Torah PNG Transparent Images

Submitted by on Aug 11, 2020

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The Torah has several meanings. Specifically, it can refer to the first five books (the Pentateuch or the five books of Moses) of the 24 books of the Hebrew Bible. This is commonly known as the Written Torah. It can also mean the ongoing narrative of all 24 books, from Genesis to the end of the Tanakh (chronicles), and it can even mean the totality of Jewish teaching, culture and practice, whether from biblical texts or later rabbinical writings. This is often known as the Oral Torah. Common to all of these meanings, the Torah consists of the origins of Jewish humanity: their vocation to be created by God, their trials and tribulations, and their covenant with God, which includes following a lifestyle embodied in a set of moral and religious obligations and civil laws (halakha).

If it is a bound book, it is called a chumash and is usually printed with rabbinical commentaries (perushim). If it is intended for liturgical purposes, it is a Torah scroll (sefer Torah) that contains strictly five books of Moses.


In rabbinic literature, the word Torah denotes both five books (“Torah that is written”) and the Oral Torah (“Torah that is spoken”). The Oral Torah consists of interpretations and reinforcements that, according to rabbinic tradition, were passed down from generation to generation and are now embodied in the Talmud and Midrash. The understanding of the rabbinical tradition is that all the teachings contained in the Torah (both written and oral) were given by God through the prophet Moses, some at Mount Sinai and others in the Tabernacle, and as a result all the teachings were written down by Moses, of which in the Torah that exists today. According to Midrash, the Torah was created before the creation of the world and was used as a concept of Creation. Most biblical scholars believe that the written books were the product of the Babylonian captivity (c. 6th century BCE), based on earlier written sources and oral traditions, and that it was supplemented with the latest corrections in the period after the expulsion (V century BCE).

Traditionally, the words of the Torah are written in Hebrew by a scribe (sofer) on a scroll. Part of the Torah is read publicly at least once every three days in the presence of parishioners. Public reading of the Torah is one of the foundations of the life of the Jewish community.

Therefore, the meaning of this word is “teach”, “instruction” or “doctrine”; the generally accepted “law” gives the wrong impression. The Alexandrian Jews who translated the Septuagint used the Greek word nomos, meaning norm, standard, doctrine, and later “law.” Then in the Greek and Latin Bibles, the Pentateuch (five books of Moses) began to be called the Law. Other contexts of translation into English include custom, theory, recommendation, or system.

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