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Ash Trash

Written by Rabbi Yehoshua Alt, 28/3/2020

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Fascinating Insights—The Sefer (in English)

Ash Trash

We may consider certain tasks insignificant when in reality it may be just as important when we do it לשם שמים. Examples of these include taking the garbage out, cleaning up the house and the like.[1]


A poor guest who finished eating at the house of the Chozeh of Lublin noticed him cleaning the table. Puzzled, the man asked I can understand that you serve the guests because of the great Mitzva of Hachnasas Orchim, but why are you cleaning the table? Servants do that. The Chozeh answered that on Yom Kippur after the holy service in the Kodesh Hakadashim, the Kohen Gadol would also remove the fire pan and the spoon. So too this Mitzva is no less important.


This idea is represented by the תרומת הדשן which was removing the ashes from the מזבח—the dirty work. Hence, דשן is an acronym of דבר שאינו נחשב, that which is not considered important. We see how significant it is since it was placed next to the מזבח.[2] Next time we need to do some dirty work lets realize that it is really cleansing us.

Rabbi Alt merited to learn under the tutelage of R’ Mordechai Friedlander Ztz”l for close to five years. He received Semicha from R’ Zalman Nechemia Goldberg. Rabbi Alt has written on numerous topics for various websites and publications. He lives with his wife and family in a suburb of Yerushalayim where he studies, writes and teaches. The author is passionate about teaching Jews of all levels of observance.

[1] When R’ Yehuda Samet and his wife had several small children, they hung a sign over their changing table that read, “I am changing this diaper in order to help this child grow into a Talmid Chochom, a Yarai Shamayim, a servant of Hashem, an Eishes Chayil and I’m doing it with sincerity and joy. Although they didn’t always read it out loud, it had a tremendous impact on the way they changed diapers.

[2] Vayikra 6:3.

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