argues that this is true even if it is intended to promote a religious purpose (ve-afilu li-dvar mitsvah). See also Niv Sefatayyim, ibid., kelal 1; Resp. Tsits Eliezer 15:12:2. Similarly, R. Elijah Rogeler, Resp. Yad Eliyahu, sec. 61 and 62, chastises a colleague for lying in a decision, even though his intentions were noble. R. Ovadiah Yosef, Resp. Yabia Omer, II, H.M., sec. 3, discusses at length whether a judge, maintaining a minority position on a three judge panel, can lie and say “I do not know what to rule,” - so that two more judges will be added to the panel and his minority opinion will have a chance to become the majority view; he concludes that it is forbidden. R. Solomon Sobel, Salma Hadasha, Mahadura Tinyana, Haftarat Toledot (cited in Titen Emet leYa’akov, ibid., sec. 5, no. 36), explicitly states that me-shanim mi-penei ha-shalom only allows one to change the facts, not the halakha. Both R. Jacob Ettlinger, Arukh leNer, Yevamot 65b, s.v. “she-Ne’emar avikha tsiva” and “Ko tomeru leYosef,” and R. Reuben Margaliot, Kunteres Hasdei Olam, sec. 1061, at the end of his edition of Sefer Hasidim (Mossad haRav Kook: Jerusalem, 5724), maintain that me-shanim mi-penei ha-shalom allows one only to obfuscate by using language which can be understood in different ways, but not to lie; hence, misrepresenting halakhic reasons or sources would also be forbidden. See also: R. Moses David Maccabbi Leventhal, “Shinui beDevar haShalom,” Zohar, 3 (Spring 5760), pp. 49-64. Cf. Addendum, end of Part 5. R. Zvi Elimelekh Wolfson, Kovets Bet Aharon veYisrael [Karlin-Stolin], 10:5 (59) (Sivan-Tammuz 5755), pp. 70-76 suggests that lying to “correct matters” is permissible – but he gives no clear parameters for this..
Relevant to our discussion is the case recorded in the Talmud in Sukka 34b. In an attempt to drive down prices on whole hadasim, the amora Samuel threatened to publicize as accepted law the lenient ruling of R. Tarfon, who allowed the use of hadasim ketumim (myrtles whose tops had been chopped off). This, despite the fact that in reality Samuel maintained that R. Tarfon’s opinion was not the halakha. Ritva, ad loc., s.v. “Mai ta’ama” (authorship is sometimes erroneously attributed to Rashba) reinterprets the case because he refuses to accept that Samuel would lie, even though it was clearly li-dvar mitsvah. Regarding the misrepresentations of halakha described in Berakhot 63a and Keritut 8a, see Addendum, Part 4i. See also Hiddushei Hatam Sofer, Sukka, ad loc., who equates the case in Sukka 34b with that in Keritut 8a, suggesting that both were hora’ot sha’a and, hence not normative Judaism.
Another interesting example of misrepresentation is described by the Talmud, Menahot 36b. Rav Ashi is reported to have worn tefillin at night, contrary to normative halakha. When