MISHNAH: THE TERUMAS HADESHEN
It was originally done by whoever came forward.
In the event that there were several who wished to do it, they would race to the four Amos for the right.
In the event of a tie, there was a Payis.
They would put out one or two fingers.
The thumb could not be put out in the Mikdash.
When a Kohen was injured in such a race, they were Mesaken that the allocation would always be through a Payis.
This was the first of four Paysos.
WHY THE PAYIS WAS INSTITUTED ONLY AFTER THE INCIDENT
Question: Why wasn't this Payis originally instituted?
Answer: They assumed that the night work would not be popular (and when it turned out to be so, even to the point of injury, they instituted the Payis).
Question: But Eivarim and Pedarim are at night, yet there was always a Payis?
Answer: It ends the Avodah of the day.
Question: But the Terumas ha'Deshen is the start of the days' Avodah (R. Yochanan taught that the Kohen need not be Mekadesh his hands and feet for the days' Avodah once he did so for the Terumas ha'Deshen)!?
Answer: He meant that he has already been Mekadesh for Avodah (but the Terumas ha'Deshen is a separate Avodah).
Alternate Answer: They originally assumed that sleep would prevent the Kohanim from coming (and when it turned out...).
Question: But the Eivarim also involve sleep?
Answer: Putting off sleep is not as hard as waking up.
Question: But there was a different reason for the Payis, since the same Payis granted the right to Sidur and Eitzim?
Answer: There were two Takanos:
It was assumed that the Kohanim would not come (for the reasons above) and when it turned out...
Once they made the Payis the Kohanim stopped coming, so they added the right to Sidur and Eitzim to that Payis.
WHICH FOUR AMOS?
(R. Papa): The four Amos must be those closest to the Mizbe'ach (by inference they could not have been:
on the ground before the ramp;
the first four Amos of the Kevesh;
the middle Amos of the Kevesh.)
Question: Did these four Amos include the two Amos above the Sovevim, or were they in addition to them?
THE PAYIS AND THE PROHIBITION OF COUNTING JEWS
The Payis was announced by the instruction to take out fingers.
Question: Why not count the Kohanim themselves?
Answer: This supports R. Yitzhok who taught that counting Jews is forbidden, as it says by Shaul that he counted the soldiers by using shards (Bezek).
Question: Maybe Bezek refers to the name of the place?!
Answer: Rather, the source is the fact that he later counted them using lambs.
Counting Jews is a violation of one (R. Elazar) or two (R. Nachman b. Yitzhok) prohibitions (proof text).
HOW MANY JEWS?
Question: There is a contradiction, where one Pasuk refers to the Jews as finite (as the sand of the sea) and one where they are infinite (uncountable).
Answer #1: It depends on whether (infinite) or not (finite) the Jews perform Hash-m's will.
Answer #2: It depends on whether people (infinite) or Hash-m (finite) is doing the counting.
LEADERSHIP BRINGS WEALTH
From the example of Shaul (who first gave them shards and later gave lambs) we learn that one who is appointed over the community becomes wealthy.
Question: Perhaps each soldier had to bring his own lamb?
Answer: That would not have been newsworthy.
SHAUL AND DAVID
The words va'Yarev ba'Nachal allude to Shaul's rebellion regarding killing all the Amaleikim.
The Bas Kol said, "Al Tehi Tzadik Harbeh".
When Shaul told Doeg to kill the Kohanei Nov, the Bas Kol announced, "Al Tirsha Harbeh".
There is a great difference between Shaul (who was punished for one error- Agag) and David (who was pardoned for two- Uriah and the counting).
Question: What of the incident of Bas Sheva?
Answer: He was punished fourfold (as he had predicted by his response to Noson) with the son, Amnon, Tamar and Avshalom.
Question: But he was also punished for the counting!?
Answer: That was not on his person (it was on the people).
Question: But the punishments for Bas Sheva were similarly not on his person?
Answer: They were on his person, as he became a Metzora, and was distanced by the Shechinah and the Sanhedrin (as in his pleas in the proof text).
Question: But David received Lashon Hara and caused the splitting of the property of Mefiboshes (another transgression)?!
Answer (Shmuel): No, he did not.
Answer (Rav): He did, and he was punished by the splitting of the Kingdom under Yeravam and Rechavam.
From the Pasuk we see that Shaul was like a one-year-old, untainted by sin.
Question (R. Nachman b. Yitzhok): Maybe he was soiled like a one-year-old in Tit and Tzoah?
R. Nachman b. Yitzhok was shown terrifying angels.
He responded with acknowledging his error in speaking against the bones of Shaul.
He was again shown the terrifying angels.
He responded by adding, 'King of Israel'.
Question: Why was Shaul's reign not passed on to his son?
Answer: Because his lineage was unblemished.
We are taught that a leader must have such a blemish in his family history.
This keeps the ruler humble.
Question: Why was Shaul punished?
Answer: Because he waived his honor (two incidents) at the start of his rule.