Torah _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ See Wickipedia for full details
I. Torah (/ˈtɔːrə, ˈtoʊrə/; Hebrew: תּוֹרָה, "Instruction", "Teaching" or "Law") has a range of meanings.
A. It can most specifically mean the first five books (Pentateuch) of the 24 books of the Tanakh, 1. It is usually printed with the rabbinic commentaries (perushim). 2. It can mean the continued narrative from the Book of Genesis to the end of the Tanakh (Malachi), 3. and it can even mean the totality of Jewish teaching, culture and practice, whether derived from biblical texts or later rabbinic writings. This is often known as the Oral Torah.
B. Torah consists of... 1. The origin of Jewish people hood: 2. Their call into being by God, their trials and tribulations, 3. Their covenant with their God, which involves following a way of life embodied in a set of moral and religious obligations and civil laws (halakha). 4. In rabbinic literature the word Torah denotes both the five books (Hebrew: תורה שבכתב "Torah that is written") and the Oral Torah (תורה שבעל פה, "Torah that is spoken").
C. The Oral Torah consists of interpretations and amplifications which according to rabbinic tradition have been handed down from generation to generation and are now embodied in the Talmud and Midrash.
D. According to rabbinic tradition, all of the teachings found in the Torah, both written and oral, were given by God through the prophet Moses, some at Mount Sinai and others at the Tabernacle, and all the teachings were written down by Moses, which resulted in the Torah that exists today. E. According to the Midrash, the Torah was created prior to the creation of the world, and was used as the blueprint for Creation. The majority of Biblical scholars believe that the written books were a product of the Babylonian captivity (c. 600 BCE), based on earlier written and oral traditions, which could only have arisen from separate communities within ancient Israel, and that it was completed by the period of Achaemenid rule (c. 400 BCE).
F. Traditionally, the words of the Torah are written on a scroll by a scribe (sofer) in Hebrew. A Torah portion is read publicly at least once every three days in the presence of a congregation. Reading the Torah publicly is one of the bases of Jewish communal life." (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
G. The "term Torah is also used to designate the entire Hebrew Bible. Since for some Jews the laws and customs passed down through oral traditions are part and parcel of God's revelation to Moses and constitute the “oral Torah." The Torah is also understood to include both the Oral Law and the written Law. Rabbinic commentaries on and interpretations of both Oral and written Law have been viewed by some as extensions of sacred oral tradition, thus broadening still further the meaning of Torah to designate the entire body of Jewish laws, customs, and ceremonies. (Encyclopedia Britannica)
1. Neusner, Jacob (2004). The Emergence of Judaism. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press. p. 57. "The Hebrew word torah mean 'teaching'. We recall ... the most familiar meaning of the word: 'Torah = the five books of Moses", the Pentateuch .... The Torah may also refer to the entirety of the Hebrew Scriptures .... The Torah furthermore covers instruction in two media, writing and memory .... [The oral part] is contained, in part, in the Mishnah, Talmud, and midrash compilations. But there is more: what the world calls 'Judaism' the faithful know as 'the Torah.'"
2. Torah.'"Birnbaum (1979), p. 630
3. Vol. 11 Trumah Section 61
4. page 1, Blenkinsopp, Joseph (1992). The Pentateuch: An introduction to the first five books of the Bible. Anchor Bible Reference Library. New York: Doubleday. ISBN 978-0-385-41207-0.
5. Finkelstein, I., Silberman, NA., The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts, p.68