[I] GEMARA, RASHI, TOSFOS
(a) GEMARA - Since no Talmud Bavli was written on the Mishnayos of Seder Zera'im besides Berachos, those who learn Dafyomi begin Maseches Shabbos, the first Maseches in Mo'ed, immediately after Berachos. Maseches Shabbos is one of the longest Masechtos, both in the number of Dafim (157) and in the number of chapters (24). As we wrote in the introduction to Maseches Tamid (I:a) in the name of Rav Reuven Margolios, the Masechtos in each Seder seem to be organized according to their length in numbers of chapters, starting with the longest and concluding with the shortest. In Seder Mo'ed this manifests itself with Maseches Shabbos (24 chapters) being the first in the Seder. It has been said that the number of chapters in Maseches Shabbos corresponds to the 24 adornments of a Kallah (see Rashi to Shemos 31:18), illustrating the concept that Shabbos is like a bride, or, as the Gemara in Bava Kama (32b) calls it, "Shabbos Kalah Malkesa" (Rav Moshe Galanti, cited by the Meleches Shlomo at the beginning of the Shabbos).
The order of the Mishnayos in Maseches Shabbos is straightforward and logical. Towards the beginning of the Maseches, the Mishnah deals with topics relevant to Friday afternoon near Minchah time (9b). It proceeds to deal with topics relevant to the moments right before Shabbos (11a), and then it deals with lighting the Shabbos candles (20b), leaving food on top of a stove from before Shabbos (36b), and insulating hot food right before the onset of Shabbos (47b). Afterwards, it returns to a discussion about the laws of Hotza'ah, transferring from one domain to another (which is always relevant at the onset of Shabbos). It is not until Daf 73a that the Mishnah enumerates the complete list of the 39 Melachos and begins to deal with each of them in depth. Maseches Shabbos concludes with the laws relevant to the end of Shabbos, such as walking to the farthest extent of the Shabbos border, just before the Shabbos ends, in order to get an early start on a journey after Shabbos is over ("Mach'shichin Al ha'Techum"; 150a-151b), and with the laws of taking care of animals on Shabbos (155a-156b).
The apparent exception to the logical order of the Maseches is the first Mishnah, which deals with laws of transferring from one domain to another. Tosfos at the beginning of the Maseches questions this order and gives several explanations for why the Maseches begins with the topic of Hotza'ah. (It is worth noting that the Maharal of Prague, in Sefer Gur Aryeh on Maseches Shabbos, gives a beautiful explanation for why the Maseches begins with a Mishnah that deals with Hotza'ah. Every Melachah that is forbidden on Shabbos is also forbidden on Yom Tov (with the exception of Melachos of food preparation), except for one -- Hotza'ah (as it says in Maseches Beitzah (12a) and other places that "there is no... Hotza'ah on Yom Tov" at all). Accordingly, it is appropriate to begin Maseches Shabbos with the Melachah which is exclusive to Shabbos and sets it apart from all other holy days!)
(b) RASHI - The style of Rashi in this Maseches is similar to his style in the rest of Shas. Occasionally, Rashi adds comments concerning the practical application of the Halachah (see, for example, 10b, DH Havah, and 37b, DH v'Rav Sheshes).
(c) TOSFOS - In Maseches Shabbos, almost every Daf until the end of the third Perek (47b) contains in the margins comments from the Rishonim under the title, "Tosfos Yeshanim," authored by other Rishonim who were Ba'alei ha'Tosfos. From the fourth Perek and on, the comments become much less frequent, and they disappear entirely after Daf 61b, at which point it seems that the printer stopped including them. From the style of the Tosfos Yeshanim, it appears that what is printed in our margins are short excerpts from a much larger and more complete work that was probably very much like our Tosfos. The printer included these excerpts in various places, whenever they were relevant to the words of Tosfos. On occasion, the printer even inserted them in the middle of Tosfos, in smaller letters to set them apart from the rest of Tosfos (see, for example, Tosfos on 19a, 21a, 25a; after the end of the third Perek (47b), Tosfos Yeshanim is printed only in this manner).
One who takes careful note of the words of Tosfos in Maseches Shabbos will find that in a number of places, Tosfos contradicts what he writes in another place in the Maseches (compare, for example, Tosfos 12b, DH she'Ein, with Tosfos 40b, DH v'Chi Teima; 26b, DH Asi, with 27a, DH Nafka, and see Maharsha there). It could be that the printer inserted into Tosfos some words from the Tosfos Yeshanim without indicating that they were written by another Ba'al ha'Tosfos.
Please note that our list includes mainly those works of Rishonim which were written in order of the Dafim of the Maseches. We include some commentaries that were written on the Rif as well since they include many important insights on the Maseches itself. Many Rishonim wrote Halachic compilations on the laws of Shabbos that do not follow the order of the Dafim in the Maseches; these are not included in our list.
(1) EARLY COMMENTARIES
(a) RABEINU NISIM GA'ON - Rabeinu Nisim Ga'on lived in the eleventh century in Kirouan, North Africa. He died in 1050/4810. (Although he is referred to as "Ga'on," he lived after the period of the Ga'onim.) His commentary is printed in the margins of the Vilna Shas and provides background information when the Gemara refers to a concept discussed elsewhere in Shas. He also authored the Sefer ha'Mafte'ach, in which he quotes and discusses the sources and for the Gemara's citations, and Megilas Setarim, a small collection of Halachic notes on the Maseches. These were recently reprinted from manuscript with footnotes by Rav David Metzger (1990, Jerusalem; Wagschal).
(b) RABEINU CHANANEL - Rabeinu Chananel ben Chushiel lived in the eleventh century. His father, Rabeinu Chushiel, was one of the famous "four captives" (a group of Roshei Yeshiva who were captured by pirates and redeemed by different communities along the Mediterranean coast). After he was redeemed from bondage, he lived in Kirouan, North Africa, where his son Rabeinu Chananel was born. The commentary of Rabeinu Chananel on Shabbos was reprinted from manuscript and annotated by Rav David Metzger (1990, Jerusalem; Wagschal).
(c) SEFER HA'YASHAR - Rabeinu Yakov ben Meir, known as Rabeinu Tam (from the verse "v'Yakov Ish Tam"), wrote Chidushim on Shabbos which appear in the Chidushim section of his Sefer ha'Yashar. Rabeinu Tam was the son of Rashi's daughter. He and his two brothers, Rashbam (Rabeinu Shmuel ben Meir, the oldest of the three) and Rivam (Rabeinu Yitzchak ben Meir) were the first generation of Ba'alei ha'Tosfos. He died in 1171/4931. Sefer ha'Yashar was reprinted based on two original manuscripts, with footnotes, by Rav Shimon Schlesinger (second edition, 1980, Jerusalem).
(2) RISHONIM OF SPAIN (ARAGON)
(a) RAMBAN - Rabeinu Moshe ben Nachman lived in the thirteenth century. He was a student of the RAMAH (Rabeinu Meir ha'Levi Abulefia). He authored Chidushim on Shabbos, as well as the Milchamos Hash-m on the Rif. He died in 1270/5030. The Ramban's commentary was published with corrections and short annotations by Rav Iser Zalman Meltzer in 5688 (1928). The commentary on Shabbos was printed again from manuscript, along with corrections and clarifications, by Rav Moshe Herschler in 5733 (1973).
(b) RASHBA - Rabeinu Shlomo (ben Avraham) ben Aderes died in 1310/5070. The Rashba's primary mentor was Rabeinu Yonah, but he also learned under the Ramban. The Rashba's commentary on Berachos was printed in its entirety for the first time in 1938/5698. It was printed again from manuscript recently, together with corrections and clarifications, by Mosad ha'Rav Kook (1986, Jerusalem).
(c) RITVA - Rabeinu Yom Tov ben Avraham Al'ashvili lived in the 1300's and was a close disciple of the Re'ah and, later, of the Rashba. The commentary to Maseches Shabbos that is printed in the un-annotated set of Chidushei ha'Ritva Al ha'Shas was known to be actually the Chidushei ha'*Ran* as early as 1807. (This was also noted by Rav Elchanan Wasserman in his introduction to Kovetz He'oros, and is evident to the reader after even a cursory comparison between this commentary and the words of the Ran on the Rif, which are nearly identical in hundreds of places.) Nevertheless, until today this version continues to be reprinted under the name of "Chidushei ha'Ritva" in many sets. The authentic version remained in manuscript form until it was published (until the end of the seventh Perek), with notes and annotations, by Rav S. Z. Reichman in 1967/5727, and later, in its entirety, in the Mosad ha'Rav Kook edition of the Chidushei ha'Ritva with annotations by Rav Moshe Goldstein (1990, Jerusalem).
(d) RAN - Rabeinu Nisim ben Rav Reuven Girondi lived in the fourteenth century. He died circa 1380/5140. His Chidushim to Maseches Shabbos were originally published under the name "Chidushei ha'Ritva" in 5566 (1806). In the same year (1967/5727) in which the authentic Chidushei ha'Ritva were printed from manuscript, the Ran's Chidushim were reprinted under the correct name. They were printed again from manuscript by Mosad ha'Rav Kook's Mechon l'Hotza'as Rishonim v'Acharonim, with notes and annotations by Rav Yisrael Sklar (1995, Jerusalem). The Chidushim on Shabbos that appear in the un-annotated set of Chidushei ha'Ran Al ha'Shas were not authored by the Ran (as has been noted by the Avnei Nezer in his approbation to the Chidushei ha'Ran on Avodah Zarah, and by Rav Elchanan Wasserman in his introduction to Kovetz He'oros, and as is evident when these Chidushim are compared with the Ran's other works.) See below, 3:f.
(3) RISHONIM OF PROVENCE AND NARVONA
(a) RABEINU YEHONASAN M'LUNIL - Rabeinu Yehonasan of Lunil lived in the early 1200's and learned under the Ra'avad. He wrote a commentary on the Rif for most of Shas, including Shabbos.
(b) SEFER HA'HASHLAMAH - Rabeinu Meshulam ben Moshe wrote Sefer ha'Hashlamah on the Rif in order to complement the Rif by adding to it the Halachos that were not discussed in his commentary. He died in 1238/4998. This work is included in Rav Moshe Herschler's Ginzei Rishonim (Mechon ha'Talmud ha'Yisraeli, 1967).
(c) SEFER HA'ME'OROS - Rabeinu Meir ben Shimon wrote "Sefer ha'Me'oros" on the Rif. He died in 1264/5024. It was published by Rav M. Y. Blau in 1964/5724.
(d) SEFER HA'MICHTAM - Rabeinu David ben Levi lived at the turn of the fourteenth century and learned under his father, Rabeinu Levi ben Benveneshti.
(e) ME'IRI - Rabeinu Menachem ben Shlomo (d. 1315/5075) wrote his comprehensive Halachic work, "Beis ha'Bechirah," on 37 Masechtos of Shas. For some Masechtos he composed a running commentary on the words of the Gemara (Chidushei ha'Meiri) as well as his "Beis ha'Bechirah." He was a student of the Rashba, and he occasionally even cites from commentaries as late as those of the Ritva. The Me'iri rarely mentions another Rishon by name. Instead, he created "nicknames" for the commentators from whom he often cites, such as "Gedolei ha'Rabanim" for Rashi. A convenient list of these, along with their true identities, can be found at the beginning of the Beis ha'Bechirah on Beitzah.
(f) THE OLD "CHIDUSHEI HA'RAN" - The commentary printed in the one volume set of Chidushei ha'Ran on Maseches Shabbos clearly was not written by the Ran (see above, 2:d). Its author appears to have been a late Rishon, who primarily collected from the commentaries of others, especially the Re'ah (the mentor of the Ritva) and Rabeinu Yehonasan. (According to Y. N. Epstein, he is the author of the Shitah Mekubetzes to Beitzah. He bases this assertion on the rather tenuous proof that in one or two places the two use identical uncommon expressions. See our introduction to Maseches Beitzah.)
(4) RISHONIM OF GERMANY
(a) RA'AVAN - by Rabeinu Eliezer ben Nasan (d. 1170/4930), was perhaps the earliest of the Ba'alei ha'Tosfos.
(b) RA'AVYAH - Rabeinu Eliezer ben Yoel ha'Levi (d. 1225/4985), one of the Ba'alei ha'Tosfos, authored "Avi ha'Ezri," more commonly known simply as "Sefer ha'Ra'avyah."
(c) OR ZARU'A - Rabeinu Yitzchak ben Moshe (d. 1260/5020) authored the Or Zaru'a. He studied under many of the great sages of his time, including Rabeinu Yehudah he'Chasid, the Ra'avyah, the Sar mi'Kutzi, and the Ba'al ha'Roke'ach. His son, Rav Chaim Or Zaru'a, wrote a collection of Teshuvos. Rabeinu Yitzchak named his work "Or Zaru'a" out of excitement when he noted that the final letters of the words in the verse "Or Zaru'a la'Tzadik..." spell "R' Akivah." The Or Zaru'a usually prefaces each Halachah with a citation of the pertinent Gemara and Rashi, making his Sefer an excellent source for verifying variant Girsa'os in Rashi.
(d) TOSFOS RID & PISKEI RID - Rabeinu Yeshayah (ben Mali, or ha'Rishon) d'Trani was one of the leading sages of Italy/Germany during the early 1200's. His commentary on most of the Masechtos of Shas is known as "Tosfos Rid" (not to be confused with his grandson, Rabeinu Yeshayah Acharon, or Ri'az, author of the Piskei Ri'az). He also compiled a Halachic summary of the Maseches called Piskei Rid, printed by Mechon ha'Talmud ha'Yisraeli (1992, Jerusalem).
(e) PISKEI RI'AZ - Rabeinu Yeshayah Acharon was the grandson of the Tosfos Rid. His Halachic comments were printed together with Piskei Rid, and his words are often cited by the SHILTEI GIBORIM on the Rif.
(f) TOSFOS HA'ROSH - Rabeinu Asher ben Yechiel (d. 1328/5088), originally from Germany, fled to Spain after his mentor, Rav Meir of Rotenberg, was taken captive by the authorities and passed away in jail. One of the great sages of Germany, he wrote commentaries and rulings on most of Shas which had a profound influence on the redactors of Halachah.
(6) OTHER RISHONIM
(a) RABEINU PERACHYAH BEN NISIM - of Egypt, was a contemporary of Rav Avraham ben ha'Rambam (circa 1250). He wrote a commentary on the Rif.
(b) SEFER HA'NER - This is one of the early commentaries on Maseches Shabbos, written by Rav Zecharya Agamati, a contemporary of the Rambam. This commentary on the Maseches often quotes from Rav Sherirah Ga'on, from Rav Hai Ga'on, and from Rabeinu Chananel.
(1) COMMENTARIES AND CHIDUSHIM
It is not possible to list here all of the works of the Acharonim on Maseches Shabbos. Instead, we list the more classic works, or those more appropriate for the study of Dafyomi. Many Acharonim wrote Halachic compilations on the laws of Shabbos; these are not included in our list.
(a) PNEI YEHOSHUA - by Rav Yehoshua Yusha Falk of Krakow. One of the most basic commentaries on the Gemara, Rashi and Tosfos. It was the accepted practice in some places for Yeshiva students to learn the Pnei Yehoshua from cover to cover while learning a Maseches.
(b) KIKAYON D'YONAH - by Rav Yonah Teumim (1690, Amsterdam, reprinted in 1958 by the Nitra Yeshiva of Mount Kisko, New York), includes short insights (in the style of the Maharsha and Maharshal) on the Gemara, Rashi, and Tosfos to many Masechtos, including the first Perek of Shabbos, and the seventh Perek until the end of the Maseches.
(c) TZELACH - the Sefer "Tziyun l'Nefesh Chayah" by Rav Yechezkel Landau of Prague, the author of the Noda b'Yehudah. (He named his work on Shas after his mother, Chayah, and his work of responsa, Noda b'Yehudah, after his father.)
(d) REBBI AKIVA EIGER - Chidushim of Rebbi Akiva Eiger, collected from all of his writings (published in Zichron Yakov, 1983/5743). (Rav Laurentz has recently begun to collect from all of Rebbi Akiva Eiger's works discussions that deal with the Melachos of Shabbos, which he then annotates and discusses at length. The first four volumes cover only a few of the Melachos.)
(e) VILNA GA'ON (or GRA) - The Vilna Ga'on's commentary on Shabbos was compiled in a Sefer called, "Chidushei u'Bi'urei ha'Gra l'Maseches Shabbos," by Rav Avraham Droshkovitz, who combined the original Chidushei ha'Gra on Shabbos with the writings of the Vilna Ga'on in Shenos Eliyahu (on the Mishnayos), as well as with pertinent comments from the Bi'urei ha'Gra on the Shulchan Aruch.
(f) CHASAM SOFER - Rav Moshe Sofer of Frankfurt was the son-in-law of Rebbi Akiva Eiger and a close disciple of Rav Nasan Adler and Rav Pinchas Horowitz (the Hafla'ah). A prolific writer, his legacy includes at least 7 volumes of responsa, Chidushim on much of Shas, Derashos, Chidushim on the Torah (two different sets) and on Shulchan Aruch -- all of which are considered to be basic and necessary Torah works.
(g) SEFAS EMES - short and penetrating insights by Rav Yehudah Aryeh Leib of Gur, the second Gerer Rebbe, grandson of the Chidushei ha'Rim (the first Gerer Rebbe).
(h) GUR ARYEH - by the Maharal, Rav Yehudah Loewy of Prague. Similar to his other works in style, it includes deep analytical explanations of Agadah as well as explanations of some Halachic Sugyos.
(i) MENACHEM MESHIV - by Rav Menachem Meinish Heilprin. These short, helpful comments pertain to the literal meaning of the Gemara and Rashi, and are intended for those learning the Maseches quickly, on Berachos, Shabbos, and all of Seder Mo'ed. Includes many Girsa corrections as well.
(j) SHABBOS SHEL MI - by Rav Yakov Shimshon Shabsai of Ankona (printed in 1767 in Livorno, and reprinted in 1961 in Jerusalem), on the entire Maseches.
(a) GILYONEI HA'SHAS - by Rav Yosef Engel, author of "Asvan d'Oraisa," this Sefer is mainly references to, and quotes from, the writings of the Rishonim in their responsa and other early works, with additional insights by the author.
(b) ASIFAS ZEKENIM HE'CHADASH - a collection of rare works on some of the chapters of Shabbos.
(c) MESILOS HA'BARZEL - by Rav Nisan Shabsai Hailper, listing sources in the Rishonim and Achronim that deal with the various Sugyos in the Gemara.
(d) AL MASECHES SHABBOS (2 volumes) - a collection of rare works on the Maseches, such as Ishei Yisrael and Etz ha'DA'AS -Tov.
(e) KOLLEL IYUN HADAF - Kollel Iyun Hadaf's invaluable "Insights to the Daf" touch on many of the questions that one is likely to ask on the Gemara and Rashi, as well as clarifications and in-depth discussions on Halachic issues and Agados of the Masechta. Kollel Iyun Hadaf's "Charts" and "Background to the Daf," with translations, Girsa notes, and introductions to concepts discussed on the Daf, are invaluable study aids. "Review Questions and Answers" facilitate reviewing the Masechta, while "Outlines of the Daf" enhance one's learning. In Hebrew, one can review with "Galei Masechta," a concise Hebrew review of the Gemara, Rashi, and Tosfos. The Kollel also addresses questions on the Daf in an interactive discussion forum (at DAF@DAFYOM[I]CO.IL).
(f) YOSEF DA'AS - published by Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Rav Yosef Ben Arza's renowned Hebrew compendium on the Masechta is now printed in hard cover (with a copy of the Wagschal printing of the Gemara). This outstanding publication provides clear summaries of the distinct approaches of the Rishonim to the Sugya, analyses of the Acharonim, inspiring insights of the masters of Musar and Machshavah, and summaries of the Halachic conclusions of the Poskim. A comprehensive review section is also included.
(a) ROSH YOSEF - by Rav Yosef Tumim, author of the "Pri Megadim."
(b) CHEFETZ HASH-M - by Rav Chayim Ibn Atar, the Or ha'Chayim ha'Kadosh.
(4) DISCUSSIONS OF THE 39 MELACHOS
(a) TAL OROS (HA'KADMON) - by Rav Shaul ben David of Russia (printed in 1614, Prague, and reprinted in 1996, Jerusalem, by ha'Ktav veha'Michtav).
(b) TAL OROS (HA'SEFARDI) - Rav Yosef ben Joya (1790, Salonika, reprinted in 1987, Jerusalem, by Or v'Derech). This work revolves around the words of the Mordechai and Hagahos Mordechai on the Maseches (and includes a few pages on Berachos as well).
(c) MAGEN AVOS - by Rav Mordechai Bennett, on the 39 Melachos with regard to Shabbos and Yom Tov, includes some Chidushim on important Sugyos as well.
(d) MINCHAS CHINUCH (MUSACH HA'SHABBOS) - The Minchas Chinuch dedicates a special section to a discussion of the 39 Melachos of Shabbos in Mitzvah #32 (Shemiras Shabbos).
(e) KALKELES HA'SHABBOS - the Tiferes Yisrael's Halachic discussion of the 39 Melachos, printed at the beginning of the first volume of Moed in Mishnayos.
(f) IGLEI TAL - by Rav Avraham Borenstein, the Sochatchover Rebbe (author of Teshuvos Avnei Nezer, originally printed in 1905), covers the Melachos of "Sidura d'Pas" and Gozez.
(g) YESODEI YESHURUN - Rav Gedalyah Felder of Toronto, Canada, originally printed this commentary in his Teshuvos, "Yesodei Yeshurun," and later printed it in a separate volume under the same name by Rav Yeshaya Dvorkas (1976, Jerusalem). This commentary discusses every aspect of the 39 Melachos. Rav Felder shares with us his tremendous breadth of knowledge of the Rishonim and Acharonim and often adds his own insights to those of his predecessors.
(h) NE'IM ZEMIROS - a beautiful poem on the 39 Melachos by the author of the Mirkeves ha'Mishnah. It includes in concise form a brief mention of the Halachos recorded in the Rambam with reference to the various Melachos. It is printed with the author's commentary on his poem, in which he elucidates the meaning hidden in his terse words. It was reprinted by Mechon Yerushalayim from the author's original manuscript, which miraculously survived the Holocaust.
(a) EIN YAKOV - includes IYUN YAKOV, CHIDUSHEI HA'GE'ONIM, RIF (not the same as the Rishon by the same name in the back of the Gemara, but an Acharon on Agadah), HA'KOSEV, and many other commentaries.
(b) CHIDUSHEI AGADOS - by the Maharal, Rav Yehudah Loewy of Prague.
(c) PESACH EINAYIM - by the "Chida," Rav Chaim Yosef David Azulai.
(d) SEFER BENAIYAHU and BEN YEHOYADA - a set of volumes on Agados ha'Shas by the Ben Ish Chai. (He named each of his works after another word in the verse "u'Benayahu ben Yehoyada, ben Ish Chai..." (Shmuel II 23:20).
b'Hatzlachah in Maseches Shabbos!