Torah is the Hebrew word (תּוֹרָה) meaning "Law", "Direction", or "Instruction". The Torah is the Hebrew manuscript also called the Law of Moses (Torat Moshe תּוֹרַת־מֹשֶׁה). It is the most sacred text of Judaism, which contains the Jewish written and oral law.
The Torah is the first 5 books of the Hebrew Bible or the Christian Old Testament. It is the first of the three divisions of the Hebrew canon: The Torah (תורה), Neviim (נביאים) (prophets) and Kethuvim (כתובים) (the Writings). The five books and their names and pronunciations in original Hebrew are as follows:
- Genesis (בראשית, Bereshit: "In the beginning...")
- Exodus (שמות, Shemot: "Names")
- Leviticus (ויקרא, Vayyiqra: "And he called...")
- Numbers (במדבר, Bammidbar: "In the wilderness...")
- Deuteronomy (דברים, Devarim: "Words", or "Discourses")
This portion of the Christian Bible is also called the Pentateuch, which is derived from the Greek words penta meaning "five", and teukhos which means "implement" ("implementation of five books"). In rabbinic literature the word Torah denotes both these five books, Torah Shebichtav (תורה שבכתב, "Torah that is written"), and an Oral Torah, Torah Shebe'al Peh (תורה שבעל פה, "Torah that is spoken"). The Oral Torah consists of the traditional interpretations and amplifications handed down by word of mouth from generation to generation and now embodied in the Talmud (תַּלְמוּד) and Midrash (מדרש) .
Abraham, Isaac, Jacob (collectively know as the Patriarchs) and Moses are the four major figures of the Torah. The Torah was given to God´s people with precepts for behaviour in this world in obedience to the Lord.
- Douglas, J.D.; Tenney, Merril C, ed. (1987). The New International Dictionary of the Bible. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House. p. 1025. ISBN 0-310-33190-0.
- Unger, Merrill F (1988). Harrison, R. K.. ed. The New Unger´s Bible Dictionary. Chicago: Moody Press. p. 1297. ISBN 0-8024-9037-9.
- Birnbaum, Philip (1979). Encyclopedia of Jewish Concepts (Revised edition ed.). Brooklyn, New York: Hebrew Publishing Company. p. 630. ISBN 0-88482930-8.
- Gilbert, Martin, ed. (1990). The Ilustrated Atlas of the Jewish Civilization. New York: MacMillan. p. 10-11. ISBN 0-02-543415-2.
- Torah by Conservapedia