GEMARA. Maseches Pesachim, the third tractate in Seder Moed, discusses the many unique and intricate laws of Pesach. Since Pesach is the first festival of the year (as the Gemara mentions in Rosh Hashanah 4a), the Mishnah discusses its laws immediately after the laws of Shabbos and Eruvin.
In a sense, Pesachim is actually two distinct Masechtos. Half of Pesachim (chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, and 10) deals with the laws of Pesach that are relevant even when the Beis ha'Mikdash is not standing (such as the removal of Chametz from one's home, the Mitzvah of Matzah, the laws of Erev Pesach, and the Pesach Seder). The other half (chapters 5 to 9) discusses the laws of the Korban Pesach, including the manner in which it is offered and eaten. This part of Pesachim is more relevant to Seder Kodshim than to Seder Moed.
In fact, many Rishonim actually consider Pesachim to be two distinct Masechtos, and they call the practical part "Pesach Rishon" and the Kodshim part "Pesach Sheni." The Me'iri, in his introduction to Pesachim, writes that the Ge'onim actually split Pesachim into two "Masechtos." Indeed, we find explicit mention of this division in the common printing of Pesachim (Vilna edition) at the end of the fourth chapter (57b) and the end of the ninth chapter (99a).)
Although many Rishonim wrote commentaries on the practical part of Pesachim, very few wrote full commentaries on the Kodshim section, with the exception of the Me'iri and Tosfos Shantz (whose commentary is nearly identical to that of Tosfos).
Even the practical part of Pesachim has its measure of Kodshim-related discussions. The second half of the first chapter diverges into a lengthy and involved discussion of the laws of Tum'ah and Taharah. (This is known as "the Sugya of Rebbi Chanina Segan ha'Kohanim." See Charts and Insights to Pesachim 14a-20b for useful summaries and study guides.)
There are two exceptionally short pages (Amudim) of Gemara in Pesachim (57b and 99a) due to the printers' addition of extensive Halachic summaries of the laws of the Korban Pesach (on 57b) and of the Korban Pesach Sheni (on 99a). The earliest printed, full edition of the Talmud (Venice, 1522) did not include these Halachic summaries. Instead, the remainder of the page after the end of chapter four (Daf 57b) and chapter nine (Daf 99a) was left blank, just as the remainder of the last page of every Maseches is left blank. Apparently, at the time of the Venice printing of the Talmud, "Pesach Rishon" and "Pesach Sheni" were still treated as distinct Masechtos, and it was deemed inappropriate to begin one on the same page that the other ended. At a later time these Halachic summaries were added as page-fillers. These Halachic summaries are based almost exclusively on the Rambam's rulings, with a small number of rulings culled from other Rishonim added in parentheses (which might be from a later date). It is not clear who authored these Halachic digests.
RASH[I] Rashi's grandson, Rabeinu Shmuel ben Meir (the Rashbam), prepared a commentary on the tenth chapter (Arvei Pesachim) which is printed on the Daf with the commentary of Rashi himself. His commentary is more lengthy and comprehensive than the terse comments of Rashi. Generally, the Rashbam incorporates Rashi's commentary into his own and adds his original insights and comments, and at times he even rejects Rashi's approach. (Because of the more comprehensive nature of the Rashbam's commentary, Arvei Pesachim is generally learned with the commentary of the Rashbam.) Tosfos in Arvei Pesachim cites the explanations of both Rashi and the Rashbam.
TOSFOS. Tosfos on Pesachim has been attributed to Rabeinu Elazar of Touques, but the commentary is nearly identical to that of Tosfos ha'Rashba (see below). A collection of Tosfos on Arvei Pesachim is printed at the end of the Mordechai (following the laws of the Pesach Seder). These comments are apparently those of Tosfos Rabeinu Peretz, and they were recently printed under that name along with the other Tosfos Rabeinu Peretz on the first four chapters.
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 Pesachim is printed in the margin of the Vilna Shas, and was recently reprinted from manuscript and annotated by Rav David Metzger (1990, Jerusalem; Wagschal), along with a compilation of RABEINU NISIM GA'ON's comments on Pesachim (d. 1050/4810 in Kirouan, North Africa; see bibliography to Eruvin for more on Rabeinu Nisim Ga'on).
RABEINU YITZCHAK ("MAHARITZ") GI'AS. An early Rishon from Spain and a contemporary of the Rif, the Maharitz Gi'as authored a number of Halachic works which are often quoted by the Rishonim. His "Me'ah She'arim" on the Halachos of Seder Moed, which contains many rulings on the laws of Pesach, was printed with the outstanding commentary "Yitzchak Yeranen" by Rav Yitzchak Dov Bamberger (of Wurzburg, Germany, circa 1870).
RABEINU DAVID. Rabeinu David ben Reuven of Bonafed was a student of the Ramban. He frequently addresses Rashi's commentary and attempts to answer questions that Tosfos and other Rishonim ask on Rashi. At the same time, he asks his own questions on Rashi. Like his mentor, the Ramban, he often discusses the words of the Rif, as well as the rulings of the Rambam. He wrote his Chidushim in the middle to late 1200's. His interesting and enlightening Chidushim were published for the first time from manuscript (Casanatense, Rome), with notes and annotations by Rav Avraham Shoshana (1980, Jerusalem; Mechon Yerushalayim).
TALMID HA'RAMBAN. A student of Rabeinu Moshe ben Nachman, the Ramban (d. 1270/5030), he authored a commentary on Pesachim, Beitzah, Ta'anis, and other Masechtos. His work is actually a commentary on the Rif, and he uses the words of Rashi except for his occasionally more involved Halachic comments. Some identify him as Rabeinu Yitzchak of Narvona (a teacher of the Rashba). (Another commentary on Pesachim, originally printed under the name of Rabeinu Yitzchak of Narvona, has now been attributed to a disciple of the Rashba instead; see the annotator's introduction to Chidushei Talmid ha'Rashba.)
TESHUVOS V'CHIDUSHEI HA'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 (a cousin of Rabeinu Yonah). Although the Rashba's commentary on Pesachim has not been printed, an extensive collection of responsa and comments that pertain to Pesachim has been compiled in "Teshuvos v'Chidushei ha'Rashba," recently published with corrections and comments by Rav Shmuel Eliezer Stern (1984, Bnei Brak; Mechon Mayan ha'Torah).
RITVA. Rabeinu Yom Tov ben Avraham Al'ashvili lived in the 1300's and was a close disciple of the Re'ah and, later, the Rashba. The Chidushei ha'Ritva to Pesachim was recently reprinted along with annotations by Rav Yehudah Lebovitz in the Mosad ha'Rav Kook edition (1990, Jerusalem).
RAN. Rabeinu Nisim ben Rav Reuven Girondi lived in the 1300's (d. circa 1380/5140). His Chidushim often follow the style of the Rashba, whose points he develops further, and usually conform with his commentary on the Rif (which is printed in the back of the Gemara with the Rif). The Ran's Chidushim on Pesachim were reprinted by Mosad ha'Rav Kook, with notes and annotations by Rav Eliyahu Lichtenstein.
TALMID HA'RASHBA. An anonymous disciple of the Rashba wrote a commentary (circa 1416) on the first four, and tenth, chapters of Pesachim. In general, this terse commentary follows the explanations and rulings of the Rashba, as recorded in the Rashba's commentaries and responsa. Chidushei Talmid ha'Rashba was published with notes and annotations by Rav Shmuel Eliezer Stern (1982, Bnei Brak; Mechon Mayan ha'Torah).
MAHARAM CHALAVAH. Rabeinu Moshe Chalavah lived at the time of the Ran and Rivash (1300's). His commentary often elucidates the commentary of Rashi and introduces novel and innovative approaches to the Sugya.
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 Pesachim, which is printed with the rest of his Chidushim on Shas (in Perushei Rabeinu Yehonasan mi'Lunil, 1985, Jerusalem). Rabeinu Yehonasan's commentary on Pesachim has also been printed in a separate volume with notes and annotation by Rav Shmuel Eliezer Stern (1982, Bnei Brak; Mechon Mayan ha'Torah).
SEFER HA'MICHTAM. Written by Rabeinu David ben Levi, who lived at the turn of the fourteenth century and learned under his father, Rabeinu Levi ben Benveneshti.
ME'IR[I] Rabeinu Menachem ben Shlomo (d. 1315/5075) wrote his comprehensive Halachic work, "Beis ha'Bechirah," on 37 Masechtos of Shas. For some Masechtos, including Pesachim, he composed a running commentary on the words of the Gemara (Chidushei ha'Me'iri) in addition to "Beis ha'Bechirah." The Me'iri's running commentary covers the entire Maseches, including the parts that deal with Kodshim, and it is an invaluable tool for clarifying the points of difficult Sugyos. The Me'iri 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, and "Gedolei ha'Mechabrim" for the Rambam. A convenient list of these, along with their true identities, can be found at the beginning of the Beis ha'Bechirah on Beitzah.
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.
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). His commentary was written in several Mahaduros, or drafts. He also compiled a Halachic summary of the Maseches called Piskei Rid, printed in 1992 by Mechon ha'Talmud ha'Yisraeli.
PISKEI RI'AZ. Rabeinu Yeshayah Acharon zt'l, a grandson of the Tosfos Rid, authored the Piskei Ri'az, which is printed together with the Piskei Rid, as described above. His words are often cited by the Shiltei Giborim on the Rif.
RIVEVAN. Rabeinu Yehudah ben Binyamin ha'Rofei from the family of the Anavim (d. 1280/5040) studied in Germany under Rabeinu Avigdor Kohen Tzedek. He became one of the leading sages of Italy. Among his students was the Shibolei ha'Leket. He wrote a commentary to the Rif on many Masechtos. His commentary on Pesachim is printed in "Perushei Rivevan," published by Rav S. K. Mirsky.
TOSFOS RABEINU PERETZ. One of the Ba'alei ha'Tosfos, his commentary was compiled and published by his students. Rabeinu Peretz was a student of Rabeinu Yechiel of Paris and Rabeinu Meir of Rotenberg. Among his students were the authors of the Mordechai and the Hagahos Maimoniyos (who were students of Rabeinu Meir of Rotenburg as well). In many Masechtos, the commentary abounds with diametrical errors in syntax (e.g. "Mutar" instead of "Asur"; "Shabbos" instead of "Yom Tov"), as Rav Moshe Herschler points out in his informative introduction to Tosfos Rabeinu Peretz on Bava Metzia. Most of these errors are corrected in the recent editions of his commentary. The commentary on Pesachim was printed originally by Rav Shraga Wilman (1970, New York), based on the Oxford Library manuscript. The Tosfos Rabeinu Peretz for the last chapter of Pesachim, Arvei Pesachim, is included in the Mordechai at the end of Pesachim. When the Ritva cites "Tosfos," he is usually citing the words of Tosfos Rabeinu Peretz.
TOSFOS HA'RASHBA. Rabeinu Shimshon of Shantz (Sens, France; 1150-1230) was known as "Ish Yerushalayim" because he traveled to Jerusalem in his later years. He was a Talmid of the Ri ha'Zaken, one of the primary Ba'alei ha'Tosfos. His commentary on Pesachim was published from manuscript with annotations by Rav Mordechai Yehudah Fromm and with lengthier notes by the Aderes, Rav Eliyahu David Rabinowitz-Te'umim, the father-in-law of Rav Avraham Yitzchak ha'Kohen Kook (1956, Jerusalem; Mosad ha'Gaon Aderes) and reprinted in 1996 in Jerusalem by Wagschal Publishing. His comments are often identical to the Tosfos printed in the Gemara.
TOSFOS HA'ROSH. Rabeinu Asher ben Yechiel (d. 1328/5088), originally from Germany, fled to Spain after his mentor, Rabeinu 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. Tosfos ha'Rosh on Maseches Pesachim was unavailable (and was not printed with the traditional set of Tosfos ha'Rosh) until the Ginzburg manuscript of the Tosfos ha'Rosh on Pesachim was discovered in the Russian State Library in Moscow. It was recently printed with extensive notes and annotations by Rav Avraham Shoshana (1997, Cleveland, Ohio; Ofeq Institute).
PNEI YEHOSHUA. 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.
TZELACH. Rav Yechezkel Landau of Prague wrote "Tziyun l'Nefesh Chayah." He is also 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.)
REBBI AKIVA EIGER. Chidushim of Rebbi Akiva Eiger, collected from all of his writings (published in Zichron Yakov, 1983/5743).
CHASAM SOFER. Rav Moshe Sofer of Frankfurt was the son-in-law of Rebbi Akiva Eiger and student of Rav Nasan Adler and Rav Pinchas Horowitz (the Hafla'ah). A prolific writer, his legacy includes at least seven volumes of responsa, Chidushim on much of Shas, Derashos, Chidushim on the Torah (two different sets) and on the Shulchan Aruch -- all of which are considered to be classic works. His Chidushim on Shas were recently republished by Mechon Chasam Sofer (1993).
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).
MENACHEM MESHIV NEFESH. Written by Rav Menachem Manish Heilprin. These short, helpful comments on all of Seder Moed pertain to the literal meaning of the Gemara and Rashi, and are intended for those learning the Maseches quickly. This work includes many Girsa corrections as well. His comments on Pesachim are particularly helpful.
OR CHADASH. Rav Eliezer Kalir, grandson of the "Panim Me'iros." He wrote Pilpulim and Chidushim on Maseches Pesachim.
KOVETZ SHI'URIM. The Shi'urim of Rav Elchonon Wasserman zt'l on a number of Masechtos, including Pesachim, were compiled by his son, Rav Simcha Wasserman zt'l. Rav Elchonon was the Rosh Yeshiva in Baranovich. He and his students were murdered in the Holocaust, Hash-m Yikom Damam.
CHAZON ISH. The deep insights of Rav Avraham Yeshayahu Karelitz zt'l have made an important impact on the present day Halachic practice.
YAD DAVID. Rav David Zintzheim, the "Rosh Sanhedrin" of Napoleonic times, wrote references and comments on many Masechtos. Aside from the volume on Pesachim published by Mechon Yerushalayim from manuscript as part of the set of Yad David, two other volumes of his were printed on this Maseches, but they are currently unavailable.
GILYONEI HA'SHAS. Written by Rav Yosef Engel, author of "Asvan d'Oraisa," this Sefer includes many references to, and quotes from, the writings of the Rishonim in their responsa and other early works, with additional insights by the author.
HAGAHOS MAHARSHAM. Written by Rav Shalom Mordechai Shwadron, Rav of Brezhan, Galitzia (grandfather of the late "Yerushalayimer Magid," Rav Shalom Shwadron zt'l, who published most of his grandfather's works). The Sefer includes references to Acharonim and short insightful notes of his own on much of Seder Moed but mostly on Pesachim. It also includes many comments of his student, Rav Moshe Yisrael Feldman, who originally published the work in 1932.
MESILOS HA'BARZEL. Written by Rav Nisan Shabsai Hailper, this work lists sources in the Rishonim and Achronim that deal with the various Sugyos in the Gemara.
SHITAH MEKUBETZES. This is not the same as the Shitah Mekubetzes on many other Masechtos of Shas (an anthology of notes by Rishonim collected by Rav Betzalel Ashkenazi). Rather, this Shitah Mekubetzes was written by Rav Yehudah "Grodner" Gershuni, zt'l (d. Shevat, 2000/5760), who learned in his youth with Rav Shimon Shkop and Rav Baruch Ber Leibowitz, and later in Eretz Yisrael with Rav Avraham Yitzchak ha'Kohen Kook. A comprehensive work on the Maseches, Rav Gershuni's Shitah Mekubetzes is a collection of full citations from a broad spectrum of commentators, both those who wrote on the Daf and those whose comments appear in their works on the Rambam, in responsa, or elsewhere. This work is an invaluable tool to learning the Maseches.
DEVAR SHMUEL. Written by Rav Shmuel Baruch Eliezrov of Jerusalem, who was a Rosh Yeshiva in the Pressburg Yeshiva. It was printed in 1978 in Jerusalem (and later with a Mahadura Basra in the end). This outstanding work, which culls from every other work on the Maseches up to contemporary times and includes the author's own enlightening insights as well, touches upon nearly every point in the Maseches that requires clarification. Since its publication, this volume has been the companion of many students who learn Maseches Pesachim.
OR HA'YASHAR. Written by Rav Shmuel Hilman, an excellent anthology on all of Torah, Navi, Mishnah, and every Daf of Gemara.
CHADASHIM GAM YESHANIM. Written by Rav Yonasan Steif, the Av Beis Din in Budapest and, later, the Viener Rav of Williamsburg, New York.
YISA BERACHAH. This is a unique work on Pesachim by Rav Avraham Yehoshua Blum of Brooklyn, New York. The three volume collection is an extremely useful reference on the Maseches. Through his short notes on Gemara, Rashi and Tosfos, the author invariably provides concise, informative and enlightening insights and references on every Sugya of the Maseches, including elucidations of phrases in the Gemara, Rashi and Tosfos where necessary.
ROSH YOSEF. Written by Rav Yosef Tumim, author of the "Pri Megadim." This work is comprised of in-depth analyses of the Halachic conclusions of the Rishonim.
MEKOR CHAYIM. Written by Rav Yakov Loberbaum of Lisa, the author of the Nesivos ha'Mishpat, on the laws of Chametz and Matzah (relevant primarily to the first chapter of Pesachim). The Mekor Chayim is often printed together with the works of two other prolific commentators on the laws of Chametz, MAGEN HA'ELEF (Rav Aryeh Leib Tzintz of Palatzk) and SAR HA'ELEF (Rav Yonasan Eibeshitz).
MIKRA'EI KODESH. This Sefer contains enlightening, in-depth analyses of various aspects of Pesach, based on discussions which Rav Tzvi Pesach Frank (former chief Rabbi of Jerusalem) had with the other Gedolei Torah of his time. Two volumes (one on Chametz and Matzah, one on the Seder) were published in Jerusalem by Mechon ha'Rav Frank with notes by Rav Frank's grandson, ha'Rav Yosef Cohen.
HALACHAH BERURAH/BIRUR HALACHAH. This two-volume set includes a full text of the Gemara with citations from the pertinent Halachos of the Rambam and Shulchan Aruch in the margins ("Halachah Berurah") organized for print by Rav Avraham Yitzchak ha'Kohen Kook zt'l, followed by in-depth discussions of the Halachic ramifications of each Sugya ("Birur Halachah"), prepared by Rav Kook's students.
PESACH K'HILCHASO. A collection of the laws of Pesach, by Rav Meir Meizlish.
HALACHOS OF PESACH (English). Written by Rav Shimon D. Eider (1985, Lakewood, New Jersey), with Hebrew footnotes.
HA'SEDER HA'ARUCH. Written by Rav Moshe Yakov Weingarten of Kiryat Moshe, Jerusalem (1990). Although many volumes have been written about the laws and customs of the Pesach Seder, these three encyclopedic volumes are exceptional, as they provide an especially broad overview of what has been written on these subjects. The first volume, a comprehensive Halachic compilation, discusses the various opinions of the Poskim with regard to every aspect of the Pesach Seder. The second volume presents sources for the many unique Seder practices, while the third is a running commentary on the Hagadah.
EIN YAKO[V] Includes IYUN YAKOV, CHIDUSHEI HA'GE'ONIM, RIF (not the Rishon, but an Acharon, Rav Yoshiyahu Pinto, who lived in the 1600's), HA'KOSEV, and many other commentaries.
CHIDUSHEI AGADOS. Written by the Maharal, Rav Yehudah Loewy of Prague. The Maharal also prepared an in-depth commentary on the Gemara for Pesachim, part of which has been printed under the name "Gur Aryeh."
PESACH EINAYIM. Written by the "Chida," Rav Chaim Yosef David Azulai.
SEFER BENAYAHU 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).)
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 (in English and Hebrew), Graphics, 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 review of the Masechta, as does the "Daf-Quiz," 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).
YOSEF DA'AS - Published by Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Rav Ben Arza's renowned Hebrew compendium on the Masechta is now available in an expanded, hardcover second-edition. 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.