Positive Mitzvah Thirty

Removing Ashes from the Mizbeach

Requires Beit HaMikdash

VaYikra 6:3 The Kohen shall don his fitted linen Tunic, and his shall don linen breeches on his flesh; he shall separate the ash of what the fire consumed of the burnt-offering on the Mizbeach, and place it next to the Mizbeach.

The Kohanim are commanded to remove the ashes daily from the Altar. This is called the Taking up of the Ashes.

The provisions of this Mitzvah are explained in many places in Tractates Tamid and Yoma.

The Taking up of the Ashes was the very first act in the day's service in the Temple.

Talmid 28b

"The one on whom the lot had fallen to clear the ashes form the Altar made ready to do so. They said to him: "Be careful not to touch any vessel until you have washed your hands and feet from the laver. See, the firepan is in the corner between the ascent and the Altar on the west of the ascent."...He washed his hands and feet from the laver, then took the silver fire pan and went up to the top of the Altar, and cleared away the cinders on either side, and scooped up the ashes in the centre. he then descended, and when he reached the pavement he turned his face to the north and went along the east side of the ascent for about ten cubits, and he then made a heap of the cinders on the pavement three handbreadths away from the ascent...."