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The Torah

The Torah

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The Torah   Hebrew: law or doctrine

The Torah in Judaism, is the Pentateuch, especially when in the form of a parchment scroll for reading in the synagogue. The Torah is the cornerstone of Jewish religion and law. The scrolls are considered extremely holy and are beloved by the pious. Every synagogue maintains several scrolls, each of which is protected by a covering of rich fabric and is decorated with silver ornaments. A special holiday in honor of the Torah, known as Simhath Torah (Hebrew, rejoicing in the Law), is celebrated in the synagogue by singing, and marching and dancing with the scrolls.

The term Torah also is used to refer to the entire grouping of the Scriptures of the Jews, together with the commentaries on them. The commentaries, which arose through the centuries out of learned discussion, are called oral Torah inorder to distinguish them from the Pentateuch itself, the written Torah.

The Torah has three sections. These three sections are called the Torah, Nevi'im, and Kesuvim

Torah – This is the part that was given directly to Moses at Mount Sinai by God Himself. It is made up of five books. Each book is called a Chumash.

  • B'reishis (Genesis)
  • Shemos (Exodus)
  • Vayikra (Leviticus)
  • Bamidbar (Numbers)
  • Devarim (Deuteronomy)

Nevi'im the Prophets – Prophets are those called of God who communicate with God. These books are recordings of some of what God said to these prophets.

  • Yehoshua (Joshua)
  • Shoftim (Judges)
  • Shmuel (Samuel) - two books
  • Melachim (Kings) - two books
  • Yirmiyahu (Jeremiah)
  • Yechezkel (Ezekiel)
  • Yeshayahu (Isaiah)

The following twelve are combined in one book called Trey Asar the Twelve

  • Hoshaia (Hosea)
  • Yoel (Joel)
  • Amos
  • Ovadiah (Obadiah)
  • Yonah (Jonah)
  • Michah (Micah)
  • Nachum (Nahum)
  • Chabakkuk (Habakkuk)
  • Tzefaniah (Zephaniah)
  • Chaggai (Haggai)
  • Zechariah (Zachariah)
  • Malachi

Kesuvim the Writings – These books were written by the prophets with God's direction.

  • Tehillim (Psalms)
  • Mishlei (Proverbs)
  • Iyov (Job)

The following five books are called Megillos

  • 1 Shir HaShirim (Song of Songs)
  • 2 Rus (Ruth)
  • 3 Eichah (Lamentations)
  • 4 Koheles (Eccelesiastes)
  • 5 Esther
  • Daniel
  • Ezra & Nechemiah (Nehemiah)
  • Divrei HaYomim (Chronicles) two books

All together there are twenty-four books, five in the Torah, eight in the Nevi'im, and eleven in the Kesuvim.

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"When to seek God has become life and to glorify God has become self, then you have truly found God."