“צַו אֶת-אַהֲרֹן וְאֶת-בָּנָיו לֵאמֹר, זֹאת תּוֹרַת הָעֹלָה: הִוא הָעֹלָה עַלמוֹקְדָה עַל-הַמִּזְבֵּחַ כָּל-הַלַּיְלָה, עַד-הַבֹּקֶר, וְאֵשׁ הַמִּזְבֵּחַ, תּוּקַד בּוֹ”
“”Command Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘This is the law for the burnt offering (הָעֹלָה): the burnt offering itself shall remain on the hearth on the altar all night until the morning, and the fire on the altar is to be kept burning on it.”
הָעֹלָה (pronounced ‘Olah’) is a type of offering. The literal meaning is ‘the elevated’. The Zohar explains that this offering is elevated to Binah, which is the first letter H ה of the YHVH name. The Zohar explains that five different types of fire come from the level of Binah to consume the offerings. The first H ה is called ‘daughter of the eye’, which is the letter Y י of the name.
When God came down to Mount Sinai, it was in a cloud that covered the mountain. The glory of God was seen in the eyes of the Israelites as a devouring fire on the top of Mount Sinai.
“וּמַרְאֵה כְּבוֹד יְהוָה, כְּאֵשׁ אֹכֶלֶת בְּרֹאשׁ הָהָר, לְעֵינֵי, בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל”
“And the appearance of the glory of YHVH was like devouring fire on the top of the mount in the eyes of the children of Israel.”
The ‘fire’ from Binah ‘consumes’ the offerings, and our prayers have the same aspect. They are offered to Binah (H ה) that in return brings down the light from Chokmah (Y י) to remove impurities from us.
The prophet Hosea teaches us that our prayers are replacement for the sacrifices and offerings brought to the Holy Temple to cleanse us.
“קְחוּ עִמָּכֶם דְּבָרִים, וְשׁוּבוּ אֶל-יְהוָה; אִמְרוּ אֵלָיו, כָּל-תִּשָּׂא עָוֹן וְקַח-טוֹב, וּנְשַׁלְּמָה פָרִים, שְׂפָתֵינוּ.”
“Take with you words, and return unto YHVH; say unto Him: ‘Forgive all iniquity, and accept that which is good; so will we render for bullocks the offering of our lips.”
Before the prayer of Mincha, which is the afternoon prayer we say a verse from Psalms 141:2
“תִּכּוֹן תְּפִלָּתִי קְטֹרֶת לְפָנֶיךָ; מַשְׂאַת כַּפַּי, מִנְחַת-עָרֶב.”
“Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice!”
and from Psalms 5:3
“הַקְשִׁיבָה, לְקוֹל שַׁוְעִי–מַלְכִּי וֵאלֹהָי: כִּי-אֵלֶיךָ, אֶתְפַּלָּל”
“Heed the sound of my cry for help, my King and my God, For to You I pray.”