“A job well begun is half done.” – Ancient proverb
This week’s portion of Vayikra is the first chapter in the Book of Leviticus and, as such, it signifies the start of a new journey. The portion itself describes all manner of sacrifices. It is not a coincidence that this Monday night also happens to be the New Moon of Aries, a month that includes the holiday of Pesach, in which we work to sacrifice our ego. Being the first of the astrological signs, the initial glimpse of the Aries moon is considered by kabbalists to be the seed level of the twelve months that follow. All of this indicates that this week is providing us with a way to enter into a new beginning.
Have you ever wondered why first impressions seem so important? We put so much effort into being our best on a first date, so much preparation into our first day on a new job, so much time spent on our resolutions at the start of a new year, and all because there is some level of sacrifice that occurs at the beginning of everything. We do not show up on a first date with a list of all the things we expect the other person to do for us, rather we put that aside to listen, care, and discover. Same with a new job. We do not walk in on the first day behaving like we own the place with a list of demands. Instead, we come in humble, appreciative, and seeking to give value. The energy we experience in the beginning is created by our restriction of ego; it is because we give something up—our ideas and expectations. In short, we are open to learn from or about others.