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I am planning to start learning daf yomi Yerushalmi. I have never learned Yerushalmi before

  1. Are there websites the provide the text and audio explanation of the daf akin to those that exist for Bavli?
  2. What are some (top 5 at most) helpful things to keep in mind when learning Yerushalmi
  3. What are some (top 5 at most) ways that learning the Yerushalmi differs from the Bavli?
  4. Are there major mainstream rishonim who comment on the Yerushalmi? If so who?
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How many times have you finished Bavli, vram? – Baal Shemot Tovot Jun 18 '12 at 23:42
@هه this coming August will be the 1st time, God willing. how about you? – not-allowed to change my name Jun 19 '12 at 0:09
strongly related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/13965/759 – Double AA Jun 19 '12 at 0:19
@DoubleAA but clearly not a duplicate, right? – not-allowed to change my name Jun 19 '12 at 0:29
@vram I don't think it is as you clearly specify 'mainstream rishonim'. But I do think the answers their will be useful for you if you are seriously pursuing learning Yerushalmi. – Double AA Jun 19 '12 at 0:31

The single best place for online texts, commentaries and shiurim relating to Yerushalmi is definitely http://www.yerushalmionline.org/

They have daf yomi recordings for all of the Yerushalmi from shiurim given by Rabbi Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer as well as 100s of pdf's of articles and commentaries on the Yerushalmi.

In my limited experience with the Yerushalmi, I notice that a lot of the helping words that help you figure out what is a question, what is an answer, who is saying what, when a new topic begins etc. are often missing in the Yerushalmi (eg. בשלמא, התם, אמר, גופא, אם כן, etc.). This can be quite frustrating, although I imagine that with practice you will develop a feel for what's going on, much as many do with the Bavli. So I'd say keep in mind that the flow will be choppier and that you should always think twice before reading a group of phrases as one piece.

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The best online resource would be yerushalmionline.org. It contains shiurim from R' Yosef Gavriel Bechhofer on the entire Yerushalmi, and links to helpful seforim.

The top things to keep in mind (sorry, I can't think of exactly 5 right now) are that Yerushalmi's language is more terse than that of Bavli, and there is often little or no consensus as to how a particular passage is to be interpreted. Without Rashi, many aspects are hard to pin down with any degree of certainty.

I'm not aware of any commentary from a Rishon directly on Yerushalmi, other than two on Shekalim (which is commonly treated as a "Bavli" masechta). However, there are various compendiums that collect the words of the Rishonim according to the order of Yerushalmi.

Artscroll is currently in the middle of elucidating the Yerushalmi, in the same style as their Bavli elucidation. Other than that, Rav Chaim Kanievsky has a to-the-point commentary that is currently available on Zeraim and Moed. (You can find it on Hebrewbooks.org, but they unfortunately did not enter the title or author information properly. You'll need to search for תלמוד ירושלמי, and the seforim that were printed in Bnei Brak are the ones you're looking for.) There is also a multi-volume commentary called Lev Yerushalayim that I would recommend, but I don't think it's available online.

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ברוך שכיוונתי!! – Double AA Jun 19 '12 at 0:36
@DoubleAA Actually you beat me by 4 minutes, so I was the one who was מכוון. – Dave Jun 19 '12 at 0:57
@vulcandeathgrip Mossad HaRav Kook printed many volumes of commentary from the Ramban on Yerushalmi. While perhaps there is no running pirush from Rishonim there is a sefer "Ahavas Zion V'Yerushalayim" that is m'lekat Rishonim that brought down the Yerushalmi (importance being their girsa and explanation.) The Sefer is many many volumes and he didn't finish the whole Yerushalmi. I have a Rebbe that was attempting to be mashlim what he missed (a Tremendous Talmud Chacham and bal Yerushalmi) – Yehoshua Apr 14 '13 at 11:15
@vulcandeathgrip There are many achronim (some newer, some older) that wrote pirushim on Yerushalmi. However very few that wrote on the ENTIRE yerushalmi (only Pnei Moshe as far as I know) wrote on the whole thing. Very new pirushim one should keep in mind are most likely taking from whatever was already written and putting it into a different form. The newer pirushim do sometimes have their own p'shatim perhaps not find anywhere else. However I wouldn't say these have to be accepted (even from a Gadol) more so than other pirushim (especially that came from earlier times.) – Yehoshua Apr 14 '13 at 11:21

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