Despite yeridas hadoros - the diminution of the spiritual level of subsequent generations - it is evident that in our generation, gemara learning has spread to wider and wider layers of the Jewish people. This tendency is due especially to R' Meir Shapiro's founding of the Daf Yomi, which today unites hundreds of thousands of Jews around a communal learning of the same gemara page. This new learning is unique also in its rampant mobility - gemara is learned on the bus and train to work, before and after prayers, and in short in every possible place where Jews can 'catch' another mitzva. To these working Jews we must add the tens of thousands of devoted yungeleit of our generation, in Israel and abroad, who also 'catch,' between their regular learning periods and at every opportunity, another moment for gemara.
On this scene now appears Oiz Vehodor's twin elucidated gemaras, the two editions of Mesivta, and Safa Berura. Their first task is to answer this burning need. They follow the gemara closely with a clear and precise commentary, which prevents the reader from losing his place and losing the drift of the passage. The commentary accompanying the gemara in both editions was compiled with utmost care by a large team of talmidei chachamim and under the supervision of ingenious super-editors, since it's completion required a special delicate touch: the commentary should always be as precise as possible in explaining the Pshat, the straightforward sense of the gemara, and must do this as succinctly as possible, with no spare words; at the same time, it should never serve as a substitute for the gemara itself, but rather merely as a tool.
Besides this commentary, the Mesivta edition provides in-depth interpretations for the learner who wishes to delve deeper into a particular issue.Together, Oiz Vohodor's 'Mesivta' and 'Safa Berura' editions create a kind of virtual world-wide yeshiva, unbounded by time and space, for all those who use them at the same time. They do have one significant fault, however: they render null and void any possible excuse one could have had for not grabbing a Gemara and sitting down to learn....