Why is the gemara so concerned about where the four amos end ? It's irrelevant, since we now[adays] go by the fingers' Payess.
Shouldn't this question be a "Hilchassa leMeshicha" ?. The Gemara answers Teiku, Tishbi yetaretz kushios ubayos. But why do we need even the answer of Tishbi if we are going to use a payess immediately le-osid lovoi, and we won't go by the cohen who reaches first the 4 amos ?
Gut Shabos vecholt Tov lekoulchem tomid.
The Gemora asks an unresolved question whether the race up the ramp included the final cubits or not. What is the relevance of thisissue? It seems to have no Halachic ramifications at all since the practice was abolished. Altogether, the specific rules of the race seem so trivial as the system was merely an agreed upon practice to choose a Kohen. Wouldn't this discussion be an appropriate area to inject the axiom 'Mai D'hava Hava'?
The Gemora in Maseches Sanhedrin (15b) discusses, how we would deal with an ox that climbed on to Mt. Sinai during the time of Kabalas HaTorah, an offense punishable by death. The Chidushei HaRan asks "What is the difference? "Mai Di'Hava Hava" "What was, was!"
The first answer he gives is that the Gemara is "expounding, to receive reward (Derush v'Kabel Sechar)" In other words, despite the lack of a practical application this too is Torah, and worthy of our consideration.
The second answer the Chidushei HaRan offers, is that there is in fact a practical application for this Gemara. If someone swears an oath of Nezirus contingent on one of the views of the Gemora being correct, we would need a resolution to determine if he must conduct himself as a Nazir.
The Aruch La'Ner asks, "If what the Chidushei HaRan says is true, how can the Gemara ever ask "Mai Di'Hava, Hava, or Hilchisa Di'Mishicha as we know the Gemara does in numerous places?" The Aruch La'Ner answers that the Gemara only asks a question like "Mai Di'Hava Hava in a a case where it has an alternate superior answer to give. In other cases the Gemara is content to rely on the explanations offered by the Chidushei HaRan."
I want to point out that "kol haomer sDavid chata aeino ela toah" is one part of a smiliar series in Masechess shabbos 55b&56a,b. The list includes Reuven ben Yakkov, bnei Eli and Shlomo Hamelech etc.
The strange loshon which you pointed out seems to mean, that indeed there was some form of chait, but not the superfical understanding of the possuk. (This idea is found in Rashi and tosfos regarding bnei Eli.)
I understand that the rishonim have many points of view on this question
I just wanted to suggest an additional idea that I haven't seen anywhere but would be happy to find a "makor" for
What to you think of my idea?? That the pashut psat is the chait but we are prohibited from saying it.
As Rabbi Landy pointed out, "Kol ha'Omer... Eino Ela To'eh" is one part of a series of similar statements in Maseches Shabbos (55b-56b). It is clear from the Gemara that it is not emphasizing that the people in question either repented for their sin, or sinned but we may not discuss it. Rather, it means that the people listed there did not actually sin the sin that one normally would think they sinned.