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I am learning Rambam's Mishne Torah following the Chabad's perek-a-day rhythm. I find it fascinating. I learn in Hebrew, and use two texts

  • the new Koren's Mishne Torah from R Steinsaltz. It is very good because it brings rulings from Shulchan Aruch and other ahronim where they differ from the Rambam, and brings nice illustrations and explanations of complicated words
  • the Mifal Mishne Torah which also brings a nice and simple commentary and is available in 14 volumes so easy to travel with (I do much learning on planes)

Both are highly recommended. Unfortunately, none of them brings the standard commentaries. What I miss most are the sources the Rambam uses for his various rulings. As is well known, the Rambam himself doesn't bring sources but those are incredibly useful to understand the why. For instance when the Rambam writes a father is allowed to but shouldn't marry his underage girl, it would be helpful to know this comes straight from the gemara in Kiddushin 41a.

What are recommendations on editions of the Mishne Torah which bring those sources? Ideally they should come with a clear and recently printed text, as little Rashi script as possible, abbreviations spelled out and a reasonable price (200-250$ would be an ideal range).

Mosad Harav Kook's Rambam LeAm might be such an option and your opinion of it would be most welcome.

  • Also, for weekdays, if you are a fan of computer learning, I would recommend the Hebrewbooks Rambam, which has a whole bunch of commentaries, including the standard ones. – רבות מחשבות Apr 19 '18 at 18:53
  • Maybe something like this or this, if you're willing to lay down the money? – ezra Apr 19 '18 at 19:18
  • @רבותמחשבות Every so often I find that the hebrewbooks Rambam has the commentaries listed under the wrong halacha. – Alex Apr 19 '18 at 19:40
  • @mbloch Btw, I would try searching eBay for Mishne Torah sets and see what you can find... You can save a lot of money that way, especially since you're learning in Hebrew. I'd check there before I paid $700 or something crazy like that. You never know what incredible deals you can find. – ezra Apr 20 '18 at 3:45
  • The mifal Mishne Tora is very beautiful but it's without raavad. And to read the raavad is very interesting. – kouty Feb 26 at 4:36
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I think the Frankel Rambam contains what you are looking for. It has the standard commentaries on the page, such as Maggid Mishnah, Kessef Mishneh, Radvaz, Lechem Mishneh, Migdal Oz, Rabbeinu Manoach, etc. It also has a section in the back where it lists dozens of other commentaries that speak about each individual halacha.

The text is very clear, and it provides textual variants as well. You can get the entire new set (17 volumes or so) in the small size for $300 - $350.

If that is too expensive, they also have a cheaper set that does not have the additional material in the back, but still has the standard commentaries on the page, in a few volumes.

Additionally, they sell the volumes individually as well, if you don't want to spend so much money at once.

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    It is unlikely that someone studying a Perek a day would benefit all that much from the Yalkut Shinui Nuschaos and Mafteach, unless it's a really serious intense Limmud, and they also have an extensive library to look up sources quoted. It's more useful for research purposes, and people learning it "Beiyun" (and pretty expensive). Personally speaking, I have the standard set (without extra notes) that Frankel published which works great for me, although I don't do the daily perek. – רבות מחשבות Apr 19 '18 at 18:36
  • @רבותמחשבות Most of the sources can be found online (e.g. Hebrewbooks, Otzar Hachochma) and if someone is learning even an unintense learning they might have a specific question. There's a good chance the question is addressed in the Mafteach. It might not justify the additional expense, but it still is useful. – Alex Apr 19 '18 at 18:48
  • as usual, you are right on the mark. – רבות מחשבות Apr 19 '18 at 18:49
  • Thanks a lot @Alex - I believe I will go in this direction – mbloch Apr 20 '18 at 3:01
  • Thanks @רבותמחשבות indeed I won't need the extra commentaries at least for the next few years. Appreciate the suggestions – mbloch Apr 20 '18 at 3:03
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The standard edition, out of copyright and republished by many publishers over the years, sounds like what you want. It's got Raavad, Kesef Mishne, Magid Mishne, Lechem Mishne, Hagahos Maymaniyos, and more. In particular, it has Migdal Oz, which cites the Mishne Tora's sources. Because this edition has been published by so many, I can't recommend a publisher, but if you ask a Jewish bookseller for the standard old-fashioned Mishne Tora, you'll probably get it. It's also (I'm guessing) the cheapest edition with commentaries on the market. A downside is that the print is not as crisp as some newer editions'. And another thing to note (and you may consider it a downside) is that it has the text that everyone had for years, which had been censored to avoid insulting Christianity too much, rather than a more original text that some newer editions have. Here's a picture of a page.

  • I can recommend the Frankel standard Mishna Torah (lehmanns.co.uk/rmb-m-prnql-qtn-z-krkim-bli-spr-hmpth.html) – רבות מחשבות Apr 19 '18 at 18:38
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    As a quick followup, just wanted to say I followed your advice and bought one such set. It has all the criteria I spelled out in my question. The Migdal Oz is indeed what I was particularly looking for and it is very helpful. The set I bought looks exactly like the one @רבותמחשבות recommended. Cost was USD 140 for the large edition incl. Sefer Hamitzvot. Thanks to both ! – mbloch May 16 '18 at 8:30
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This edition is specially made for Chabad program. It contains a lot of bibliographic references. But the font is very small, it's tiresome to read for hours small letters. It's better than mifal Mishne Tora because of the wide mare mekomot, Raavad is not skipped, for travel it's good. To skip the Raavad is a pity, because notes of Raavad on Rambam are very short and show the reading of this big genius.

There is a pocket version of Eshkol edition, which is also vowelized, and easy to read with a beautiful font, as all Eshkol books. This edition contains Magid Mishne, the most important comment, the "Bartenura of Rambam", the most pleasurable reading which gives us sources of Rambam in a marvelous Hebrew style. This comment upgrades lecture and lector. IMHO this kind of edition is the best.

This pocket edition (מפעל משנה תורה) is not beautiful but the text follows manuscripts, but there is missing Raavad notes and Magid Mishne comment. I don't recommend it.

  • @mbloch yes. IMHO it's not so good – kouty Feb 26 at 5:20
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    מגיד משנה הוא ממש מקדם הרבה מאוד את הלומד מכל הבחינות. ידע, הגיון לימודי, פירוש קל הקטעים מהש''ס – kouty Feb 26 at 5:21

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