marry her).” While R. Hiyya’s reasons for lying were noble, even laudatory, this was a willful misrepresentation of halakha. Interestingly, Yam Shel Shelomo, Yevamot, sec. 12, nos. 30 and 31, discusses this story, including the issue of lying, but does not raise the question of ziyyuf haTorah. Note, however, that Maharshal may distinguish between misrepresenting the permissibility or prohibition of an action, and misrepresenting the result and/or effect of a given action. There was nothing prohibited in R. Hiyya’s advising the yavam to do halitsa; the only ziyyuf here was about its consequence, i.e., whether halitsa can effect marriage.
(h) In the famous story recorded in Gittin 56a, Bar Kamtsa, in vengeful spite, maimed an animal sent to the Temple by the Caesar of Rome, rendering it forbidden to sacrifice. For fear of retribution from the Roman Empire, the rabbis wanted to sacrifice the animal anyway. R. Zekhariah ben Abkulas, however, prevented this by arguing that such an action might lead people to conclude that maimed animals are eligible as sacrifices. The rabbis then wanted to kill Bar Kamtsa as a pursuer (rodef); however, again R. Zekhariah cautioned that people might say that anyone who maims a sacrifice is liable for the death penalty. The Talmud closes with the words of R. Yohanan: that R. Zekhariah’s overly pious concerns resulted in the destruction of the Second Temple (see also Tosefta Shabbat, 17:4). Contrary to the view of R. J. D. Bleich, note 123, nearly all the commentaries (vide infra) on this story indicate that life and death considerations should have guided the rabbis to both sacrifice the maimed animal and/or kill Bar Kamtsa—irrespective of any misrepresentation of halakha that might have occurred as a result. On Gittin 56a, see the following commentaries: R. Jacob Emden; R. Zvi Hirsch Chajes; R. Meir Schiff; R. Samuel Eliezer Edels (Maharsha); R. Jacob Reisher, Iyyun Ya’akov; R. Moses Sofer, Hiddushei Hatam Sofer; R. Hayyim Joseph David Azulai, Petakh Einayyim; R. Joseph Hayyim, Ben Yehoyada. In addition, see Beit Yosef, Tur H.M., sec. 388, no. 16, s.v. “ve-Katav ha-Rosh;”R. Elijah of Vilna, Divrei Eliyahu, Parshat Mishpatim, s.v. “Lo tihye”; R. Zev Einhorn, Pirush Maharzu, Eikha Rabba 4:3; R. Isaac Una cited in Resp. Seridei Esh (Mossad haRav Kook, Jerusalem, 5737 edition), I, Teshuvot Gedolei haRabbanim beInyan Mifreket, no. 9, s.v. “Aval me-Ahar”; R. Yehezkel Abramsky, Tosefta Hazon Yehezkel, Shabbat, 17:4, R. Saul Liberman, Tosefta kiPeshuta, Shabbat, 16:7, Be’ur haArokh lines 16-17; Resp Iggerot Moshe, Y.D., I, sec. 101, s.v. “u-Ma she-Katav Yedidi;”Resp. Benei Vanim, I, Ma’amar 5.
(i) Gittin 62a indicates that in order to prevent an am ha-arets from defiling the ritual purity of halla, one is permitted to lie to the am ha-arets and state, “See here, if you touch the halla, your dough will return to a status of tevel.”