructions regarding sacrifices, stipulating that they may be offered up only in the Tabernacle (or in its successor, the holy Temple).
The Power of Sacrifice
לְמַעַן אֲשֶׁר יָבִיאוּ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת זִבְחֵיהֶם . . . לה' וגו': (ויקרא יז:ה)
The Israelites should bring their feast-offerings to G‑d. Leviticus 17:5

Offering up animal sacrifices to G‑d seems to go against the Torah’s respect for animal life. Even with regard to non-animal sacrifices, why would G‑d ask us to take valuable property and burn it up for no apparent benefit? Furthermore, of all G‑d’s commandments, why does the Torah refer only to sacrifices as being “pleasing” to G‑d? Surely it pleases G‑d when we perform any of His commandments!

The answer is that sacrifices please G‑d in the purest way precisely because the only possible reason for offering them up is in order to fulfill His will. Unlike other commandments, there is no possible “ulterior motive” for sacrifices. Since they fly blatantly in the face of logic, no self-interest can be involved. Clearly, this is a much greater state of self-nullification than that required to fulfill any of the Torah’s other commandments.

Today, our daily prayers are a reflection of the sacrifices offered up in the Tabernacle. Just as with the sacrifices, it may seem illogical to “waste” our valuable time on praying when we could be actually “doing” something – even holy deeds, such as studying the Torah or performing some “practical” commandment. Yet it is precisely by dedicating our valuable time and concentration to nothing other than getting closer to G‑d that we connect to Him in the most profound, intimate way.1