“And place it in a basket” (Dt.26:2).
This teaches that
First-fruits should be [presented in] a vessel.
“Then you shall go to the place from which HASHEM your God shall choose” (Dt.26:2)—
that is, Shiloh [while it stood], or the Eternal Abode [while it stood].
“Now, when you reach the Priest who will officiate in those days” (Dt.26:3)—
this is what R. Yose the Galilean taught:
Now, can you imagine that
you would go to a Priest who is not a contemporary?
The point is, seek the rulings of a Priest
who is eminently qualified
among his contemporaries.
If he had been kin to the litigants,
but then lost the connection [e.g., through death],
he is qualified to preside over the declaration.
And in this connection, He states:
“Do not wonder why the old days were better than today,
for such a question does not proceed from wisdom” (Ecc.7:10).2