19 Facts About Torah


Torah is the compilation of the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, namely the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.

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In that sense, Torah means the same as Pentateuch or the Five Books of Moses.

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At times the word Torah can be used as a synonym for the whole of the Hebrew Bible or Tanakh, in which sense it includes not only the first five, but all 24 books of the Hebrew Bible.

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Rabbinic tradition's understanding is that all of the teachings found in the Torah 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.

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Torah starts from the beginning of God's creating the world, through the beginnings of the people of Israel, their descent into Egypt, and the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai.

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In Hebrew, the five books of the Torah are identified by the incipits in each book; and the common English names for the books are derived from the Greek Septuagint and reflect the essential theme of each book:.

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Talmud holds that the Torah was written by Moses, with the exception of the last eight verses of Deuteronomy, describing his death and burial, being written by Joshua.

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The precise process by which the Torah was composed, the number of authors involved, and the date of each author are hotly contested.

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The Orthodox rabbinic tradition holds that the Written Torah was recorded during the following forty years, though many non-Orthodox Jewish scholars affirm the modern scholarly consensus that the Written Torah has multiple authors and was written over centuries.

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Talmud says that the last eight verses of the Torah that discuss the death and burial of Moses could not have been written by Moses, as writing it would have been a lie, and that they were written after his death by Joshua.

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Torah reading is a Jewish religious ritual that involves the public reading of a set of passages from a Torah scroll.

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Jews observe an annual holiday, Simchat Torah, to celebrate the completion and new start of the year's cycle of readings.

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Torah scrolls are often dressed with a sash, a special Torah cover, various ornaments, and a Keter, although such customs vary among synagogues.

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Torah contains narratives, statements of law, and statements of ethics.

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Humanistic Judaism holds that the Torah is a historical, political, and sociological text, but does not believe that every word of the Torah is true, or even morally correct.

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Kabbalists hold that not only do the words of Torah give a divine message, but they indicate a far greater message that extends beyond them.

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Completion of the Sefer Torah is a cause for great celebration, and it is a mitzvah for every Jew to either write or have written for him a Sefer Torah.

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Rav Sa'adia produced an Arabic translation of the Torah known as Targum Tafsir and offered comments on Rasag's work.

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Torah has been translated by Jewish scholars into most of the major European languages, including English, German, Russian, French, Spanish and others.

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