When Rashi comments on a Mishna telling us that the gemara will explain, sometimes he uses the phrase בגמרא מפרש and sometimes he uses the phrase מפרש בגמרא. (see here)

Why would Rashi use one over the other (i.e. is there a difference in meaning)?

  • I've heard people say there is a difference, but personally I doubt it.
    – N.T.
    Commented May 14, 2021 at 20:50
  • See Meiri on the first mishnah in Ketubot.
    – Alex
    Commented May 14, 2021 at 20:51
  • 1
    @N.T. So you're saying that Rashi, in two consecutive comments, changed his mind on how to say it?
    – Dani
    Commented May 14, 2021 at 21:25
  • @Alex What does that reference?
    – Dani
    Commented May 14, 2021 at 21:26
  • @Dani If there is no difference, it is not changing your mind.
    – N.T.
    Commented May 16, 2021 at 7:30

1 Answer 1


I heard in the name of the late Mirrer Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel zt"l, the following about the difference:

  • The expression מפרש בגמרא is used to refer to an explanation for a local concept or word that the reader wouldn't know otherwise.
  • The expression בגמרא מפרש is used to address a challenge that the reader might have.

I don't know what Rav Finkel's source was, but I have found this model to be helpful in my own learning.

  • If you look in the first mishne of beitsa. Bais shamai is first and bais hillel second as usual. But on whom does rashi say the gemoro has to explain.
    – interested
    Commented May 16, 2021 at 11:59
  • I'm not exactly sure what your question is, but if one would apply Rav Finkel's approach to that Rashi it would be as follows: An egg laid on Yom Tov is not eaten according to Beis Hillel. Rashi writes it isn't eaten on that day and the gemara will explain why. The wording in Rashi is בגמרא מפרש because the reader has a challenge, "Why can't you eat the egg on Yom Tov?"
    – BigJohn
    Commented May 16, 2021 at 19:09
  • Since Bais Shamai is first in the mishna and the gemoro explains both Rashi ought to be on him. But since only Bais Hillell is difficult Rashi is on him.
    – interested
    Commented May 18, 2021 at 22:46

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