misrepresented Jewish tradition, which, according to Maharshal, should have been grounds for martyrdom.
(n) Napoleon Bonaparte placed twelve queries before The Assembly of Jewish Notables, which included the outstanding talmudic scholar, R. David Sinzheim. Their responses, particularly regarding usury and intermarriage, were conscious misrepresentations of Jewish law, perpetrated because of the fear of reprisals. See Tama Diogene, “Collection des Ecrits et des Actes Relatifs au Dernier Etat des Individus Proffessant la Religion Hebraique,” Contemporary English Translation and edition by F.D. Kirwan, 1807; Barukh Mevorakh, “Napoleon uTkufato,” (Jerusalem: Mosad Bialik, 5728), p. 77 ff; Simon Dubnow, “History of the Jews,” trans. by Moshe Spiegel (South Brunswick, N.J., 1967-1973), IV, pp. 552-555. In particular, compare the halakhic answers of R. Ishmael of Modena (ibid., p. 103 ff.) with those of the Assembly. See also R. Natan Raphael Auerbach, “Toledot haRid Sinzheim,” which appears in the introduction to R. Sinzheim’s “Minhat Ani” (Jerusalem: Machon Yerushalayim, 5748), I. Compare with Jacob Katz, “Exclusiveness and Tolerance” (Oxford University Press, London, 1961) pp. 182-193, where the author contends that the rabbis of the Sanhedrin were able to appease Napoleon without making any real concessions. See also: Jay R. Berkovitz, “Changing Conceptions of Gentiles at the Threshold of Modernity: The Napoleonic Sanhedrin” in Formulating Responses in an Egalitarian Age, The Orthodox Forum Series, Marc Stern, ed (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2005); Jay R. Berkovitz, "The Napoleonic Sanhedrin: Halachic Foundations and Rabbinical Legacy," CCAR Journal: A Reform Jewish Quarterly 54:1 (Winter 2007): 11-34 - available online at.
(o) R. Hayyim Joseph David Azulai is reported to have misrepresented Jewish law - under the duress of death - by giving Rabbinic certification to a non-kosher cheese. Fortunately, because of R. Azulai’s very clever wording of the certification document, the subterfuge was revealed. See the discussion of R. Israel Abraham Stein, Haggada shel Pesah Gedolai Yisrael, p. 37-38, s.v. “Rabboteinu.” Similarly, in Resp. Tsits Eliezer, XIV, sec. 99, R. Eliezer Waldenberg permits a judge to willfully distort halakha and rule improperly in order to save his life (“mutar le-hatot et ha-din bi-mkom piku’ah nefesh”). (Surprisingly, R. Waldenberg makes no mention of the view of Yam Shel Shelomo.) See also R. Zvi (Hershel) Schachter, miPeninei haRav, p. 180 regarding R. Avigdor of Chaslevitch who misrepresented halakha in order to save the life of R. Shneur Zalman of Liozna-Lyadi. See, however, R. Abraham Drori and R. Judah David Bleich, note 123.