23/24 Mar: Shabbat Hagodol (Tzav) comes in 6:04 pm, goes out 7:07 pm
According to Parshat Tzav, the priests’ first task of the day was to remove the ashes from the offering sacrificed the previous day. (Leviticus 6:3) Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch suggests that this is a constant reminder that service of the new day is connected to the service of the previous day. After all, the ashes from the remains of yesterday’s sacrifice had to be removed before the new sacrifice could be offered.
Another thought: It is specifically the priest who begins the day by removing the ashes — to illustrate the importance of his remaining involved with the mundane. Too often, those who rise to important lofty positions separate themselves from the people and withdraw from the everyday menial tasks. The Torah, through these laws teaches it shouldn’t be this way.
Written by Rabbi Paul Arberman.