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Hey can anyone write a brief summary of some of the most used mefarshim in the back of the Oz VeHadar Gemara for example and maybe a fact on the nature of the commentary. for eg. the Ritva, is he advanced? well used? more pshat based or goes more into depth, etc. Also, if I already learn Rashi & Tosfos, and I have a question, who is likely to act like a second rash etc. Thank you!

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    The Ritva is in the back of of the Oz Vehadar Gemara?
    – Alex
    Commented Oct 23, 2023 at 22:06
  • What version of the Oz vehadar gemara are you looking for? Mesivta has a lot more than the standard.
    – Shmuel
    Commented Oct 24, 2023 at 16:28

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These are the basic Meforshim in the back of the Gemorah. (I don't know which additional Meforshim your Oz V'Hadar edition adds.)

  1. Maharsha This is a go-to. It mostly explains difficulties in Tosafot. (the small print explains the aggadata).

  2. Below Maharsha you will find Maharam. And afterwards, Maharamshif. They are somewhat like Maharsha.

  3. There are two basic Rishonim who wrote "Halacha books" included in the back of the Gemora. Rosh, and Rif.

  1. Rif follows the exact text of the Gemora, but leaves out all the opinions we do not follow at the end of the day. The standard pagination of the Rif is different than the page numbers in the Gemora, but the corresponding daf of Gemara is usually indicated on top. (I don't know about your edition. Some Oz vehadar editions change the entire format of Rif). The commentaries on the Rif vary by Mesechta, but you can find a version of Rashi on the inside margin (different than the Rashi in our Gemora), and the outside margin for most Mesechta is Ran. The Ran will comment even on portions of the Gemora the Rif left out. This commentary can be involved.
  2. Below the text of the Rif you will find Meor (called Ba'al Hamaor) commentary, and the Milchamas Hashem, written by Ramban. These often dispute each other, and are considered advanced.
  3. Many editions include a "collection of Meforshim" ordered by Daf, of various Achronim (later commentaries). (I think older Gemaras list each commentary separately.) Scan through this if Maharsha does not address your issue. Especially look for Rashash.
  1. The Rambam's commentary on the Mishna. It does not comment on the Gemora.
  1. Likewise Tosefta is not a commentary.

Additionally, if you are looking to take your Gemora learning beyond Rashi and Tosafos, I would suggest choosing one of the basic Rishonim. (not each Rishon writes on each Mesechta.) They are not typically included in the back of the Gemora, but some thicker editions may include some.

A. Rashba is often chosen in "yeshivish" circles.

B. Some prefer Ramban

C. I think you may find Ritva easier especially if you want something somewhat 'like Rashi".

There is also the "Tosafos HaRosh" (as well as Tosafos Rid, and other Tosafos depending on the Mesechta). This is a version of Tosafos written by the Rosh. It sometimes includes discussions similar to our Tosafos but with different wording, so it may be helpful in understanding Tosafos. This is included in the back of the thicker editions of Gemara.

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