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I am looking to purchase a set of Mishna Berura and wanted to know what the difference is between these two versions: Mishna Berura Oz v'Hadar and Mishna Berura Dirshu. Which would you recommend and why specifically?

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    What are you looking to do with the book? Beikut? Iyun? Those and more may have different answers. I don't know how anyone could recommend something to you without more information for what you are looking for.
    – Double AA
    Oct 4 '13 at 21:31
  • @DoubleAA I will most likely be using the Sefer to help with school as there times when I need to learn something from it. Recommendation aside, what are the main differences between the two?
    – Bochur613
    Oct 4 '13 at 21:35
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    Mishna Berura Oz Wehadar is very Makpid to bring every exact source in literally every citation. Mishna Berura Dirshu doesn't have that previous idea but it brings interesting interpretations and additions from the later and contemporary authorities on Halacha. Oct 4 '13 at 21:36
  • @HachamGabriel do you by any chance know which Perushim the Mishna Berura Dirshu has that the Oz v'Hadar doesn't?
    – Bochur613
    Oct 4 '13 at 21:39
  • @Bochur613 there are no specific perushim in dirshu, it just brings sources and interpretations on the mishna berura on the daf e.g. it will bring a Psak from Rav Shlomo Zalman on the Halacha on the daf. Oct 4 '13 at 21:41
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The Mishna Berura Oz WeHadar that it is split into many volumes has these features:

  • Biurim – explanation of the words of the Shulhan Aruch, Rama, and Mishna Berura including the relevant sources from the Gemara and Rishonim.
  • Biurei HaHalacha – explanation of the words of the Biurei Halacha including the relevant sources from the Gemara and Rishonim.
  • Tsiyunim Vehearot – notes and comments and some Pilpul in the Poskim
  • Mishnat Shaar Hasiyon – clarifying the opinions in the Shaar Hasiyun
  • Kisur Biur Halacha – summary of the Biur Halacha
  • Likute Poskim – Pesakim from the Shulhan Aruch HaRav and Hazon Ish

The Mishna Berura Dirshu will bring explanation and comments on the Daf of Mishna Berura but it is not at all an in depth explanation like the Mishna Berura Oz WeHadar. So if you have the money and are interested in a real limud in the Mishna Berura take the Oz Wehadar. If you just one want to learn Mishna Berura regularly (which isn't Has Weshalom bad) with a few nice notes from the later Aharonim and the bringing of the places where the Mishna Berura writes "Ayen Sham" take the Dirshu.

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Besides the points made in the other answer here, there's a major difference in focus between the two. Dirshu's set out to create an updated version of the Mishnah Berurah. The Mishna Berurah wrote that the work is meant to help people learn halacha even if they cannot look up primary sources. Just by learning Mishna Berurah they should know what to do.

Dirshu set out for this purpose as well. Therefore they raise modern day issues which are not discussed in the Mishnah Berurah and bring contemporary pskei halacha. It's geared so that while you are learning the Mishnah Berurah, you can follow their notes and learn how the mishna berurah's rulings are applied practical today.

For example, when the Mishna berurah discusses cooking on Shabbos, Dirshu will bring down the contemporary issues about gas ovens and stovetops, hot plates etc. On the discussion of opening up barrels on Shabbos, Dirshu will bring in the issue of modern day packaging.

As a corollary, they also only bring down the poskim who they feel represent the main halacha. Generally speaking, the piskei halacha are from:

  • Chazon Ish
  • Rav Moshe Feinstein zatza"l
  • Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zatza"l
  • Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv zatza"l
  • Rav Nissim Karelitz zatza"l
  • Rav Shmuel Wosner zatza"l
  • For sefardi psak they usually bring Rav Benzion Abba Shaul zatza"l

This accounts for the vast majority of their psakim. They only occasionally will bring other poskim, and that's usually when the issue is not mentioned among the above mentioned.

All of the above is based on my experience with Dirshu, as well as from having conversations with some of the rabbonim who worked on the commentary.

In contrast, the Oz v'Hadar is coming to give a complete picture on the mishna berurah. That includes explaining and expounding the mishna berura, as well as mentioning who argues with him. I remember, while learning the Oz vHadar version, coming across pesakim from the Maharsham, Avnei Nezer, Aruch Hashulchan and more who disagreed with the Mishna Berurah.

It's a sefer for someone who wants learn the mishna berura in depth.

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  • "The Mishna Berurah wrote that the work is meant to help people learn halacha even if they cannot look up primary sources. Just by learning Mishna Berurah they should know what to do." Is this really the case? Where does he say that? It's surprising since he is [in]famous for not picking sides in debates and recommending stringency for multiple sides. It's also against this comment judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/56251/…
    – Double AA
    Apr 19 at 21:07
  • @DoubleAA I don't have it in front of me now, but check the hakdama to chelek aleph. He points out how the Tur/Beis Yosef were written since people couldn't manage to learn all the gemaras on their own aliba d'hilchisa, and that nowadays even Tur/BY is too much for many people. Look at his exact phrasing; perhaps I'm off slightly, but that's the general gist.
    – Binyomin
    Apr 19 at 21:21
  • Your first sentence may be the gist, but I don't think your second sentence is there. An excellent summary of the acharonim it is, but was it really meant for people to read it and thereby know right away what to do? I'm skeptical. It reads like a Beis Yosef not a Shulchan Aruch. Notwithstanding, that is how it's often used today, for better or worse, so these publishers do have an audience for this expansion. I'm happy to see direct unambiguous quotations to the contrary.
    – Double AA
    Apr 19 at 21:31

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