Tractate Bava Metzia (“The Middle Gate”) is actually one section of an ancient Talmudic tractate – Massekhet Nezikin – which deals with issues of civil law, and was eventually divided into three parts (bavot, or “gates”). As is true of the other sections, Massekhet Bava Metzia focuses on one main topic, which divides into a large number of different issues, as is common in Talmudic discussions. The main topic of this tractate involves business interactions between people that are informed by Torah laws that define and limit them. Thus, the discussion does not cover all areas of business and possessions, rather it is limited to those areas where the Torah adds unique commandments or prohibitions beyond the normal laws that apply to business interactions.
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