Atar, Heifets Hashem, ad loc. Other commentators argue, however, that the rulings of the pair were in the category of hora’at sha’a (a temporary abrogation or change of the law), presumably effected by the authority of the Sanhedrin or the leading scholar of the generation; hence, their rulings cannot be considered misrepresentations of Jewish law. See R. Jonathan Shteiff, Hadashim Gam Yeshanim, ad. loc., first interpretation; R. Jacob Schor, Mishnat Ya’akov, Birkat Ya’akov (Jerusalem: Mossad HaRav Kook, 1990) ad. loc.; see also Addendum, Part 4i. Finally, some commentators posit that the rulings of the young scholars were indeed accurate, though normally they should not have challenged R. Hanina publicly. See ad loc. the following commentaries: R. Elijah of Vilna, Imrei Noam, s.v. “Ki heikha”; R. Hayyim Joseph David Azulai, Petakh Einayyim; R. Jonathan Shteiff, Hadashim Gam Yeshanim, second interpretation; R. Joseph Hayyim, Ben Yehoyada; R. Jacob Emden (gloss, ad loc.); R. Joseph Saul Nathanson, Yad Sha’ul, sec 242, no. 23.
(e) The Talmud in Eruvin 13a indicates that for pedagogic reasons, R. Akiva lied in declaring that the halakha follows the view of the disciple of R. Yishmael. Similarly, in Zevahim 13a, R. Huna made up a non-existent kal va-homer—also for pedagogic reasons. In Yoma 23a/b we are told that R. Zadok misrepresented the laws of egla arufa in order to heighten the sense of mourning and re-sensitize the people to the value of life. (Regarding the latter case, see Meiri, Yoma 23a; R. Isaac Nunis Weiss, Si’ah Yitshak, Yoma 23a; R. Aharon Lichtenstein, Nahpesa Derakheinu veNahkora, Alon Shevut Bogerim, Tevet 5756, pp. 15-27. Several of the commentaries reinterpret the comments of R. Zadok such that there is no misrepresentation; see Ritva and Maharsha ad loc.).
(f) Megilla 9a records that the seventy sages sequestered by King Talmai for the purpose of translating the Torah deviated in several instances from the literal meaning of the text for fear of offending the king. Maharshal himself suggests that the action of the seventy sages was divinely inspired, or alternatively that they changed only words, not the intent. R. Elijah Rogeler, Resp. Yad Eliyahu, sec. 48, s.v “Akh de-tsarikh lomar,” is unsatisfied with these answers and derives from this incident that ziyyuf haTorah is not grounds for martyrdom. He further argues that even Maharshal could be referring only to instances where there is a mere “doubt” (hashash) of danger.
(g) The Talmud in Yevamot 106a recounts the story of a childless widow (yevama) who was hesitant to undergo levirate marriage to her brother-in-law (yavam) for fear that he was interested only in her money. In order to outsmart the brother-in-law, R. Hiyya bar Abba told the yavam: “Halots la, u-vekhakh ata konesa (perform levirate divorce, and thereby you will