When the Alter Rebbe needed to make up his holy mind to exile himself to a place of Torah (i.e., to go to a place where he would receive some guidance), he could not decide where to go. He had heard that there were two different centers of Torah: in Vilna, they taught how to study, but in Mezritch, they taught how to daven.
For quite some time, he weighed and judged the matter in his mind, to determine which direction he would take. Various factors went into his final decision made in the middle of his journey to go to the place where they taught how to daven.
This week we begin reading the Book of Leviticus, which focuses primarily on the various sacrifices offered regularly in the Temple.
Although today, in the absence of a Temple, there are no physical sacrifices, our sages teach that studying the laws of the sacrifices and praying three times a day help us accomplish the same things our ancestors did through animal offerings—connection with the One Above.
At the same time, we shouldn't be content with this substitute; we must pray every day for the coming of Moshiach, who will rebuild the Temple and reinstate the daily service in its most pristine fashion. And our studies and daily prayers are what will hurry this along and bring it about very soon!
Candle lighting time in NYC is Friday 6:54 PM