SALT MAY BE SCATTERED ON THE ALTAR'S ASCENT THAT THE PRIESTS SHALL NOT SLIP.
The alter’s steps were smooth and could be slippery after the rain. But there are difficulties with scattering items on Shabbat.
But is not this inconsistent with the following: If a courtyard floor was damaged by rainwater one may bring straw and level it?
Isn’t spreading straw to allow safe passage on a slippery floor the same as spreading salt? Apparently not because “the owner does not renounce it.” That is the straw would subsequently be picked up to be used for animal feed.
The problem with “scattering” is not the action itself, but it might be considered “building” by leveling the floor – and action which is one of the 39 forbidden categories of “work” on Shabbat. This makes it forbidden by Torah law. Scattering salt is not “building” or leveling, it is only forbidden in the country according to Rabbinic law.
R. SIMEON SAID: WHEREVER THE SAGES HAVE PERMITTED YOU ANYTHING THEY HAVE ONLY GIVEN YOU WHAT IS REALLY YOURS, SINCE THEY HAVE ONLY PERMITTED YOU THAT WHICH IS FORBIDDEN AS SHEBUTH (Rabbinic enactment).
That is, the rabbis relax only restrictions which they have enacted as preventative measures. But not Torah law.