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Encyclopedia > Law of Moses

Torah, (תורה) is a Hebrew word meaning "teaching", "instruction", or especially "law". It primarily refers to the first section of the Tanakh–the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, or the Five Books of Moses, but can also be used in the general sense to also include both the Written and Oral Law. The Modern Hebrew language is a Semitic language of the Afro-Asiatic language family. ... 11th century Targum Tanakh [תנ״ך] (also spelt Tanach or Tenach) is an acronym for the three parts of the Hebrew Bible, based upon the initial Hebrew letters of each part: Torah [תורה] (The Law; also: Teaching or Instruction), Chumash [חומש] (The five, also Pentateuch or The five books of... 11th century manuscript of the Hebrew Bible with Targum Hebrew Bible refers to the common portions of the Jewish and Christian canons. ... Torah, (תורה) is a Hebrew word meaning teaching, instruction, or especially Law. ... An oral law is a code of conduct in use in a given culture, religion or other regroupement, by which a body of rules of human behaviour is transmitted by oral tradition and effectively respected, or the single rule that is verbally transmitted. ...

Books of the Torah
Genesis
Exodus
Leviticus
Numbers
Deuteronomy

The five books are: Genesis (Greek: Γένεσις, having the meanings of birth, creation, cause, beginning, source and origin) is the first book of the Torah (five books of Moses) and hence the first book of the Tanakh, part of the Hebrew Bible; it is also the first book of the Christian Old Testament. ... For other uses of the name, see Exodus (disambiguation) Exodus is the second book of the Torah (the five books of Moses) and also the Tanakh (the Hebrew Bible) and Christian Old Testament. ... Leviticus is the third book of the Hebrew Bible, also the third book in the Torah (five books of Moses). ... The Book of Numbers is the fourth of the books of the Pentateuch, called in the Hebrew ba-midbar במדבר, i. ... Deuteronomy is the fifth book of the Hebrew Bible. ...

  1. Genesis (Bereishit בראשית),
  2. Exodus (Shemot שמות),
  3. Leviticus (Vayikra ויקרא),
  4. Numbers (Bemidbar במדבר) and
  5. Deuteronomy (Devarim דברים) .

Collectively they are also known as the Pentateuch (Greek for "five containers", where containers presumably refers to the scroll cases in which books were being kept), Hamisha Humshei Torah (חמשה חומשי תורה) (Hebrew for "the five parts of the Torah", or just Humash חומש "fifth" for short) or Chumash. Genesis (Greek: Γένεσις, having the meanings of birth, creation, cause, beginning, source and origin) is the first book of the Torah (five books of Moses) and hence the first book of the Tanakh, part of the Hebrew Bible; it is also the first book of the Christian Old Testament. ... For other uses of the name, see Exodus (disambiguation) Exodus is the second book of the Torah (the five books of Moses) and also the Tanakh (the Hebrew Bible) and Christian Old Testament. ... Leviticus is the third book of the Hebrew Bible, also the third book in the Torah (five books of Moses). ... The Book of Numbers is the fourth of the books of the Pentateuch, called in the Hebrew ba-midbar במדבר, i. ... Deuteronomy is the fifth book of the Hebrew Bible. ... Scroll can have different meanings: A scroll is a roll of parchment, papyrus, or paper which has been drawn or written upon. ...


A Torah is a specially written scroll of the five books, a Sefer Torah. Jews also use the word Torah, in a wider sense, to refer to the entire spectrum of authoritative Jewish religious teachings throughout history. In this sense it might include the entire Tanakh, the Mishnah, the Talmud and the midrashic literature. Sefer Torah (Holy Book of the Torah) refers to a hand-written copy of the Jewish Torah that meets extremely strict standards of production. ... The Mishnah (Hebrew משנה, Repetition) is a major source of rabbinic Judaisms religious texts. ... The first page of the Talmud, in the standard Vilna edition. ... Midrash (pl. ...

Contents


Structure of the five books

The five books do not contain a complete and ordered system of legislature (which is found in the Talmud), but rather, a general philosophical basis, a historical description of the beginnings of Judaism, and 613 specific laws. Much of the five books (particularly Genesis, the first part of Exodus and much of Numbers) are actually stories rather than lists of laws, but many important concepts and ideas are found in these stories. The book of Deuteronomy is different from the previous books; it consists of Moses' final speeches to Israel at the end of his life, and reiterates many laws mentioned previously. Download high resolution version (1777x1333, 411 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Download high resolution version (1777x1333, 411 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... The first page of the Talmud, in the standard Vilna edition. ... Judaism is the religious culture of the Jewish people. ... In Judaism there is a tradition that the Torah contains 613 mitzvot (Hebrew for commandments, from mitzvah - מצוה - precept, plural mitzvot; from צוה, tzavah- command). ... Deuteronomy is the fifth book of the Hebrew Bible. ...


Many laws of Judaism are not directly mentioned in the Torah, but are derived from textual hints, which were expanded orally, and eventually written down in the Talmud and Mishnah. According to the Jewish view, the stories in the Torah are not always in chronological order, and sometimes they are ordered by concept (Talmud tractate Pesachim 7a). The first page of the Talmud, in the standard Vilna edition. ... The Mishnah (Hebrew משנה, Repetition) is a major source of rabbinic Judaisms religious texts. ...


Jews believe that every single word, and even letter, in the Torah is significant and has a reason for appearing there.


Jewish view of the Torah

The Torah is the primary document of Judaism, and is the source of all the basic Biblical commandments, in an ethical framework. According to a well-accepted rabbinic tradition cited in the Talmud, the Torah contains 613 mitzvot [מצוות] (tractate Makkoth 23b). Torah Scroll (Sefer Torah) Taken from the website http://www. ... Torah Scroll (Sefer Torah) Taken from the website http://www. ... Judaism is the religious culture of the Jewish people. ... The first page of the Talmud, in the standard Vilna edition. ... In Judaism there is a tradition that the Torah contains 613 mitzvot (Hebrew for commandments, from mitzvah - מצוה - precept, plural mitzvot; from צוה, tzavah- command). ...


According to Jewish tradition, these books were revealed to Moses by God; some of it is said to have been revealed at Mt. Sinai (the Ten Commandments.) Classical rabbinic literature offers various ideas on when the entire Torah was revealed. Some sources state that the entire Torah was given all at once on Mount Sinai. In the maximalist view, this dictation included not only the "quotes" which appear in the text, but every word of the text itself, including phrases such as "And God spoke to Moses...", and included God telling Moses about Moses' own death and what would happen afterward. Other classical sources hold that the Torah was revealed to Moses over many years, and finished only at his death. Another school of thought holds that although Moses wrote the vast majority of the Torah, a number of sentences throughout the Torah must have been written after his death by another prophet. All classical views, nonetheless, hold that the Torah was entirely or almost entirely Mosaic and of divine origin. Moses or Móshe (מֹשֶׁה, Standard Hebrew Móše, Tiberian Hebrew Mōšeh, Arabic موسى), son of Amram and his wife, Jochebed, a Levite. ... The term God is used to designate a Supreme Being; however, there are other definitions of God. ... Sunrise on the Mount Sinai View from the summit of Mount Sinai Sinai Peninsula, showing location of Jabal Musa Mount Sinai is the name of the mountain where, according to the Bible, God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses. ...


The rabbis hold that not only are the words giving a Divine message, but indicate a far greater message that extends beyond them. Thus they hold that even as small a mark as a kotzo shel yod (קוצו של יוד), the serif of the Hebrew letter yod (י), the smallest letter, was put there by God to teach scores of lessons. This is regardless of whether that yod appears in the phrase "I am the Lord thy God," or whether it appears in that oft repeated "And God spoke unto Moses saying." In a similar vein, Rabbi Akiva, who died in AD 135, is said to have learned a new law from every et (את) in the Torah (Talmud, tractate Pesachim 22b); the word et is meaningless by itself, and serves only to mark the accusative case. In other words, the Orthodox view is that "And God spoke unto Moses saying..." is no less important than the actual statement. In typography, serifs are the small features at the end of strokes within letters. ... Rabbi Akiva (or Rebbi Akiva) is one of the most central and essential contributors to the early Oral Torah, mainly the Mishnah and the Midrash Halakha. ... For other uses, see number 135. ... The first page of the Talmud, in the standard Vilna edition. ... The accusative case of a noun is, generally, the case used to mark the direct object of a verb. ... Orthodox Judaism is the most conservative of the three major branches of Judaism. ...


One kabbalistic interpretation is that the Torah constitutes one long name of God, and that it was broken up into words so that human minds can understand it. While this is effective since it accords with our human reason, it is not the only way that the text can be broken up. The tree of life. ...


There is little support for higher biblical criticism in Orthodox Judaism. Applying the techniques of higher criticism to books of the Bible other than the Torah is frowned upon, but applying these techniques to the Torah itself is usually considered to be both mistaken and heretical. As such, the overwhelming majority of Orthodox Judaism views the documentary hypothesis to be heretical. Orthodox rabbis well-known for taking issue with documentary hypothesis: Meir Leibush Malbim and Samson Raphael Hirsch. Higher criticism is a branch of literary analysis that attempts to investigate the origins of a text, especially the text of the Bible. ... Orthodox Judaism is the most conservative of the three major branches of Judaism. ... The documentary hypothesis is a theory proposed by many historians and academics in the field of linguistics and literary criticism that the Five Books of Moses (the Torah) are in fact a combination of documents from different sources rather than authored by one individual. ... Meir Lob ben Jehiel Michael (1809 - September 18, 1879), better known as the Malbim, was a Russian rabbi, preacher, and author. ... Rabbi S.R. Hirsch Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch (June 20, 1808 - December 31, 1888) was the intellectual founder of the Torah im Derech Eretz school of contemporary Orthodox Judaism. ...


Translations

Torah translations have existed for over 2000 years. An early example is the Septuagint, which the Talmud says was produced at the instigation of a king or pharaoh of the Ptolemaic dynasty. The Septuagint (LXX) is the name commonly given in the West to the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) produced in the third century BC. The Septuagint Bible includes additional books beyond those used in todays Jewish Tanakh. ... Ptolemy, one of Alexander the Greats generals, was appointed satrap of Egypt after Alexanders death in 323 BC. In 305 BC he declared himself King Ptolemy I, later known as Soter (saviour). ...


The best-known translation of antiquity is probably the Targum of Onkelos the Proselyte, who based his translation on an oral tradition from Sinai and is still used as a tool for Torah study and quoted extensively by Rashi in questions on etymology. A targum (plural: targumim) is an Aramaic translation of the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) written or compiled in the Land of Israel or in Babylonia from the Second Temple period until the early Middle Ages (late first millennium). ... Onkelos is the name of a famous convert to Judaism in Talmudic times (c. ... Torah study is the study of Jewish religious texts by Jews for the religious (as opposed to academic) purposes. ... Rashi Rashi (February 22, 1040-July 17, 1105) is the acronym of Rabbi Solomon ben Isaac (or: Shlomo Yitzhaki). ...


The Torah and the oral law

Rabbinical Judaism (i.e. Orthodox Judaism) holds that the Torah has been transmitted in parallel with an oral tradition. They point to the text of the Torah, where they believe many words are left undefined, and many procedures mentioned without explanation or instructions; they believe the reader is assumed to be familiar with the details from other, oral, sources. Judaism is the religious culture of the Jewish people. ... Orthodox Judaism is the most conservative of the three major branches of Judaism. ... Oral history is an account of something passed down by word of mouth from one generation to another. ...


This parallel set of material was originally transmitted orally, and came to be known as the oral law. At the time, it was forbidden to write and publish the Oral Law, as any writing would be incomplete and subject to misinterpretation and abuse. However, after great debate, this restriction was lifted when it became apparent that it was the only way to ensure that the law could be preserved. To prevent the material from being lost, around AD 200, Rabbi Judah haNasi took up the redaction of a written version of the oral law; it was compiled into the first major written work of rabbinic Judaism, the Mishnah. Over the next four centuries this body of law, legend, and ethical teachings underwent debate and analysis in both of the world's major Jewish communities (in Israel and Babylon). These commentaries on the Mishnah, called gemara, eventually came to be edited together into compilations known as the Talmud. An oral law is a code of conduct in use in a given culture, religion or other regroupement, by which a body of rules of human behaviour is transmitted by oral tradition and effectively respected, or the single rule that is verbally transmitted. ... For other uses, see number 200. ... Judah haNasi, or more accurately in Hebrew, Yehudah HaNasi, was a key leader of the Jewish community of Judea under the Roman empire, toward the end of the 2nd century CE. He was reputedly from the Davidic line of the royal line from King David, hence his title Prince (Nasi... The Mishnah (Hebrew משנה, Repetition) is a major source of rabbinic Judaisms religious texts. ... Babylon was the capital city of Babylonia in Mesopotamia (in contemporary Iraq, about 70 mi/110 km south of Baghdad). ... The Gemara are the Rabbinical commentaries and analysis on the Mishnah, undertaken in the Academies of Palestine and Babylon over a 300 year period to about 500CE. The Mishnah is the core text, and the gemara is the analysis and commentary which “completes” the Talmud (from gamar גמר, to complete). ... The first page of the Talmud, in the standard Vilna edition. ...


Most Jews follow the traditional explication of these laws that can be found in this later literature. Karaites, who reject the oral law, and adhere solely to the laws of the Torah, are a major exception. Karaite Judaism is a Jewish denomination characterized by reliance on the Tanakh as the sole scripture, and rejection of the Oral Law (the Mishnah and the Talmuds) as halakha (Legally Binding, i. ...


Christian view of the Torah

Christianity also believes that the Torah is the word of God; however most Christians do not necessarily hold that it was "dictated" to Moses all at once. Further, traditional Christianity holds that while the Torah's quotes from God should literally be understood as quotes from God Himself, the rest of the text is not a direct quote, but rather human words written by a prophet under divine inspiration. Thus the entire Torah is held to be a holy revelation, but not all of it is seen as a quote. The Christian belief that Jesus is both fully human and fully divine has a very close analogy in the traditional Christian view of Scripture. Christianity is the worlds largest religion. ... This 11th-century portrait is one of many images of Jesus in which a halo with a cross is used. ...


Samaritans

The Samaritans have their own version of the Torah, which contains many variant readings. Many of these agree with the Septuagint against the Masoretic Text, leading many scholars to believe that parts of the Samaritan text may have once been common in ancient Palestine, but rejected by the Masoretes. Samaritans are both a religious and an ethnic group. ... This entry incorporates text from Eastons Bible Dictionary, 1897, with some modernisation. ... The Septuagint (LXX) is the name commonly given in the West to the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) produced in the third century BC. The Septuagint Bible includes additional books beyond those used in todays Jewish Tanakh. ... The Masoretic Text (MT) is the Hebrew text of the Tanakh approved for general use in Judaism. ...


Secular view of the Torah

There is no scholarly consensus on the dates of the writing and canonization of the Torah, and estimates range from the 10th to the 6th centuries BC. Several professors of archeology claim that many stories in the Hebrew Bible, including important chronicles about Abraham, Moses, Solomon, and others, were actually made up for the first time by scribes hired by King Josiah (7th century BC) in order to rationalize monotheistic belief in God. Others claim that the foremost motivation behind the text is political and has to do with the division between the southern kingdom and the northern kingdom. The Biblical canon is an exclusive list of books written during the formative period of the Jewish or Christian faiths; the leaders of these communities believed these books to be inspired by God or to express the authoritative history of the relationship between God and his people (although there may... (11th century BC - 10th century BC - 9th century BC - other centuries) (1000s BC - 990s BC - 980s BC - 970s BC - 960s BC - 950s BC - 940s BC - 930s BC - 920s BC - 910s BC - 900s BC - other decades) (3rd millennium BC - 2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC) Events Partition of the ancient Israelite... (7th century BC - 6th century BC - 5th century BC - other centuries) (600s BC - 590s BC - 580s BC - 570s BC - 560s BC - 550s BC - 540s BC - 530s BC - 520s BC - 510s BC - 500s BC - other decades) (2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC - 1st millennium AD) Events Cyrus the Great conquered many... (8th century BC - 7th century BC - 6th century BC - other centuries) (700s BC - 690s BC - 680s BC - 670s BC - 660s BC - 650s BC - 640s BC - 630s BC - 620s BC - 610s BC - 600s BC - other decades) (2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC - 1st millennium AD) Events Scythians arrived in Asia Collapse... The Kingdom of Judah (Hebrew מַלְכוּת יְהוּדָה, Standard Hebrew Malḫut Yəhuda, Tiberian Hebrew Malḵûṯ Yəhûḏāh) in the times of the Hebrew Bible, was the nation formed from the territories of the tribes of Judah, Simeon and Benjamin after the Kingdom of Israel was divided, and was named after Judah son... The Kingdom of Israel (Hebrew: מַלְכוּת יִשְׂרָאֵל, Standard Hebrew Malḫut Yisraʼel, Tiberian Hebrew Malḵûṯ Yiśrāʼēl) according to the Bible, was the Kingdom proclaimed by the Israelite nation around 1021 BCE. The nation itself was formed as the Israelites left Egypt during the Exodus at an uncertain date, often considered to...


The prevailing theory amongst liberal and secular scholars, linguists and historians holds that the text of the Torah appears to be redacted together from a number of earlier sources; this is known as the documentary hypothesis (DH), sometimes called the "JEDP" theory. See the documentary hypothesis page for the arguments of its proponents and opponents. The following is a list of linguists, those who study linguistics. ... A historian is a person who studies history. ... The documentary hypothesis is a theory proposed by many historians and academics in the field of linguistics and literary criticism that the Five Books of Moses (the Torah) are in fact a combination of documents from different sources rather than authored by one individual. ...


Evidently, the extensive written records of neighboring countries such as Egypt, Assyria, etc., do mention some of the stories of the Bible and its main characters before 650 BC. See the book references below. Centuries: 8th century BC - 7th century BC - 6th century BC Decades: 700s BC 690s BC 680s BC 670s BC 660s BC - 650s BC - 640s BC 630s BC 620s BC 610s BC 600s BC Events and Trends Occupation begins at Maya site of Piedras Negras, Guatemala 657 BC - Cypselus becomes the...


See also

A Bible handwritten in Latin, on display in Malmesbury Abbey, Wiltshire, England. ... Moses or Móshe (מֹשֶׁה, Standard Hebrew Móše, Tiberian Hebrew Mōšeh, Arabic موسى), son of Amram and his wife, Jochebed, a Levite. ... Sefer Torah (Holy Book of the Torah) refers to a hand-written copy of the Jewish Torah that meets extremely strict standards of production. ... 11th century Targum Tanakh [תנ״ך] (also spelt Tanach or Tenach) is an acronym for the three parts of the Hebrew Bible, based upon the initial Hebrew letters of each part: Torah [תורה] (The Law; also: Teaching or Instruction), Chumash [חומש] (The five, also Pentateuch or The five books of... Torah reading (in Hebrew: Kriat HaTorah or Reading [of] the Torah) has followed a steady pattern for the past two thousand years following the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem and is still practiced by Orthodox Judaism and its adherents. ...

References

Wikisource has original text related to this article:
Pentateuch
  • William G. Dever, Who Were the Early Israelites?, William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, MI (2003).
  • Neil A. Silberman et al., The Bible Unearthed, Simon and Schuster, New York (2001).

  Results from FactBites:
 
The Law of Moses - BibleFocus.net (716 words)
20 Moses said to the people, "Don't be afraid, for God has come to test you, and that his fear may be before you, that you won't sin." 21 The people stayed at a distance, and Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was.
Following this chapter, there is the record of more laws intermixed with a series of events that occur among the people at the time.
The laws presented in this section of the Bible were given specifically to the people of Israel, and aren't actually expressed as being the laws of God to the whole of creation, as a simplistic reading may suggest.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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