Those Who Clean Up Our Shmutz are Important

Sharing is good

The Torah portion Tzav (literally “command”) drones on about how sacrifices were performed, how the ashes were cleaned, and even what was worn to clean the ashes. What of that could be relevant in today’s world?

Then I read Rabbi Joe Rapport’ dvar Torah “On the Holiness of Shmutz” and Rabbi Jack Paskoff‘s dvar acher “Sometimes Shmutz is Just Shmutz.” Reading these two together gives very interesting perspective.

ASIDE – a dvar Torah is an interpretation of Torah. A dvar acher (literally “another thing”) is an alternative or counterpoint to a dvar Torah.

Maybe how we treat the byproducts of society is important. And maybe those in occupations that deal with society’s detritus should not remain invisible to us.

And he shall take off his garments, and put on other garments, and carry the ashes outside the camp to a clean place. (Leviticus 6:4)

So please take the opportunity to thank those who collect your garbage and recycling, the meter readers, and the people who maintain our utilities. They perform an important and necessary service in our society.

I am honored to have been joined in collaboration by my friend Rob Dimeo to create a Tzav sketchnote noting the importance of those who take out the trash. Thank you Rob!