The service of removing the ashes is one of the positive commandments which relates to the outer altar. The Bible states:
"And the L-rd spoke to Moses, saying, command Aaron and his sons, saying: This is the law of the burnt offering: It is the burnt offering, which shall be burning upon the altar all night until the morning, and the fire of the altar shall be kept burning in it. And the priest shall put on his linen garment, and he shall put linen pants upon his flesh, and take up the ashes which the fire has consumed with the burnt offering on the altar, and he shall put them beside the altar. And he shall put off his garments, and put on other garments, and carry the ashes outside the camp to a clean place... " (Lev. 6:3-4)
Following the dawn patrol, the officiating priest who merited the task of removing the ashes now readies himself to fulfill this commandment. His fellow-priests warn him: "Be careful! Do not touch the vessel until after you have sanctified your hands and feet from the water of the laver!"