IF A [DEAD] CREEPING THING WAS FOUND IN THE TEMPLE, A PRIEST SHOULD CARRY IT OUT IN HIS GIRDLE TO AVOID KEEPING THE UNCLEANNESS THERE ANY LONGER THAN IS NECESSARY; SO R.JOHANAN B. BEROKA. R. JUDAH RULED: [IT SHOULD BE REMOVED] WITH WOODEN TONGS IN ORDER THAT THE UNCLEANNESS SHALL NOT INCREASE.
The point at issue: is it better to take out something which defiles (sheretz - a dead creeping thing) quickly and limit the exposure in time, or take some time to fetch wooden tongs which do not recieve the uncleanness, thereby limiting the exposure in space.
Here the discussion stretches to the priority of who could enter into the innermost sections of the Temple to do the work. They quote this text:
And the priests went in unto the inner part of the house of the Lord, to cleanse it, and brought out all the uncleanness that they found in the Temple of the Lord into the court of the house of the Lord. And the Levites took it to carry it out abroad to the brook Kidron. (II Chron 29:16)
Seeing this transference of unclean stuff, the Rabbis taught:
All may enter the Hekal to build, to repair or to take out uncleanness. It is a religious duty, however, that the priests should do it. If no priests are available Levites may enter. If no Levites are available Israelites may enter.
R. Kahana learned: Since it was said: Only [a physically blemished priest] shall not go in unto the veil, (Lev. 21:23) it might have been assumed that priests who have a blemish must not enter between the Ulam and the altar to make the beaten plates (on the Holy of Holies). Hence it was explicitly stated: ‘Only’ i.e., ‘draw a distinction’: Thus the commandment is that those who are without blemish are qualified, but if men without a blemish are unavailable those with blemishes may enter; the commandment is that those who are levitically clean may enter, but if no men who are levitically clean are available those who are levitically unclean may enter; but in all these cases priests only may enter but no Israelites.
“Only” in the Torah does not mean “only” – it is an exclusion but here, according to R. Kahana, really represents a priority. As in, they only enter when no unblemished priest is available!
And with that – giving Rav Kahana the last word - we end discussion of the Tractate Eruvin.