For a person whose goal is NOT to become a posek what would be the benefit or purpose in learning the rishonim when one learns a gemarah?

By rishonim I am referring to the Rash, Ran in the back of the gemarah and the rambam along with the other popular ones that are used when learning the talmud "biyun" (in depth).

  • 2
    To understand the Gemara? What does learning Rishonim have to do with being a posek? If anything, learning Halakha would be irrelevant, but I don't know what Rishonim have to do with anything.
    – Double AA
    Commented Feb 2, 2016 at 22:04
  • 1
    Are you referring specifically to halachic works (like the restatement of the Rosh and the Yad of the Rambam) or even to other works (like the tosafos of the Rosh and the perush mishnayos of the Rambam — and, heck, the commentary of Rashi)? If the former, then can you edit your question to clarify?
    – msh210
    Commented Feb 2, 2016 at 23:15
  • 2
    To answer this question, one first needs to ask oneself what one's goal is in learning Gemara in the first place.
    – mevaqesh
    Commented Feb 3, 2016 at 20:39

1 Answer 1


The Rishonim help direct you to understand the Gemara.

1) They provide facts to understand the Gemara.
2) They provide Sevara, logical reasoning that helps you understand the conceptual underpinning of the Gemara.
3) They are the experts in the area. It would not be wise to study an area without looking at the experts. It would be like looking into Physics without looking what Albert Einstein had to say. You may not agree, but you would look at what he has to say.
4) They are our Baalei Mesorah. They have the Derech Halimud and Mesorah, tradition that has been passed through the generations from Sinai.

They will help guide you to properly understand the Gemara.

These are but some reasons to consider the Rishonim when learning the Gemara to be able to learn properly.

  • I like reasons #3 and #4. The others are good too.
    – Ani Yodea
    Commented Feb 3, 2016 at 19:13

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .