132*. Igrot Moshe, O.H. V, sec. 28, no. 21.
133.R. Moses Feinstein cited by R. David Cohen, “HeAkov leMishor” (Jerusalem: Morasha leHanhil Press, 5753) p. 33, s.v. “ve-nizkarti” (and in personal communication to Aryeh A. Frimer, December 27, 1990). Rabbi Zelig Epstein, in conversation with Aryeh A. Frimer and Noach Dear, March 8, 1996, argued, however, that such a ziyyuf haTorah may have been permitted only because it enabled the spiritual salvation of Kelal Yisrael. This would be analogous to the position of R. Joseph Colon, Resp. Maharik, sec. 167 (see also Encyclopedia Talmudit, XXII, “Ye-hareg veAl Ya’avor,” at pp. 64-65), who justifies the actions of Yael and Queen Esther on the grounds that it resulted in the salvation of Kelal Yisrael. R. J. David Bleich also attempts to set aside R. Feinstein’s proof suggesting that the disclaimer was not misrepresentation since everyone - including probably the censor - knew it was fallacious. See: R. J. David Bleich, Tradition 33:1 (Fall 1998) pp. 131-133. However, as just noted, Maharshal prohibits misstating Jewish law even if one is asked to do so under the penalty of death. R. Moses Feinstein (Resp. Iggerot Moshe, O.H., II, sec. 51) explains that ziyyuf ha-Torah is prohibited according to the Maharshal because in the latter’s opinion it is comparable to denying the validity and immutability of the Torah (ke-kofer be-Torat Moshe). The fact that the oppressor knows full well that the misstatement would not be voluntarily and willfully given - but motivated only by the extreme duress - seems to be of no consequence. Indeed, a Jew is not allowed to be ke-kofer be-Torat Moshe even if the oppressor knows he’s not saying so volitionally. Thus, if the Maharshal is correct, why then shouldn’t the “standard disclaimer” be considered ziyyuf ha-Torah irrespective of the motivation of the declarer or the knowledge of the oppressor? As to the question of whether normative Halakha accepts the position of Maharshal, we believe that the sources collected in Addendum Part III of this paper make this highly unlikely.
134.Supra, note 123.
135.Supra, note 129 and R. Yehuda Herzl Henkin, “Issur Harigat Goy veTov she-baGoyyim Harog,” Keshot no. 4 (Adar II/Nissan 5755), pp. 12-14, reprinted in Resp. Benei Vanim, III, sec. 40.
136.See the Addendum section of this paper, Part 3, for an extensive list of views and cases which apparently demonstrate that misrepresenting halakha is merely another—albeit, perhaps, a more serious—form of lying, which may be permitted under certain conditions and is by no means grounds for martyrdom. R. J. David Bleich, supra, note