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Jewish Recipes --> Judaism --> Torah -->  What is Torah?

The root of the Hebrew word "Torah" comes from the three Hebrew letters, Yud, Reish, and Hey, which in one of its conjugations means "instruction" or "teaching."

In its narrowest sense, it refers to the Five Books of Moses, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy which is believed to be Divine in origin. In its
broadest, the term 'Torah' refers to the entire body of Jewish religious law and teachings. In common usage, the term refers to the Hebrew TaNaCH, or Written Torah.
TaNaCH is an acronym for the Hebrew words "Torah," "Neviim," and "Ktuvim," which in English are, respectively, The Five Books of Moses, The Prophets, and The Writings.

A "Sefer Torah," meaning 'book of the Torah,' is a copy of the Torah which must be, in order to be "kosher" (meaning permissible to be read at the bimah in a synagogue) must be hand-written by a "Sofer," or 'scribe,' on parchment. It is then considered fit ("kosher") to be read, and holy.

In addition, there is a body of work which Orthodox Jews consider Divine in origin called the "Oral Torah." It includes the Mishnah and Gemara, which interpret the Written Torah, traditionally believed to be handed down orally first from G-d to Moses at Mt. Sinai, then from Moses orally to Joshua, then by Joshua to the Men of the Great Assembly and on down through the generations, until finally, because our Sages were afraid it would be forgotten in the future, it was written down around the 2nd Century C.E. and
compiled as the Mishnah.

Further commentaries on the Mishnah were later written as the Gemara, and the complete body of work including the Mishnah and the Gemara are called The Talmud, complied around the 5th Century C.E.

This entire body of work can be, as stated above, traditionally referred to as "The Torah."

Sept 2005 - 2014 - Kosher Recipes - Kosher Cooking - Jewish Cooking - Jewish Recipes - Jewish Foods