....................he (priest) shall separate the ash of what the fire consumed of the elevation-offering on the Alter...... (6:3) This service in the Temple was known as "Terumas Hadeshen". Every morning the kohan would remove the ashes from the alter and place it in a silver pan.The kohan would then carry the pan with the ashes to the east side of the ramp and deposit them on a special designated spot. Whenever the heap grew large, a kohan would then remove the surplus to a special place outside of Jerusalem. In Jewish thought ash and dust are very significant. In Genesis(2:7), it states the following: " Then G-d formed man of the dust of the earth................................

".Mans physical nature and all its characteristics are represented by dust and ash ,for G-d had created Man from this elemental substance.This includes all of Mans base tendencies such as: greed, lust, jealousy, hatred.....................................

These are the factors that keep Man from really coming close to G_d

...................The "Mesilot Yeshorim" states the following in the chapter entitled ,"Mans Duty In The World": " G-d has put man in a place where the factors which draw him further from G-d are many. These are the earthly desires

................................." When the Kohan removes the ash from the Temple, this is symbolically also teaching us that we must also try to remove our "earthly tendencies" as represented by the ash. Little by little the Kohan removes the ashes until a larger heap is formed, and ultimately removed altogether.We must also remove the tendencies that keep us from reaching ever higher levels in our service to Hashem. Little by little we can also clean and remove the earthly residue that hampers our spiritual growth. Remember, the larger heap is the culmination of the smaller ones collected by the Kohan on a daily basis. Let us atleast try to emulate the "Terumas Hadeshen" service ,and rid ourselves of that which keeps us from reaching a higher plane which is closer to Hashem........

Have a good Shabbos

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