Spiritual greatness is defined more by what we do with all that we have learned, and less with what we know. It is behavior that makes us spiritual, not beliefs.
In the portion of Tzav, Moses is instructing the sons of Aaron how to bring sacrifices to the Tabernacle. The portion is filled with many intricacies and much minutia on how to carry out sacrifices: what to burn upon the altar; what not to burn; what to eat; and what not to eat. The words tell us a story, but every letter is a code, revealing insights about the union of the physical and spiritual worlds. I’d like to focus on one aspect giving us a direction for the seven days ahead.
One of the instructions Moses gives to the sons of Aaron, is to take the ashes from the sacrifices made upon the altar, and to move them to a place outside the Tabernacle. This seems like a strange request! Nadav and Avihu were considered to be of an extremely elevated consciousness. Of all the people in the congregation, why would they be required to perform the task of taking out the garbage? It seems like a job for a lowly servant, not a high priest. Surely the sons of Aaron have more important scholarly and spiritual things to do.
And yet, it is exactly the opposite. The higher the spiritual level we attain, the more we are required to work – to use the shovel, to go into the dirt, to be the servants of our community and of humankind.