Torah Silhouette PNG Transparent Images

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Uploaded on on Sep 5, 2021


Torah has a wide range of interpretations. It can most particularly refer to the Hebrew Bible’s first five books (Pentateuch or Five Books of Moses). The Written Torah is what it’s called. It can also refer to the whole story from Genesis to the end of the Tanakh, which spans all 24 books (Chronicles). It’s called Chumash if it’s in book form, and it’s generally printed with rabbinic comments (per shim). If it’s for liturgical use, it’ll be in the shape of a Torah scroll (Sefer Torah), which only includes the five books of Moses.

It can also refer to the entirety of Jewish teaching, culture, and practice, regardless of whether it is drawn from biblical scriptures or later rabbinic literature. This is commonly referred to as the Oral Torah. Torah is the root of Jewish peoplehood: God’s call to them, their trials and sufferings, and their covenant with their God, which entails following a way of life reflected in a set of moral and religious responsibilities as well as civic regulations (halakha). The Arabic term “Tawrat” (also Tawrah or Taurat; Arabic: ) refers to the whole Hebrew Bible in its context as an Islamic holy book believed by Muslims to have been delivered by God to Prophets among the Children of Israel.


The word Torah is used in rabbinic literature to refer to both the written Torah (Hebrew: romanized: Torah shebichtav “Torah that is written”) and the Oral Torah (Hebrew: romanized: Torah shebe’al peh, “Torah that is uttered”). The Oral Torah is made up of rabbinic tradition-based interpretations and amplifications that have been passed down from generation to generation and are now contained in the Talmud and Midrash. All of the lessons in the Torah (both written and oral) were provided by God through the prophet Moses, some at Mount Sinai and others at the Tabernacle, and all of the teachings were written down by Moses, resulting in the Torah that exists today, according to Rabbinic tradition. According to the Midrash, the Torah was written before the world was created and served as a blueprint for its development. The majority of Biblical scholars think that the written books were a result of the Babylonian captivity (c. 6th century BCE) and that they were finished with final modifications during the post-Exilic era, relying on previously written sources and oral traditions (c. 5th century BCE).

The Torah’s words are traditionally written in Hebrew on a scroll by a scribe (sofer). A Torah portion is read aloud in front of a congregation at least once every three days. One of the foundations of Jewish community life is the public reading of the Torah.

The Hebrew term “Torah” comes from the root, which means “to lead” or “to instruct” in the hif’il conjugation (cf. Lev 10:11). The definition of the term is thus “teaching,” “doctrine,” or “education,” rather than the generally recognized “law.”

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