“Then the Priest will take the basket from your hand” (Dt.26:4).
On this basis they taught:
The wealthy bring their First-fruits
on trays of silver and gold.
The poor bring theirs in baskets
woven of stripped willow branches.
And the baskets, with the First-fruits,
are given to the Priests,
in order to augment
the gifts for the Priests.2
“From your hand” (Dt.26:4)—
this teaches that
First-fruits should be waved before the altar:
Words of R. Eliezer b. Jacob.3
“And he shall lay it before the altar of HASHEM your God” (Dt.26:4)—
as long as you shall have the altar,
you shall have the First-fruits offering;
but as long as you shall have no altar,
you shall have no First-fruits offering.4
“And he shall lay it” (Dt.26:4)—
on this basis they taught:
If the First-fruits were stolen or lost,
one is obliged to replace them.
If they were rendered unclean
[even] in the courtyard of the Holy Place,
one scatters them [as unusable]
and does not recite the declaration.5