for if no distinction is drawn between a stringency and the original ordinance, any error found in the stringency may lead the masses to believe that there is an error in the original ordinance itself.
232.For example, according to several sources, included in the prayer of R. Nehunya ben haKana (Berakhot 28b) is the phrase, “. . . And that we should not permit the forbidden and forbid the permitted;” see Yerushalmi, Berakhot 4:2; Maimonides, Commentary to Mishna Berakhot 4:2 and M.T., Berakhot 10:23; Rif and Rosh, Berakhot 28b. In addition, the Mishna in Avot V:8 states, “A sword comes to the world . . . because of those who teach Torah not according to the halakha.” Rabbeinu Jonah of Gerondi, R. Ovadiah of Bartenura, Tosefot Yom Tov, Tiferet Yisrael, and R. Pinhas Kehati all understand this to include both he who prohibits the permitted and he who permits the forbidden. R. Yoel Sirkis, Bayit Hadash, Tur, Y.D. 187, end of s.v. Umah shekatav veha-Ramban katav, writes in the name of R. Asher ben Yehiel: “If an important person, out of humility, does not want to rely on himself [to be lenient], let him chose for himself to behave as an ascetic. However, he is not permitted to record this stringency in a book, to rule this way for the future generations, unless he brings clear proofs from the Talmud [to support his stringency].” R. Shabtai haKohen, supra, note 230, states: “Just as it is forbidden to permit the forbidden, so it is prohibited to forbid the permitted . . . because [a stringency in one place] will lead to a leniency elsewhere.” Resp. Teshuva meAhava, I, sec. 181, at the end, states, “The punishment for one who is improperly stringent in his ruling is greater than that of one who is improperly lenient.” Resp. Divrei Hayyim, I, Y.D. sec. 2 (based on Maimonides’ Sefer haMitsvot, Lo Ta’ase 273) argues that one who forbids the permitted violates the biblical prohibition of “Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment . . .” (Leviticus 19:15). Resp. Igrot Moshe, Y.D. II, sec. 45, states: “It is also clear that one is obligated to clarify the law, even if there is reason to fear that as a result there may be some wrongdoers and fools who will err. . . . And the clarification of the law, even to be lenient, is an obligation even greater than teaching Torah. . . .” R. Asher Weis, Minhat Asher, Shevi’it, Responsa, end of sec. 36, declares: “And I know that many will be surprised with my position, for why shouldn’t we encourage the institution of this stringency. However, this is not the way of the Torah. For just as one should not create new leniencies, so one should not create new prohibitions - which our predecessors never imagined. Many cite the rule of the ‘Exilarch’ [R. Moses Sofer], the Hatam Sofer – ‘that which is new is biblically forbidden’. Yet few are aware that the Hatam Sofer wrote this