Horayoth - 'rulings' - is one of the smallest Tractates of the Talmud, appearing in different centuries and editions, as the seventh, eighth, or tenth and last in the sequence of the Tractates of the Order of Nezikin. It is concerned mainly with a discussion, exposition and elucidation of the laws relating to erroneous decisions or rulings which, issued by Beth din, the recognised religious court, and acted upon by the people in reliance on the court's authority, involve either the court or the people, or both, in various penalties. The nature of the transgressions and corresponding penalties are defined and, in relation to these, distinctions are drawn between the rights and obligations of the court, the people, the private individual, the ruler or king, and the High Priest. Incidentally, other topics resembling the main theme in one aspect or another are introduced, and an order of precedence in social, economic and religious matters is formulated. Some Aggadic material, didactic and quaint, is embedded in the Halachic portions of the last of the three chapters into which the Tractate is divided.
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