|Tractate Berachot, Chapter 6
Rebbi Yossi Ben Rebbi Yehudah says, “It says [in the verse], ‘… because you cannot come into the gate of the king in sackcloth.’ (Esther 4:2)2 For sure there are many more Kal Vechomer (a derivation from minor to major) derivations in this case.”3 And spitting [is forbidden on the Temple Mount] from a Kal Vechomer.4 Even though a shoe has nothing disgraceful about it, [and still] the Torah says5 not to go with a shoe [on to the Temple Mount], it is a Kal Vechomer to spitting which is disgraceful, [that it should be for sure forbidden on the Temple Mount].6
מסכת ברכות פרק ו
רבי יוסי ברבי יהודה אומר הרי הוא אומר (אסתר ד:ב) כי אין לבוא אל שער המלך בלבוש שק. על אחת כמה וכמה קלין וחמורין בדבר. ורקיקה מקל וחומר. ומה מנעל שאין בו דרך בזיון אמרה תורה אל תכנס במנעל קל וחומר לרקיקה שיש בה דרך בזיון.
- The Tosefta continues its discussion from the previous Tosefta. Rebbi Yossi Ben Rebbi Yehudah argues on the reason for the laws stated in the previous Tosefta and provides his own reason. In addition, the Tosefta explains what is the Kal Vachomer from which we learn that spitting is forbidden on the Temple Mount, as stated in Mishna 9:5 of Berachot.
- The verse in Esther refers to why Mordechai was not allowed to enter the palace of King Achashverosh while he was wearing sackcloth and mourning over Haman’s decree to destroy the Jews. It was forbidden to enter the king’s palace while wearing sackcloth.
- The Kal Vechomer in this case is obvious. Since it was not allowed to enter the palace of a human king while not dressed appropriately then how much more so it should not be allowed in the Temple of God who is the King of kings. Rebbi Yossi Ben Rebbi Yehudah felt that it is much better to derive all of the laws stated in the previous Tosefta from this verse in Esther using the Kal Vechomer than from the verse in Kohelet that was stated in the prevous Tosefta. The reason that Rebbi Yossi Ben Rebbi Yehudah felt this way is most probably because the lesson of this Kal Vechomer is a lot more powerful than the verse in Kohelet since people understood very well how severe the punishments were for violating palace rules of human kings. This is probably he says that there are many Kal Vechomer derivations from this verse in Esther and not just one, since people can imagine all kinds of reasons why rules in God’s palace are more stringent than in a human king’s palace.
- The reference to spitting was stated in Mishna 9:5. The Tosefta now explains what the Kal Vechomer is.
- The Torah does not explicitly say that a person is not allowed to wear shoes on the Temple Mount. However there is a hint in the Torah for that. Moshe was told by God to remove his shoes when he went up to the mountain to see the burning bush, because it was a holy place. See Shemot 3:5. The reason that the Tosefta did not quote this verse as the source for not wearing shoes on the Temple Mount is because it wanted to quote a more general reference from which all of the mentioned prohibitions could be learned from and not just the prohibition of wearing shoes.
- It should be noted that the text of this Tosefta in the regular printed editions is completely reversed, which gives it a different meaning and is not correct. It seems that it was edited based on the Beraita quoted in Talmud Bavli (Berachot 62b) which is a different Beraita although it looks very similar to this Tosefta. I have quoted and explained the text based on the way it appears in the Vienna and Erfurt manuscripts of the Tosefta.