Tzav 5772 – Taking Out the Papers and the Trash

He shall take out the ashes beyond the encampment to a ritually pure place (Vayikra 6:4)

Do you enjoy taking out the garbage?

In the Bais HaMikdash, the Cohanim used to run to perform the mitzvah of removing the ashes from the altar. They would even put on special clothing. A great lecturer from our generation used to tell this to his children to inspire them to take out the garbage. After a day, the children turned to their father and said, “Dad, we understand how great of an honor it is to take out the garbage. Therefore, since we have a mitzvah to honor you, we would like to give this honor to you.”

What’s the difference between the removal of the ashes at the Bais HaMikdash and removing the trash in our homes? The answer is, of course, to remove the ashes is a holy chore. Everyone ran to do it because it was a great deed to do such holy work. To take out the trash in our homes, though, is not this.

In actuality, though, it is. By removing the garbage, we create Shalom Bayis – peace in our house. We keep our house from smelling bad. We keep out ugly little animals that would eat our waste. When we take out the garbage in our homes, we are doing a great mitzvah!

There are two ways to look at everything we do in life: either as a daily chore or as a great act of chesed. Imagine a person who works as a mechanic. Everyday, car after car drives in and he gets his hands dirty fixing these cars. The mechanic can look at his job as a way to make a living. Or he can see himself as doing a great act of chesed. He is giving people the ability to take care of what they need to. He fixes peoples’ cars so they can go to work to provide for their families. He fixes cars so people can drive to shul and Torah classes. He fixes cars so mothers can drive children to school. Looking at his work in this way totally changes his day. No longer is he tweaking bolts to make money. He is now doing holy work to keep our society going. His thought process has just changed what he is doing into a mitzvah.

This is the way any person can look at what they do daily.

Pesach is just around the corner. This might get many people nervous as there is only a little over one week left to clean the entire house. As we clean the house, though, realize we are participating in holiness. We are doing a great mitzvah. When we have this outlook, everything in life is better.

Good Shabbos!
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