- Ironically, it may be suggested that the more constricted understanding of this dispensation, that it is the lesser of two evils rather than a complete abrogation of the prohibition of falsehood, may recommend a more expansive application in some sense. If the pursuit of peace is powerful enough to overwhelm the injunction against lying, as expounded at length by the Rama in his responsum noted earlier, it may also be that it is likewise effective in overwhelming other precepts of the Torah when necessary. Alternatively, if the principle is enacted only because it utilizes a loophole in the laws of falsehood, there is no basis to extrapolate to other areas of Jewish law.
R' Shimon Greenfield (Responsa Maharshag 3:65) considers the case of a woman who, in her youth, had given birth under circumstances less honorable than those in which she now chooses to live. Currently married, she has just borne her husband's first son. The husband, unaware of the more unsavory aspects of his wife's past, enthusiastically awaits performing the mitzvah of pidyon ha-ben. Is the husand to e informed that it is not necessary, irrespective of the substantial damage that will be incurred to marital harmony? Or, is a sham religious ceremony to be countenanced? R. Greenfeld, cognizant of the imperative to maintain peace looming large, allows the pseudo-ritual, while providing advice on the avoidance ofthe transgression of pronouncing an unwarranted blessing. R. Ovadiah Yosef (Responsa Yahbia Omer, vol. 8, Yoreh Deah 32), in a similar instance, goes as far as to allow the blessing. R. Yosef's eventual successor in the Israeli Sefardi Chief Rabbinate, R. Eliyahu Bakshi-Doron, discusses yet another case in his Responsa Binyan Av 2:54. A similar issue concerns the unjustified insertion of the phrase betulta da, signifying a virgin, into the public reading of a ketubah at a wedding (Feldman 95).