Monday, August 31, 2015

וְהָאֱמֶת וְהַשָּׁלוֹם אֱהָבוּ; On Changing the Immutable by Marc B. Shapiro

וְהָאֱמֶת וְהַשָּׁלוֹם אֱהָבוּ; On Changing the Immutable by Marc B. Shapiro
By Yitzchok Stroh

Professor Marc Shapiro’s latest work, Changing the Immutable, contains considerable interesting and pertinent information for the student of Jewish history. As stated on the cover, the author attempts to reveal how the (Jewish) orthodox 'establishment' silences both past and present dissenting voices through "Orthodox Judaism Rewriting Its History." I don't intend this to be a review of the entire work (that would take a lot more time and space), however I did want to share some of my frustration here, because I sense that the author's bias affected his objectivity, and I am afraid that many a reader will be left with an impression that in many ways does not reflect the reality of this complex topic. In this article, I would like to examine one passage of Shapiro’s work to illustrate this point. In chapter eight, entitled, “Is the truth really that important?” Shapiro writes:

Because my purpose in this chapter is to chart the outer limits of what has been viewed as acceptable when it comes to falsehood and deception. I will be focusing on the more ‘liberal’ positions. My aim is to show just how far some rabbinic decisors were willing to go in sanctioning deviations from the truth. One must bear in mind, however, that there are often views in opposition to the ones I shall be examining. Perhaps this knowledge can serve as a counterweight to the shock that many readers will experience upon learning of some of the positions I will mention.
One ‘liberal’ position was expressed by R. Moses Isserles, who went so far as to say that one can even slander someone for the sake of preserving the community. The particular case he was discussing concerned a terrible community dispute that had created the possibility that the Jewish population would be expelled from the city. In what many will find a problematic decision, Isserles offered the opinion, which was then put into action, that it was acceptable to provide false information about an individual whom the government suspected of wrongdoing, if this would alleviate the situation. Although the Talmud states, with regard to giving a man up for execution in response to a demand made by non-Jews, that this is not the way of the pious, Isserles defended his approach: “Even if we did not act in accord with the way of the pious, nevertheless, we acted in accord with the law. I have proven that it is permitted to speak leshon hara [slander] in order to preserve peace.”[1]
Here, Shapiro portrays the רמ"א, the primary codifier of halacha for Ashkenazic Jewry, to have ruled that for the sake of preserving the peace, it is acceptable to provide false information to non-Jewish authorities about a presumably innocent individual whom the government suspected of wrongdoing.
Shocking indeed.

Unfortunately, Shapiro fails to present the תשובה of the רמ"א thoroughly and accurately, and as a result, the reader is left with an erroneous understanding of the opinion of the רמ"א. Furthermore, Shapiro fails to present the relevant section of Talmud precisely, which may lead to further misunderstanding. I am not accusing Professor Shapiro of intentional distortion, but חז"ל do teach us הוי זהיר בתלמוד ששגגת תלמוד עולה זדון -- so, with this in mind, I would like to offer a more careful presentation of the Rema’s position as a counterweight for those who've read this (inaccurately presented) 'shocking' position of the רמ"א.

סימן י"א in  שו"ת הרמ"א is written in complicated rabbinic style, and does not provide a full account of what transpired -- but, as the רמ"א writes in the introduction to the תשובה, we should be able to extract sufficient background information as necessary for our purposes[2]:  

The תשובה is a כתב התנצלות[3] (a “writ of justification”) defending actions taken by the בית דין of the רמ"א in response to a local crisis, and as the  רמ"א makes it quite clear in his description of the events, the ensuing bitter results were unexpected and troubling:

 ... הנה בכל אלה לשלום נתכוונו בעצם וראשונה, אף כי במקרה מרה היתה באחרונה, ואף מקצת עזי פנים היו בקרבנו ועכשיו מהפכים דברינו לתוהו ובהו. מיהו אנו לשם שמים נתכוונו, והכל נמשך אחר המחשבה והכוונה. אף כי אחריתו ראש ולענה. "Behold in this entire incident our intention was peace, first and foremost, even though by happenstance the end was bitter. There were also a few brazen individuals amongst us, who are now turning things into utter chaos. However, our intent was for the sake of Heaven, and 'everything follows one’s thoughts and intentions', even though the end was gall and wormwood."

While it is probably impossible to reconstruct a precise account of the incident, the following is obvious from the details presented in the תשובה: (1) The government did not suspect anyone of any type of wrongdoing[4]. (2) It was not an individual that was slandered; it was a group of about one hundred respectable community leaders or activists that were slandered. (3) False information was never provided to non-Jewish authorities, and those slandered were not slandered publicly -- they were slandered in a private ruling by the decision of a בית דין which was then recorded in a written document. (4) Furthermore, the document was fashioned in a manner which made it evident that the ruling was an exaggeration and not an actual account, and (5) it was drafted only to be used as a means of forcing two opposing sides to reconcile a community quarrel. Unfortunately, (6) the document did become public knowledge and its intention was misconstrued by unscrupulous individuals.[5] And (7) there were dire consequences, probably due to involvement of the non-Jewish authorities, but we do not know what those consequences were.

The actual events that led up to this action are described at length and can be summed up as follows:
A group of pretentious rabbinic and lay leaders[6] convened to place a ban on a certain individual, causing him great harm[7]. (The reason for the ban is not clear.) This individual then sought to take revenge upon those who had placed the ban upon him[8] and was joined by others who sympathized with his cause,[9] ultimately splitting the entire community between his supporters and his enemies[10]. This caused a tremendous desecration of G-d’s name as the strife continued to escalate[11], which led to placing the entire community in danger of being expelled by the authorities[12].

The רמ"א and his colleagues attempted to intercede with the individual’s opponents, but were completely ignored[13], and the matter escalated to the point of death threats against the man upon whom the ban had been placed[14]. In an attempt to resolve matters, the רמ"א and his partners decided to write a fictitious halachic ruling[15], containing exaggerated and slanderous accusations against the individual's opponents, with the goal being that the individual in question would then use this document to extort the ruling written against him from his enemies, whereby both the documents would be exchanged and destroyed. 

Now, before you extrapolate from here that the רמ"א  had a flippant attitude towards honesty, please consider:

(1) The רמ"א and his colleagues were quite concerned about the possibility that this individual might use the document inappropriately (i.e. reveal its contents to the authorities), and to prevent this, they had him swear a strict oath that he would not show the document to anyone else, and that he would only use it to get his opponents to hand over their original חרם document to him[16]. Anyone familiar with the severity of an oath in Jewish law, and the general fear of swearing falsely at that time, will understand why the outcome was quite a surprise to the rabbis who signed this slanderous document. Furthermore, רמ"א had taken additional steps to insure that the document would be null and void if misused, and as the רמ"א concludes in his justification, "אבל לא נחתם להרע בו לשום אדם חלילה לנו מרשע" (...it was not signed to inflict harm upon any person; G-d forbid that we should do evil).

(2) Regardless of the fact that the slanderous ruling and the resulting document were extremely limited in nature and not meant to be seen by the public (and certainly not the government), the רמ"א was clearly still troubled by the elements of dishonesty. He makes it quite obvious that he felt that he had no choice, and that it was entirely out of concern for the safety of the community that made speaking and writing falsely and negatively about fellow Jews necessary in this case. It is this decision that the רמ"א is attempting to justify in his כתב התנצלות - and as we will see, this was hardly taken lightly.

The רמ"א goes on to quote various sources to support his decision, and proceeds, in rabbinic style, to argue the point by analyzing a Talmudic ruling. Shapiro, when he discusses the Talmudic ruling tells only half the story. Shapiro writes, “The Talmud states, with regard to giving a man up for execution in response to a demand made by non-Jews, that this is not the way of the pious.” However, as we shall see, giving a man up for execution in response to a demand made by non-Jews has nothing to do with the pious -- indeed, it is strictly forbidden according to the Talmud. The Mishnah in תרומות rules that if non-Jews were to approach a group of Jewish women and demand that they hand over one of them be defiled or else they would defile all of them, that it is forbidden to hand over one of the women. The Talmud Yerushalmi adds that the same rule would apply in a situation where a non-Jew demands of a group of Jews that they hand over one Jew to be executed or else they would all be killed, that it is likewise forbidden to hand over one of them[17]

In this תשובה the רמ"א applies an analogy: Just as it is forbidden to save the lives or the innocence of all through giving over one individual to be defiled or killed, so too it would be forbidden to slander, ridicule, and deride one individual, or a group of individuals (even if no one ever became aware of the slander) in order to remove slander and ridicule from the entire community.

However, the רמ"א sees two distinctions between the cases: Firstly, the halachah that forbids giving someone over applies to a situation where it is done with an action, whereas if it is a matter of speech it would be permitted. Meaning that if the powers that be needed information with which they could kill one of the group, and they threatened that unless that information is provided they would kill them all, it would be permissible to give this information -- since by merely providing information they are not directly participating in the action of murder, and therefore they would not be considered accomplices to the execution. So too in our situation, since slander is a matter of speech, the Talmud's aforementioned rule would not apply. And secondly, the prohibition not to give someone over to the gentiles, is only in a case where they do not request a specific individual. However, were the non-Jews to demand a specific individual to defile or kill, and threaten that if he isn't turned over they would defile or kill the entire group, then it would be permitted to turn him over. The רמ"א compared the situation in his city to a situation where specific individuals are being targeted; therefore he permitted falsehood and לשון הרע to be spoken.

Regarding this second limitation, the רמ"א questions his ruling based on the following anecdote related in the Talmud Yerushalmi: An individual was sought by the royal government, and he escaped to לוד. When the government surrounded the מדינהר' יהושע בן לוי handed him over to them. Until this point in time it had been common for Eliyahu HaNavi to visit R. Yehoshua, but after this incident, אליהו הנביא ceased his visits. Subsequently, R. Yehoshua fasted many fasts, and Eliyahu appeared to him, and said, “Shall I reveal myself to a slanderer?” To which R’ Yehoshua responded, “But have I not acted according to the משנה?”  To this Eliyahu replied, “Can this be considered משנת חסידים?”

It is in response to this that the רמ"א states, "even if we did not act in accordance with 'the way of the pious', nevertheless, we acted in accordance with the law." It seems reasonable to assume that since the slander recorded in the document written by the רמ"א and his colleagues was never meant to be seen by anyone and would have alleviated the threat of expulsion, the רמ"א felt that it was not necessary to follow “the ways of the pious” and was satisfied with following the letter of the law[18]. Hence, Shapiro’s claim in the name of the רמ"א that it was acceptable to provide false information about an individual whom the government suspected of wrongdoing if this would alleviate the situation” is neither fair nor accurate.

In conclusion, I think it is fair to say that the position of the רמ"א in שו"ת הרמ"א סימן י"א does not represent a radical position which may shock many readers as being “on the outer limits of what has been viewed as acceptable when it comes to falsehood and deception”. Rather, there is no reason not to view this as the position of a responsible community leader of a high moral caliber, and it is unfortunate that he has been portrayed differently.

Postscript:

Although the following does not affect the above, I include it for whatever historical interest it may have: From the language of תשובה י"א in שו"ת הרמ"א (קהלתנו, עירנו, רחובותינו, = our community, our city, our streets) it seems almost certain that the case under discussion took place in the author’s city.  If the author was the רמ"א, that city would be Cracow, Poland where the רמ"א served as Rav from an extremely young age until his passing. However R. Asher Ziv, the Rema’s biographer and editor of his תשובות, suggests that the incident took place in the city of Prague in Bohemia[19]; a city plagued by strife and under the constant threat of expulsion. Since the five תשובות following סימן י"א in שו"ת הרמ"א were written by various rabbanim regarding problems in the city of Prague, it is not unlikely that תשובה י"א also concerns a dispute in Prague.

Based on the above, it would seem plausible to conclude that תשובה י"א was not even authored by the [20]רמ"א; rather it was sent to him by a colleague from Prague[21]. It is additionally possible that the תשובה was in no way connected to the רמ"א, however, since the תשובה was found among the other תשובות relating to Prague it was included accidently. This would not be all that surprising, since we do know that there are תשובות in שו"ת הרמ"א which were erroneously included in the collection[22].
   
Response by Marc B. Shapiro

Let me begin by thanking Rabbi Yitzchok Stroh and the many others who have read my book carefully, especially those who have sent comments. Some readers have pointed out errors or alternative ways to read passages and others have called attention to important new sources. I have already mentioned some of these in past posts and will continue to do so in future posts.

Stroh believes that my presentation of a responsum of R. Moses Isserles is inaccurate and suggests that it was my bias that led to my objectivity being affected. I am not sure what my bias would be in this case, presumably a desire to make use of an important source in support of my argument.

Stroh’s summary of the responsum is helpful, especially since as Stroh notes it is difficult to reconstruct exactly what happened. The beginning of the case was, as Stroh states:

A group of pretentious rabbinic and lay leaders convened to place a ban on a certain individual, causing him great harm. (The reason for the ban is not clear.)

In reading over the responsum, I think that the reason for the ban is explained on p. 56 in Siev’s edition. It states:
עליו נגזרה גזירה ונחתך עליו דין מסור הגמורה

I assume this means that they regarded him as a moser, and that is why he was placed under the ban. Earlier it states regarding this man ודמו להיות מותר which apparently alludes to the fact that a moser should be killed.

Stroh notes that I am mistaken in assuming that the government suspected one of the Jews of wrongdoing and that R. Isserles ruled that false information could be provided if this was the only way to save the community. He also states that contrary to my presentation, it was not one person who was to be slandered but numerous community leaders.

I have read over the responsum and I have to agree that the slander was not directed against one person but against a group, so I thank Stroh for this correction. In fact, I am not the only one to make this mistake, and am indeed in good company (not that this is in any way an excuse). Nachum Rakover also describes the case as being one of slander against an individual.[23]

מוציאי הדיבה קיוו, שאם "ישנו את טעמם", כלומר ישקרו אודות מישהו מהקהילה, יעלה בידם להחזיר את השלום על כנו.

Based on this, Rakover then has an entire section dealing with if it is OK to sacrifice an individual to save the many.

R. Aryeh Pomeranchik writes:[24]

בתשו' הרמ"א סי' י"א למד מזה, דמותר להוציא שם רע על אחד מן הצבור כדי להשקיט בזה המריבה שנפלה בין הצבור ולעשות שלום
R. Aharon David Goldberg writes:[25]

אמנם בתשובות הרמ"א סי' י"א מפורש דלא כדבריו, שדן בשאלה אם מותר להוציא שם רע על אחד מן הצבור כדי להשקיט מריבה

R. Yitzchak Zilberstein might also make this error (although it could be that he was simply not being exact in his description of the case, as his focus is on the underlying halakhah):[26]

ובתשובות הרמ"א (סימן יא) למד מזה, שמותר להוציא שם רע על אחד, כדי להשקיט בזה מריבה שנפלה בין הציבור ולעשות שלום.

It is certain, however, that R. Zilberstein is mistaken when he states[27] שלמעשה הרמ"א לא התיר, as the entire responsum is indeed a justification of the action which occurred, and R. Isserles states: “Even if we did not in accordance with ‘the way of the pious’, nevertheless, we acted in accordance with the law.”

What about the non-Jewish government? Again, I have to agree with Stroh that there is no evidence that the slander was ever directly reported to the government, although I still assume that R. Isserles would agree that to save the community, one would even be permitted to slander someone to the non-Jewish authorities, not merely to the Jewish community. As I see it, and please correct me if I am wrong, the entire logic of R. Isserles’ responsum leads to this result even if, in the case under discussion, the slander was intended to remain in the Jewish community. How else is one to understand his words (p. 53):

דמותר להוציא שם רע אם כוונתו לשמים ולתכלית טוב כדי לעשות שלום

I thank Rabbi Stroh for setting the record straight.

Regarding giving up a man for execution in response to a demand made by non-Jews, I thought I was clear that we were dealing with a demand for a specific person, the details of which Stroh properly explains. Yet I should have also mentioned that the case must be one where the entire community will itself be killed if they do not give up the man.[28]

In his conclusion, Stroh states that the position of R. Isserles should not be seen as radical. “Rather, there is no reason not to view this as the position of a responsible community leader.” Yet I still think that in the eyes of most people what R. Isserles agreed to will be seen as “on the outer limits of what has been viewed as acceptable.” In fact, R. Daniel Eidensohn, who translates some of R. Isserles’ responsum here, writes as follows: “As far as I know the ruling of the Rema was not accepted and is not cited with approval by anyone else. It is the thinking, however, of one our major poskim and illustrates how important community peace is.”

R. Israel Zev Minzberg finds the permission to slander another for the sake of peace incomprehensible, and states that one cannot rely on this ruling.[29]

דברי התשו' הנז' נפלאו ממני ולדעתי אין לסמוך ע"ז למעשה כלל וכלל.

R. Yitzhak Hutner also found the responsum unacceptable and stated that it was not written by R. Isserles.[30] In other words, contrary to Stroh, Rabbis Eidensohn, Minzberg and Hutner do find the conclusion of the responsum surprising, and indeed “on the outer limits”.

Finally, I must note that R. Zilberstein refers to the responsum of R. Isserles in another place where he discusses the following problem:[31] Reuven is a very good and God-fearing student. His brother Shimon is not, and causes Reuven all sorts of serious problems. The teacher of Reuven wants to stop Shimon from doing this, and the only way to do so is to tell Shimon’s father, Yaakov, that Shimon said that he was going to steal from Yaakov in order to hire some thugs who would attack Reuven. When Yaakov hears this, he will take steps against Shimon and this will stop Shimon’s harassment of Reuven. Is it permitted for the teacher to lie about Shimon in order to protect Reuven?[32]

R. Zilberstein concludes that it is permitted to tell Yaakov the falsehood about Shimon, since Shimon is a “ba’al mahaloket”. In addition to citing R. Isserles’ responsum, he also cites an opinion of the Hafetz Hayyim.[33] The Hafetz Hayyim states that if one sees that a certain individual will be a bad influence on his son or student, he should warn him to keep away from this individual. If, however, by telling the truth about this individual, it will not be enough to keep one’s son or student away, the Hafetz Hayyim states that “it is possible” that it is permitted to exaggerate the individual’s wrongdoing, on the condition that one does this le-shem shamayim and not because of any personal grudge.

ולענין הפרט שלא יגדל העולה יותר ממה שהיא אם יספר להם כאשר היא לא יתרחקו מאתו ויכול לבוא מזה ריעותא אפשר דמותר לגדל

Although the Hafetz Hayyim shows some hesitation as to whether this is permissible, R. Zilberstein has no such qualms and concludes that it is permitted to lie for the good purpose of helping Reuven.

This decision provides further proof for my point that there are many voices in the tradition that sanction departing from the truth when they deem it necessary.



[1] Shapiro, Changing the Immutable, p. 255.
[2] All excerpts from שו"ת הרמ"א are from R’ Asher Ziv’s 1970 edition. "יבינו הקורא מעצמו מתוך דברי ענין ההתנצלות בעצמו". (שו"ת הרמ"א נ"ב ע"ב.)
[3] "כתב התנצלות בענין מעשה שנעשה בשנות טעמים מפני רדיפת שלום" (שם).
[4] כנראה שטעותו של שפירא נובע מב' קטעים בתשובת הרמ"א, הא' - ממה שכותב הרמ"א שם עמ' נ"ד "ובנדון דידן ייחד לנו אחם מהם, שאומר האויב כי נפשותיהם של אלו היה מבקש כמו שנתבאר", וכנראה ששפירא הבין שהמדובר הוא באויב אינו יהודי מאישי הממשלה, אבל ברור שה"אויב" הוא אותו היהודי שהיה מוחרם מתחלה כפי שמבואר בפירוש בהמשך התשובה שהוא היה האויב של קבוצת הקצינים שהחרימו אותו. עי' בהמשך דברינו בפנים. 
הב' - ממה שכותב הרמ"א "ולא היה לנו למסור נפש אחת מישראל ..."  ושפירא הבין שהכוונה למסור נפש אחת מישראל לעכו"ם, אבל ברור הדבר כפי שכותב הרמ"א בהמשך דבריו שמדובר אודות מסירה ללעג ולקלס ולהוצאת שם רע כמו שכותב הרמ"א "ולא היה לנו למסור נפש אחת מישראל ללעג ולקלס ולהוציא עליו דברים אשר לא כן. כ"ש על חשובים כמאה מנהיגי המדיניה, כמו שעשו במעשה אשר אבאר למטה" וכפי מה שמבאר הרמ"א למטה לא היה מעולם מסירה לאינו יהודים.
וגם בהקטע שם נ"ה ע"א "דמצינו שפת יתר על קציני ארץ ליתן אותם לפני בני בליעל" כוונתו על המסירה לפני אויביהם היהודי הנ"ל וחביריו.
[5] שם עמ'  "... ומפרש בו (בהפסק דין) דברים זרים אשר לא עלו על לבנו מעולם, והתחברו אליו אנשים רקים ... מוציאי דבה..."
[6] שמכנף הארץ שמענו שנתחברו יחד כתרנגולים של בית בוקיא, ועי' ברש"י יבמות פ"ד ע"א שפי' בקיאים וחריפים ואין מניחים תרנגול נכרי ביניהם.
[7] שם נ"ה ע"א "וזה המעשה אשר אירע לא ראינו מעשה מעולם כזה לרוע, שמכנף הארץ שמענו שנתחברו יחד כתרנגולים של בית בוקיא כל רועי ישראל האזינו גדולי ארץ גודרי פרץ פרשו מצודתם בנציבותינו על אחד ונלכד בחרמם ובמצודתם וכדגי הים יאסוף במצותם, ודמו להיות מותר וכסהו בעפר."
[8] שם "הנ"ל רצה על אויביו שהמציאו עליו הדברים לנקום ובהם התעבר הצריח ואף התגבר."
[9] שם "ונתחברו אליו אנשים לעזרתו, אשר היה להם צר בצרתו."
[10] שם "ובסבת זה נחלקה הקהלה לשנים ..."
[11] Apparently the strife came to be judged before the authorities as the רמ"א writes: "כמו שהיה ידוע מקדמות דנא לכל באי שער עירנו, המעשים הרעים שהיו נגד פנינו, ואויבינו היו פלילים. וכאן כנראה כוונתו לאויבים אינו יהודים כמאמר רז"ל המובא ברש"י ריש פרשת משפטים.  
[12] שם. "ובזה נתמוטטו עמודי ארץ ויסודיה. והיה לחוש בן יפוק ח"ו חורבא מיניה מאת פני המלך והשרים לגרש כל העם הזה כולו כהניה ושריה."
[13] שם. "פתחנו לשלום ודברנו עם הצד שהיה מנגד להשלים אתו והיינו בעיניהם כמתעתע"
[14] שם. "[ואמרו] כי לא ישקטו עד אשר רצו להרוג אותו" (בדפוסים אחרים כתוב עד שרצו להרוג אותנו).
[15] שם עמ' נ"ז: "גם מתוך השטר ניכר כי לא דינא עבדנו רק ע"ד גיזום ... כי השטר מזויף מתוכו ... השטר בטל ומבוטל ... כי לא נתקן אלא מפני השלום ..."
[16] שם נ"ו: "כי נשבע לנו שבועה חמורה שלא רצה לגלות השטר החתום לעולם ובשמנו לא יהא נקרא. רק שיוכל להתפאר בו שגם לו חתומים כאלה, באולי יכול להוציא ע"י זה השטר החתום עליו (כלומר שטר החרם) ויבואו על ידי זה להשלים אתו, ויבערו שני הצדדים השטרות מן העולם. ואם ככה היה עשה לנו לא היה בדבר אלא קדוש השם יתברך ... אבל מעולם לא עשינו בכוונה אחרת כי אם להוציא את שלום. ואם לא קיבל עליו להחזיר לנו את חתימתנו."
[17] כמובן שכל זה  מיירי אף כשברור הדבר שביכולתם להרוג את כולם, ולדוגמא אם נמצאו כמה יהודים בבנין ויש ביכולת הנכרים להרוג כולם ע"י שיפוצצו כל הבנין, והנכרים מבקשים למסור להם אחד מהיהודים אסור מן הדין למוסרו להם. וביאור הדבר הוא כי אף באם לא ימסרו אחד מהיהודים להנכרים יהיה אותו יהודי נהרג עם האחרים אך אין לנו רשות לברר מי הוא זה שיצא להריגה. אך כאשר הנכרים מבקשים איש פרטי אזי מעיקרא דדינא מותר למסור אותו אמנם עפ"י דברי הירושלמי אינה ממידת חסידות כי למעשה אנו מוסרים אותו להריגה וטוב לנו להניח הדבר בידי שמים אף שעל פי דרך הטבע מן הסתם יהיו כולם נהרגים.
[18] If one were to be מדייק in the language used by the רמ"א in formulating his ruling, he will notice that the רמ"א permits one to be משנה (alter) for the sake of peace, but he never allows one to be משקר (lie) for the sake of peace. This רמ"א would be proof to the opinion of the Lubavitcher Rebbe Ztz”l (שיחות קודש שבת פ' עקב תשמ"א אות כ"ז עי"ש) who explains that one may be משנה (alter) for the sake of peace, but not be משקר (lie) for the sake of peace.
[19] הר' זיו שם הערה 64, "אבל קרוב הדבר לומר שהכוונה פה לקהילת פראג העתיקה ..."
[20] ואולי זהו הכוונה במש"כ בתוכן הענינים שנדפס בדפוס ראשון של שו"ת הרמ"א, כתב התנצלות בענין רדיפות שלום לגדול אחד, היינו שהתשובה הוא לגדול אחד ולא יצא מידי הרמ"א.
הר' אשר זיו מילת אלו מתוכן הסימנים והעיר בשולי הגליון, בכל ההוצאות נוסף פה 'לגדול אחד'. ואולי הבין שהכוונה הוא שהתשוב נכתב אל גדול אחד.
[21] אולם הר' זיו לא הזכיר שתשובה זו אינו להרמ"א
[22] זיו בהמבוא לשו"ת הרמ"א עמ' 30
[23] Matarah ha-Mekadeshet et ha-Emtza’im (Jerusalem, 2000), p. 176 (emphasis added here and in subsequent quotations).
[24] Emek Berakhah, p. 41.
[25] Shirat David, Bereshit-Shemot, p. 132.
[26] Hashukei Hemed, Sukkah, pp. 443-444.
[27] Ibid., p. 444.
[28] JT Terumot 8:4.
[29] She’erit Yisrael, Orah Hayyim no. 13.
[30] Sefer ha-Zikaron le-Maran Ba’al “Pahad Yitzhak”, p. 334.
[31] Hashukei Hemed, Makot 11a.
[32] One should not assume that this question, or any of the other strange questions in R. Zilberstein’s works, are actual cases. I think it is obvious that he makes them up in order to have a springboard to discuss various halakhic issues.
[33] Hafetz Hayyim, Kelal 4, Be’er Mayim Hayyim, no. 43.

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