Where is the room for such a commandment in Judaism?
You are right that the notion of animal sacrifice appears very unusual to us.
Even relaxation and judicious enjoyable activities, if they contribute to sound health, can be considered goal directed if they enhance our functioning.
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The ancients saw animal (or human) sacrifice as giving a gift or a bribe to their gods. By giving them some delicious cooked meat (or something even more precious to the giver, such as his child), they would get on the gods’ good side and get what they wanted – rain, crops, girlfriends, conquest, etc.
In a deeper sense, the sacrifices of the ancients perfectly summed up the type of relationship they had with their gods.
If you are in a situation in which negative consequences appear to be inevitable, don't give up. Even though it might seem there is no escape, someone else might think of an idea that will save you.
Today, think about situations when you were under the impression that negative consequences were inevitable, but the reality turned out better than you had imagined.
Let this serve as a resource not to giveup prematurely in the future. The Talmud explains "other things" as referring to idle, meaning less things.
The Hebrew language has words that mean rest, play, relaxation, and pleasant activities, while it has no word for "fun." A "fun" activity has no goal, as is implied in the colloquial expression, "just for the fun of it." In other words, the goal of the activity is within itself, and fun does not lead to or result in anything else. Every human being is created with a mission in life.
This article also gives important perspective on the correlation between sacrifices and idolatry.
This date marks the beginning of the seven-day inauguration period of the Tabernacle, the portable sanctuary that accompanied the Jewish people in the desert following their Exodus from Egypt.
The bringing of offerings reflected a marriage of convenience, with each side looking out for itself and getting what it wanted. Imagining that we bring Him sacrifices because He’s hungry and wants our meat is heresy.