Thus says the Lord of hosts; Ask now the priests concerning the Torah, saying, If one carries consecrated meat in the skirt of his garment, and with his skirt touches bread, or pottage, or wine, or oil, or any food, shall it become consecrated? And the priests answered and said, No. (Hag. 2:11-12)
Sorry, wrong answer – as least as far as some see it:
Rab said: The priests erred; but Samuel maintained, The priests did not err.
The test continues:
Then said Haggai, If one that is unclean by a dead body touch any of these, shall it be unclean? And the priests answered and said, It shall be unclean. (ibid, 13)
The rabbis agree with that answer.
As for Samuel, it is well: since they did not err here, they did not err there [either]; but according to Rab, why did they err here yet did not err there? —
Said R. Nahman in Rabbah b. Abbuha's name: They were well-versed in the uncleanness of a corpse, but not well-versed in the uncleanness of a sherez (creeping things which defile).
Ah, but what does the prophet say:
Then answered Haggai and said, So is this people, and so is this nation before me, saith the Lord: and so is every work of their hands: and that which they offer there is unclean. (ibid. 14)
As for Rab, it is well: hence ‘unclean’ is written. But according to Samuel, why was it unclean? — He indeed wondered. But it is written, and so is every work of their hands? — Said Mar Zutra, others state, R. Ashi: Because they perverted their actions the Writ stigmatizes them as though they offered up [sacrifices] in uncleanness.
See, it is not just the technicalities. The person who performs the ritual is as important as the ritual itself.