In the portion of Pinchas, we read about the sacrifices brought on the Temple altar. There were Shabbat, new month, festival and even daily offerings.

Every day, two yearling lambs were brought as “constant burnt offerings. The first lamb you should do in the morning, and the second lamb you should do in the afternoon.”

What is the significance of bringing one in the morning and one in the afternoon? What lessons can we take from this constant burnt offering, for our relationship with G‑d and for our personal relationships?

The Hebrew word for sacrifice is korban, which comes from the word karov, meaning “close.” The idea here is to bring yourself closer, to strengthen your connection with G‑d. This must be “constant.” G‑d wants us to work on developing our relationship with Him every day.

How do you get closer to G‑d? By being a “burnt offering.” While only parts of other sacrifices were burnt on the altar, the burnt offering was entirely consumed. G‑d wants us to give our total self to him—to be open and vulnerable, and to allow our entire being to be consumed, to become one with Him.

Morning is symbolic of the good times, when the light of G‑d shines bright. At these times, things are easy; there are no obstacles to overcome. Afternoon is the hard times, when the sun is going down, and obstacles make G‑d seem distant. Even in these dark times of exile, we need to come closer. The darker it is, the greater the effort we need to make to connect. The bond we forge in these dark times is beyond anything we could have created in times of light.

Ultimately, the light will return. And because of the closeness we have developed in dark times, the light will be greater than anything we could have imagined.

The same is true for personal relationships. To get closer, you must be “constant”; you must work on your relationship every day. Give your entire self to your other, allowing yourself to be open and vulnerable. This is easy when things are fine. However, it is the persistence and effort in times of difficulty that will take your relationship to a whole new level—deeper, stronger and more wonderful than anything you could have imagined.

Struggling with ALS has been a tremendous strain on my family, especially on my wife. Nevertheless, it has brought us closer as a family and as a couple.

And for that, I am thankful.

Dedicated to my wife Dina, whose strength, kindness and love has been the glue that holds our family together. She is a true woman of valor.