BABA or BAB ():

Originally, "gate," a Talmudic technical term for section, part, or clause. A single Mishnah may be divided into two or three parts: "resha" and "sefa," "beginning" and "end"; or "resha," "meẓi'ata," and "sefa," "beginning," "middle," and "end." The contents of these parts is referred to as "baba de-resha," "baba demeẓi'ata," and "baba de-sefa"—"the clause of the first part of the Mishnah, of the middle part, and of the last part." The first section of the fourth order of the Mishnah—"Neziḳin," damages—is subdivided into three massektas, which are called "Baba Ḳamma," "first part"; "Baba Meẓi'a," "the middle part"; and "Baba Batra," "the last part." According to Baba Ḳamma, p. 102a, these three massektas were considered as one massekta called "Neziḳin." The author of Tosafot Yom-Ṭob, in his introduction to Mishnah Baba Ḳamma, says: "There is an analogy to the tripartition of Masseket Neziḳin in thetripartition of Masseket Kelim, which in the Tosefta is divided into three Babas—Ḳamma, Meẓi'a, and Batra." Seder 'Olam contains thirty chapters, which are also grouped in three "babas."

J. Sr. M. F.
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