Maseches Temurah is one of the most complex tractates in Shas. The difficulty involved due to the intricate Kodshim subject matter is compounded by the fact that on almost every page Rashi quotes variant readings ("Lishna Acharina") of the Gemara. Sometimes our print of the Gemara contains both readings, sometimes one reading, and sometimes Rashi's text of the Gemara and our text are completely different.
RASHI points out in a number of places in the Masechta that these other readings are "the textual style of the Yerushalmi" (e.g. Rashi 6a, DH H"G L"A; Rashi 6b with regard to the L"A; 9b DH Shnei Gufim). These are apparently additions from the Yerushalmi on Seder Kodshim (to which the Rambam refers in his introduction to Mishnayos). The style and language of these alternate texts are closer to the style of the Yerushalmi then that of the Bavli. Often the differences between the Lishna Acharina and our Gemara are merely stylistic or otherwise insignificant. (Most of the readings Rashi quotes appear in the commentary of Rabeinu Gershom, which apparently served as Rashi's source for these texts. As to the authorship of the Perush Rabeinu Gershom, see what we wrote in the introduction to Kerisus.)
We have added short insights in the "Background" to enable a better understanding of the Sugya when it is particularly cryptic, as we did in the latter half of Erchin. These have been indicated with stars on each side of the number of the entry (e.g. 9) ).
Apart from all of the above, the multiple Girsa'os that are suggested by the various Acharonim can be very confusing. So many textual emendations have been made by so many authorities, that it is often difficult to decide which to read as the proper text. In this Maseches, the Vilna Ga'on made many textual corrections and comments. His comments are printed in full in the back of the Gemara (some editions include his comments in the back of Nidah instead). Most of the corrections are printed on the page in the Vilna Shas (although the notations for his Girsa'os in the text of the Gemara/Rashi are sometimes out of place). These changes are in addition to the comments of Rav Yeshayah Berlin (printed anonymously on the margin), the Tzon Kodshim, and Rav Shmuel Keidanaver (the Birkas ha'Zevach).
The following are suggested general rules to bear in mind:
The changes of the BACH take precedence over all others
If the BACH suggests no changes, then the text should be read as suggested in the MARGIN (by Rav Y. Berlin)
If there are no textual changes in the margin, use those changes of the TZON KODSHIM.
In absence of all of the above, refer to the VILNA GA'ON.
When we see a need to depart from the above order, we will indicate this in our Girsa section of "BACKGROUND TOO TE DAF" (due to the many changes in Girsa, we will continue to point out the changes only in the Gemara and Rashi, and not in Tosfos). In general, taking note of the Girsa changes in our Girsa section before learning each Daf will probably make it much easier to learn this Maseches.
It should be noted that the Vilna Ga'on sometimes does not change the reading of the Gemara or Rashi, but adds his own sharp explanations. Since he writes very tersely, it is sometimes difficult to fathom the depths of what he is saying without an extensive and comprehensive in-depth analysis of the Gemara and Rishonim.
(This section includes a roughly chronological listing of Rishonim who wrote a Daf-by-Daf commentary on the Maseches. We have included some of the less familiar commentaries even though they were written on the Rif and not on the Maseches itself.)
The SHITAH MEKUBETZES cites many comments in this Masechta in the name of the "GILYON" (he does not cite from the Rosh and Tosfos extensively, as he cited from these Rishonim in Maseches Erchin). It appears that the textual changes that the Shita Mekubetzes cites are mostly either from the text of the same Sugya as it appears in another place in Shas, from the text of the Gemara as found in Rabeinu Gershom's commentary, or logical changes. It does not appear that the changes mentioned by the Shitah Mekubetzes were taken from old manuscripts. As with the other Masechtos in Seder Kodshim, HaRav Yakov David Ilan printed the Shita Mekubetzes from manuscript which includes the commentary of Rabeinu Gershom, and he added helpful and enlightening insights of his own (see more about this in our introduction to Kerisus and Me'ilah).
HaRav Mordechai Ilan (father of the above) published a compilation of Rishonim called "KENESES RISHONIM," which is a marvelous collection of everything he found in the Rishonim that was relevant to the Sugyos in our Masechta. He included his own enlightening insights as well.
(OTHER THAN THOSE PRINTED IN OUR GEMARAS)
ASIFAS ZEKEINIM - a pair of commentaries that deal mostly with corrections of the text (Tzon Kodshim and Birkas Zevach).
CHIDUSHEI REBBI AKIVA EIGER
LIKUTEI HALACHOS (BY THE CHAFETZ CHAYIM) - this work is written in the style of the Rif on other Masechtas, with the Chafetz Chayim's short insights.
SEFAS EMES - short and insightful comments by the second Gerrer Rebbe.
CHIDUSHEI HA'GRIZ - the Brisker Rav (We strongly recommend the new printing of this Sefer (published by Mishor), in which the text is printed clearly with easily readable plain Hebrew letters, and all the comments on each Maseches have been combined and printed in their proper order.)
OLAS SHLOMO - a clear, P'shat-based commentary written on Seder Kodshim by Rav Shlomo Zalman Lipshitz of Horodno, 1910.
ASIFAS ZEKEINIM HE'CHADASH - a collection of 12 commentaries on Maseches Temurah.