We all have moods. Moods that affect the clothing we wear (I am in the brown shoes mood today), the lunch we eat (apricot jelly and peanut butter sandwich), the music we listen to (classical), and almost everything else in our lives, from the way we wake up in the morning to the nature of our nighttime dreams. And when we act in regrettable fashion, we, of course, blame it on the mood: “I am just having a bad day. Too bad!”

Unfortunately, moods can sometimes infringe on our relationship with G‑d, and with our fellows as well. “I am just not in the mood for prayer,” “I’ll put on tefillin tomorrow,” “I am not in the mood for my kids,” “I am in the mood of wasting five hours of my life surfing the Web.”

No matter where our moods score on the Richter scale, the sacrificing must continue!As always, we find relevant counsel in the Torah for all the issues concerning our lives. In the seventh chapter of Leviticus, we read regarding an interesting ritual that pertained to the peace offering. The one who was bringing the offering, along with the priest who processed it, would take certain parts of the animal and “wave them before G‑d.” Rashi, the foremost biblical commentator, explains: “He would move them forward and backward, upward and downward.”

Following the chassidic axiom that the animal sacrifices are actually a reflection of an inner sacrifice, that of offering to G‑d our natural (“animalistic”) instincts and temptation, we must learn a relevant personal lesson from this curious ritual too.

Let’s get back into the mood:

“Upward” and “downward” refer to our mood roller coaster. No matter where our moods score on the Richter scale, the sacrificing must continue! Our duties in life cannot be interrupted because of a foul mood. Torah and mitzvot must be fulfilled regardless. Our responsibilities don’t take a vacation, and our connection to G‑d doesn’t and shouldn’t swing with the moods.

“Forward” and “backward” refer to our responsibility vis-à-vis the world around us, the world that is not in any way affected by the fact that I woke up in a grouchy mood. The world needs so much fixing; how can we afford to hibernate because of a bad hair day?

Let the moods dictate the shoes, their color, and perhaps even the amount of chocolate we consume. But when it comes to the important things in life (sorry, chocolate addicts), let the moods be subservient to you, and you be the master!