Shabbat or Shabbos, or the Sabbath is Judaism's day of rest and seventh day of the week, on which religious Jews and certain Christians remember the Biblical creation of the heavens and the earth in six days and the Exodus of the Hebrews, look forward to a future Messianic Age. Shabbat observance entails refraining from work activities with great rigor, engaging in restful activities to honor the day. Judaism's traditional position is that unbroken seventh-day Shabbat originated among the Jewish people, as their first and most sacred institution, though some suggest other origins. Variations upon Shabbat are widespread in Judaism and, with adaptations, throughout the Abrahamic and many other religions. According to halakha, Shabbat is observed from a few minutes before sunset on Friday evening until the appearance of three stars in the sky on Saturday night. Shabbat is ushered in by reciting a blessing. Traditionally, three festive meals are eaten: in the evening, in the early afternoon, late in the afternoon.
The evening meal and the early afternoon meal begin with a blessing called kiddush and another blessing recited over two loaves of challah. Shabbat is closed the following evening with a havdalah blessing. Shabbat is a festive day, it offers an opportunity to spend time with family. The word "Shabbat" derives from the Hebrew verb shavat. Although translated as "rest", another accurate translation of these words is "ceasing ", as resting is not denoted; the related modern Hebrew word shevita, has the same implication of active rather than passive abstinence from work. The notion of active cessation from labor is regarded as more consistent with an omnipotent God's activity on the seventh day of Creation according to Genesis. Other significant connotations are to shevet which means sitting or staying, to sheva meaning seven, as Shabbat is the seventh day of the week. Sabbath is given special status as a holy day at the beginning of the Torah in Genesis 2:1–3, it is first commanded after the Exodus from Egypt, in Exodus 16:26 and in Exodus 16:29, as in Exodus 20:8–11.
Sabbath is commended many more times in the Torah and Tanakh. Sabbath is described by the prophets Isaiah, Ezekiel, Hosea and Nehemiah; the longstanding traditional Jewish position is that unbroken seventh-day Shabbat originated among the Jewish people, as their first and most sacred institution. The origins of Shabbat and a seven-day week are not clear to scholars. Seventh-day Shabbat did not originate with the Egyptians; the first non-Biblical reference to Sabbath is in an ostracon found in excavations at Mesad Hashavyahu, dated 630 BCE. Connection to Sabbath observance has been suggested in the designation of the seventh, nineteenth, twenty-first and twenty-eight days of a lunar month in an Assyrian religious calendar as a'holy day' called ‘evil days’; the prohibitions on these days, spaced seven days apart, include abstaining from chariot riding, the avoidance of eating meat by the King. On these days officials were prohibited from various activities and common men were forbidden to "make a wish", at least the 28th was known as a "rest-day".
The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia advanced a theory of Assyriologists like Friedrich Delitzsch that Shabbat arose from the lunar cycle in the Babylonian calendar containing four weeks ending in Sabbath, plus one or two additional unreckoned days per month. The difficulties of this theory include reconciling the differences between an unbroken week and a lunar week, explaining the absence of texts naming the lunar week as Sabbath in any language; the Tanakh and siddur describe Shabbat as having three purposes: To commemorate God's creation of the universe, on the seventh day of which God rested from his work. Judaism accords Shabbat the status of a joyous holy day. In many ways, Jewish law gives Shabbat the status of being the most important holy day in the Jewish calendar: It is the first holy day mentioned in the Bible, God was the first to observe it with the cessation of Creation. Jewish liturgy treats Shabbat as a "bride" and "queen"; the Sefer Torah is read during the Torah reading, part of the Shabbat morning services, with a longer reading than during the week.
The Torah is read over a yearly cycle of one for each Shabbat. On Shabbat, the reading is divided into seven sections, more than on any other holy day, including Yom Kippur; the Haftarah reading from the Hebrew prophets is read. A tradition states that the Jewish Messiah will come if every Jew properly observes two consecutive Shabbatoth; the punishme
The Mishneh Torah, subtitled Sefer Yad ha-Hazaka, is a code of Jewish religious law authored by Maimonides. The Mishneh Torah was compiled between 1170 and 1180 CE, while Maimonides was living in Egypt, is regarded as Maimonides' magnum opus. Accordingly sources refer to the work as "Maimon", "Maimonides", or "RaMBaM", although Maimonides composed other works. Mishneh Torah consists of fourteen books, subdivided into sections and paragraphs, it is the only Medieval-era work that details all of Jewish observance, including those laws that are only applicable when the Holy Temple is in existence, remains an important work in Judaism. Its title is an appellation used for the Biblical book of Deuteronomy, its subtitle, "Book of the Strong Hand", derives from its subdivision into fourteen books: the numerical value fourteen, when represented as the Hebrew letters Yod Dalet, forms the word yad. Maimonides intended to provide a complete statement of the Oral Law, so that a person who mastered first the Written Torah and the Mishneh Torah would be in no need of any other book.
Contemporary reaction was mixed, with strong and immediate opposition focusing on the absence of sources and the belief that the work appeared to be intended to supersede study of the Talmud. Maimonides responded to these criticisms, the Mishneh Torah endures as an influential work in Jewish religious thought. According to several authorities, a decision may not be rendered in opposition to a view of Maimonides where he militated against the sense of a Talmudic passage, for in such cases the presumption was that the words of the Talmud were incorrectly interpreted. Likewise: "One must follow Maimonides when the latter opposed his teachers, since he knew their views, if he decided against them, he must have disapproved their interpretation." Maimonides sought brevity and clarity in his Mishneh Torah and, as in his Commentary on the Mishnah, he refrained from detailing his sources, considering it sufficient to name his sources in the preface. He drew upon the Torah and the rest of Tanakh, both Talmuds and the halachic Midrashim, principally Sifra and Sifre.
Sources include the responsa of the Geonim. The maxims and decisions of the Geonim are presented with the introductory phrase "The Geonim have decided" or "There is a regulation of the Geonim", while the opinions of Isaac Alfasi and Alfasi's pupil Joseph ibn Migash are prefaced by the words "my teachers have decided". According to Maimonides, the Geonim were considered "unintelligible in our days, there are but few who are able to comprehend them". There were times when Maimonides disagreed with what was being taught in the name of the Geonim. A number of laws appear to have no source in any of the works mentioned. Maimonides himself states a few times in his work that he possessed what he considered to be more accurate texts of the Talmud than what most people possessed at his time; the latter has been confirmed to a certain extent by versions of the Talmud preserved by the Yemenite Jews as to the reason for what were thought to be rulings without any source. The Mishneh Torah is written in Hebrew in the style of the Mishnah.
As he states in the preface, Maimonides was reluctant to write in Talmudic Aramaic, since it was not known. His previous works had been written in Arabic; the Mishneh Torah never cites sources or arguments, confines itself to stating the final decision on the law to be followed in each situation. There is no discussion of Talmudic interpretation or methodology, the sequence of chapters follows the factual subject matter of the laws rather than the intellectual principle involved. 1. HaMadda 1. Yesodei ha-Torah: belief in God, other Jewish principles of faith 2. De'ot: general proper behavior 3. Talmud Torah: Torah study 4. Avodah Zarah: the prohibition against idolatry and foreign worship 5. Teshuvah: the law and philosophy of repentance 2. Ahavah 1. Kri'at Shema: recitation of the Shema 2. Tefilah and Birkat Kohanim: prayer and the priestly blessing 3. Tefillin and Sefer Torah 4. Tzitzit 5. Berachot: blessings 6. Milah: circumcision 7. Seder Tefilot: order of prayers 3. Zemanim 1. Shabbat: Sabbath 2. Eruvin: a Rabbinic device that facilitates Sabbath observance 3.
Shevitat `Asor: laws of Yom Kippur, except for the Temple service 4. Yom Tov: prohibitions on major Jewish holidays that are different from the prohibitions of Sabbath 5. Hametz u-Matza: chametz and matzah 6. Shofar ve-Lulav ve-Sukkah: Shofar and palm frond and Sukkah 7. Shekalim: money collected for the Temple in Jerusalem when it stood 8. Kiddush HaChodesh: sanctification of the month 9. Taaniyot: fasts 10. Hanukah u-Megillah: Hanukkah and the Scroll of Esther 4. Nashim: 1. Ishut: laws of marriage, including kiddushin and the ketubah 2. Geirushin: laws of divorce 3. Yibum va-Chalitzah: laws of levirate marriage 4. Na'arah Betulah: the law of a man who seduces or rapes an unmarried woman 5. Sotah: laws concerning a woman suspected of infidelity 5. Kedushah 1. Issurei Biah: forbidden sexual relations, including niddah and adultery. Since intermarriage with no
Yemenite Jews or Yemeni Jews or Teimanim are those Jews who live, or once lived, in Yemen. The term may refer to the descendants of the Yemenite Jewish community. Between June 1949 and September 1950, the overwhelming majority of Yemen's Jewish population was transported to Israel in Operation Magic Carpet. After several waves of persecution throughout Yemen, most Yemenite Jews now live in Israel, while smaller communities live in the United States and elsewhere. Only a handful remain in Yemen; the few remaining Jews experience intense, at times violent, anti-Semitism on a daily basis. Yemenite Jews have a unique religious tradition that marks them out as separate from Ashkenazi and other Jewish groups, they have been described as "the most Jewish of all Jews" and the same with Yemeni Arabs who are described as pure Arabs. Yemenite Jews are described as belonging to "Mizrahi Jews", though they differ from the general trend of Mizrahi groups in Israel, which have undergone a process of total or partial assimilation to Sephardic culture and Sephardic liturgy.
While the Shami sub-group of Yemenite Jews did adopt a Sephardic-influenced rite, this was in no small part due to it being forced upon them, did not reflect a demographic or cultural shift. Some Jewish families have preserved traditions relating to their tribal affiliation, based on partial genealogical records passed down generation after generation. In Yemen, for example, some Jews trace their lineage to Judah, others to Benjamin, while yet others to Levi and Reuben. Of particular interest is one distinguished Jewish family of Yemen who traced their lineage to Bani, one of the sons of Peretz, the son of Judah. There are numerous accounts and traditions concerning the arrival of Jews in various regions in Southern Arabia. One tradition suggests that King Solomon sent Jewish merchant marines to Yemen to prospect for gold and silver with which to adorn his Temple in Jerusalem. In 1881, the French vice consulate in Yemen wrote to the leaders of the Alliance in France, that he read in a book by the Arab historian Abu-Alfada that the Jews of Yemen settled in the area in 1451 BCE.
Another legend says that Yemeni tribes converted to Judaism after the Queen of Sheba's visit to King Solomon. The Sanaite Jews have a tradition that their ancestors settled in Yemen forty-two years before the destruction of the First Temple, it is said that under the prophet Jeremiah some 75,000 Jews, including priests and Levites, traveled to Yemen. Another legend states that when Ezra commanded the Jews to return to Jerusalem they disobeyed, whereupon he pronounced a ban upon them. According to this legend, as a punishment for this hasty action, Ezra was denied burial in Israel; as a result of this local tradition, which can not be validated it is said that no Jew of Yemen gives the name of Ezra to a child, although all other Biblical appellatives are used. The Yemenite Jews claim; this seems to have come true in the eyes of some Yemenites, as Yemen is poor. However, some Yemenite sages in Israel today emphatically reject this story as myth, if not outright blasphemy. Archaeological records referring to Judaism in Yemen started to appear during the rule of the Himyarite Kingdom, established in Yemen in 110 BCE.
Various inscription in Musnad script in the second century CE refer to constructions of synagogues approved by Himyarite Kings. According to local legends, the kingdom's aristocracy converted to Judaism in the 6th century CE; the Christian missionary, who came to Yemen in the mid-fourth century, complained that he had found great numbers of Jews. By 380 CE, Himyarites religious practices had undergone fundamental changes; the inscriptions were no longer addressed to El Maqah or'Athtar, but to a single deity called Rahman. Debate among scholars continues as to whether the Himyarite monotheism was influenced by Judaism or Christianity. Jews became numerous and powerful in the southern part of Arabia, a rich and fertile land of incense and spices and a way station on the routes to Africa and East Asia; the Yemeni tribes did not oppose Jewish presence in their country. By 516, tribal unrest broke out, several tribal elites fought for power. One of those elites was Joseph Dhu Nuwas or "Yûsuf'As'ar Yaṯ'ar" as mentioned in ancient south Arabian inscriptions.
The actual story of Joseph is murky. Greek and Ethiopian accounts, portray him as a Jewish zealot; some scholars suggest. Nestorian accounts claim that his mother was a Jew taken captive from Nisibis and bought by a king in Yemen, whose ancestors had converted to Judaism. Syriac and Byzantine sources maintain that Yûsuf ’As’ar sought to convert other Yemeni Christians, but they refused to renounce Christianity; the actual picture, remains unclear. Some scholars believe. In 2009 a BBC broadcast defended a claim that Yûsuf ’As’ar offered villagers the choice between conversion to Judaism or death and massacred 20,000 Christians; the program's producers stated that, "The production team spoke to many historians over 18 months, among them Nigel Groom, our consultant, Professor Abdul Rahman Al-Ansary." Inscriptions attributed to Yûsuf ’As’ar himself show the great pride he expressed after killing more than 22,000 Christians in Ẓafār and Najran. According to Jamme, Sabaean inscriptions reveal that the combined war booty from campaigns waged against the Abyssinians in Ẓafār, the fighters in ’Ašʻarān, Rakbān, Farasān, Muḥwān (Moch
The Gemara is the component of the Talmud comprising rabbinical analysis of and commentary on the Mishnah. After the Mishnah was published by Judah the Prince, the work was studied exhaustively by generation after generation of rabbis in Babylonia and the Land of Israel, their discussions were written down in a series of books that became the Gemara, which when combined with the Mishnah constituted the Talmud. There are two versions of the Gemara; the Jerusalem Talmud was compiled by scholars of the Land of Israel of the academies of Tiberias and Caesarea, was published between about 350–400 CE. The Talmud Bavli was published about 500 CE by scholars of Babylonia of the academies of Sura and Nehardea. By convention, a reference to the "Gemara" or "Talmud," without further qualification, refers to the Babylonian version; the main compilers were Rav Ashi. See Talmud; the Gemara and the Mishnah together make up the Talmud. The Talmud thus comprises two components: the Mishnah – the core text; the rabbis of the Mishnah are known as Tannaim.
The rabbis of the Gemara are referred to as Amoraim. Because there are two Gemaras, there are in fact two Talmuds: the Jerusalem Talmud, the Babylonian Talmud, corresponding to the Jerusalem Gemara and the Babylonian Gemara; the Gemara is written in Aramaic, the Jerusalem Gemara in Western Aramaic and the Babylonian in Eastern Aramaic, but both contain portions in Hebrew. Sometimes the language changes in the middle of a story. In a narrow sense, the word Gemara refers to the mastery and transmission of existing tradition, as opposed to sevara, which means the deriving of new results by logic. Both activities are represented in the "Gemara" as a literary work; the term "gemara" for the activity of study is far older than its use as a description of any text: thus Pirke Avot, a work long preceding the recording of the Talmud, recommends starting "Mishnah" at the age of 10 and "Gemara" at the age of 15. The analysis of the Amoraim is focused on clarifying the positions and views of the Tannaim.
These debates and exchanges form the "building-blocks" of the gemara. A sugya will comprise a detailed proof-based elaboration of the Mishna; every aspect of the Mishnaic text is treated as a subject of close investigation. This analysis is aimed at an exhaustive understanding of the Mishna's full meaning. In the Talmud, a sugya is presented as a series of responsive hypotheses and questions – with the Talmudic text as a record of each step in the process of reasoning and derivation; the Gemara thus takes the form of a dialectical exchange. The disputants here are termed the tartzan; the gemara records the semantic disagreements between Amoraim. Some of these debates were conducted by the Amoraim, though many of them are hypothetically reconstructed by the Talmud's redactors. Are debates formally closed; the distinctive character of the gemara derives from the intricate use of argumentation and debate, described above. In each sugya, either participant may cite scriptural and Amoraic proof to build a logical support for their respective opinions.
The process of deduction required to derive a conclusion from a prooftext is logically complex and indirect. "Confronted with a statement on any subject, the Talmudic student will proceed to raise a series of questions before he satisfies himself of having understood its full meaning." This analysis is described as "mathematical" in approach. Prooftexts quoted to corroborate or disprove the respective opinions and theories will include: verses from the Tanakh: the exact language employed is regarded as significant; the actual debate will centre on the following categories: Why does the Mishna use one word rather than another? If a statement is not clear enough, the Gemara seeks to clarify the Mishna's intention. Exploring the logical principles underlying the Mishnah's statements, showing how different understandings of the Mishnah's reasons could lead to differences in their practical application. What underlying principle is entailed in a statement of fact or in a specific instance brought as an illustration?
If a statement appears obvious, the Gemara seeks the logical reason for its necessity. It seeks to answer under which circumstances a statement is true, what qualifications are permissible. All statements are examined for internal consistency. Resolving
Bar and Bat Mitzvah
Bar Mitzvah is a Jewish coming of age ritual for boys. Bat Mitzvah is a Jewish coming of age ritual for girls; the plural is B'nai Mitzvah for boys, B'not Mitzvah for girls. According to Jewish law, when Jewish boys become 13 years old, they become accountable for their actions and become a bar mitzvah. A girl becomes a bat mitzvah at the age of 12 according to Orthodox and Conservative Jews, at the age of 13 according to Reform Jews. Prior to reaching bar mitzvah age, the child's parents hold the responsibility for the child's actions. After this age, the boys and girls bear their own responsibility for Jewish ritual law and ethics, are able to participate in all areas of Jewish community life. Traditionally, the father of the bar mitzvah gives thanks to God that he is no longer punished for the child's sins. In addition to being considered accountable for their actions from a religious perspective, a thirteen-year-old male may be counted towards a prayer quorum and may lead prayer and other religious services in the family and the community.
Bar mitzvah is mentioned in the Talmud. In some classic sources the age of 13 appears for instance as the age from which males must fast on the Day of Atonement, while females fast from the age of 12; the age of b'nai mitzvah coincides with physical puberty. The bar or bat mitzvah ceremony is held on the first Shabbat after a boy's thirteenth and a girl's twelfth birthday. Bar is a Jewish Babylonian Aramaic word meaning "son", while bat means "daughter" in Hebrew, mitzvah means "commandment" or "law", thus bar mitzvah and bat mitzvah translate to "son of commandment" and "daughter of commandment". However, in rabbinical usage, the word bar means "under the category of" or "subject to". Bar mitzvah therefore translates to "an, subject to the law". Although the term is used to refer to the ritual itself, in fact the phrase refers to the person; the modern method of celebrating becoming a bar mitzvah did not exist in the time of the Hebrew Bible, Mishnah or Talmud. Early rabbinic sources specify 13 as the age.
However, the celebration of this occasion is not mentioned until the Middle Ages. The Bible does not explicitly specify the age thirteen. Passages in the books of Exodus and Numbers note the age of majority for army service as twenty. Machzor Vitri notes that Genesis 34:25 refers to Levi as a "man", when a calculation from other verses suggests that Levi was aged thirteen at the time; the age of thirteen is mentioned in the Mishnah as the time one is obligated to observe the Torah's commandments: "At five years old one should study the Scriptures, at ten years for the Mishnah, at 13 for the commandments..."Elsewhere, the Mishna lists the ages at which a vow is considered automatically valid. Other sources list thirteen as the age of majority with respect to following the commandments of the Torah, including: "Why is the evil inclination personified as the great king? Because it is thirteen years older than the good inclination." That is to say, one's good inclination begins to act upon reaching the age of majority.
According to Pirke Rabbi Eli'ezer 26, Abraham rejected the idolatry of his father and became a worshiper of God when he was thirteen years old. The term "bar mitzvah" appears first in the Talmud, meaning "one, subject to the law", though it does not refer to age; the term "bar mitzvah", in reference to age, cannot be traced earlier than the 14th century, the older rabbinical term being "gadol" or "bar'onshin". Many sources indicate; some late midrashic sources, some medieval sources, refer to a synagogue ceremony performed upon the boy's reaching age thirteen: Simon Tzemach Duran quotes a Midrash interpreting the Hebrew word zo in Isaiah 43:21 as referring by its numerical value to those that have reached the age of 13. This seems to imply that, at the time of the composition of the Midrash the bar mitzvah publicly pronounced a benediction on the occasion of his entrance upon maturity; the Midrash Hashkem: "The heathen when he begets a son consecrates him to idolatrous practises. Masseket Soferim makes matters more explicit: "In Jerusalem they are accustomed to initiate their children to fast on the Day of Atonement, a year or two before their maturity.
Whosoever is of superiority in the town is expected to pray for him as he bows down to him to receive his blessing." Genesis Rabbah, commenting upon Genesis 25:27, says: "Up to thirteen years Esau and Jacob went together to the primary school and back home.
The Talmud is the central text of Rabbinic Judaism and the primary source of Jewish religious law and Jewish theology. Until the advent of modernity, in nearly all Jewish communities, the Talmud was the centerpiece of Jewish cultural life and was foundational to "all Jewish thought and aspirations", serving as "the guide for the daily life" of Jews; the term "Talmud" refers to the collection of writings named the Babylonian Talmud, although there is an earlier collection known as the Jerusalem Talmud. It may traditionally be called Shas, a Hebrew abbreviation of shisha sedarim, or the "six orders" of the Mishnah; the Talmud has two components. The term "Talmud" may refer to either the Gemara alone; the entire Talmud consists of 63 tractates, in standard print is over 6,200 pages long. It is written in Mishnaic Hebrew and Jewish Babylonian Aramaic and contains the teachings and opinions of thousands of rabbis on a variety of subjects, including halakha, Jewish ethics, customs, history and many other topics.
The Talmud is the basis for all codes of Jewish law, is quoted in rabbinic literature. Talmud translates as "instruction, learning", from a root LMD "teach, study". Jewish scholarship was oral. Rabbis expounded and debated the Torah and discussed the Tanakh without the benefit of written works, though some may have made private notes, for example of court decisions; this situation changed drastically as the result of the destruction of the Jewish commonwealth and the Second Temple in the year 70 and the consequent upheaval of Jewish social and legal norms. As the rabbis were required to face a new reality—mainly Judaism without a Temple and Judea without at least partial autonomy—there was a flurry of legal discourse and the old system of oral scholarship could not be maintained, it is during this period. The oldest full manuscript of the Talmud, known as the Munich Talmud, dates from 1342 and is available online; the process of "Gemara" proceeded in what were the two major centers of Jewish scholarship and Babylonia.
Correspondingly, two bodies of analysis developed, two works of Talmud were created. The older compilation is called the Talmud Yerushalmi, it was compiled in the 4th century in Galilee. The Babylonian Talmud was compiled about the year 500; the word "Talmud", when used without qualification refers to the Babylonian Talmud. While the editors of Jerusalem Talmud and Babylonian Talmud each mention the other community, most scholars believe these documents were written independently. Here the argument from silence is convincing." The Jerusalem Talmud known as the Palestinian Talmud, or Talmuda de-Eretz Yisrael, was one of the two compilations of Jewish religious teachings and commentary, transmitted orally for centuries prior to its compilation by Jewish scholars in the Land of Israel. It is a compilation of teachings of the schools of Tiberias and Caesarea, it is written in Jewish Palestinian Aramaic, a Western Aramaic language that differs from its Babylonian counterpart. This Talmud is a synopsis of the analysis of the Mishnah, developed over the course of nearly 200 years by the Academies in Galilee Because of their location, the sages of these Academies devoted considerable attention to analysis of the agricultural laws of the Land of Israel.
Traditionally, this Talmud was thought to have been redacted in about the year 350 by Rav Muna and Rav Yossi in the Land of Israel. It is traditionally known as the Talmud Yerushalmi, but the name is a misnomer, as it was not prepared in Jerusalem, it has more been called "The Talmud of the Land of Israel". Its final redaction belongs to the end of the 4th century, but the individual scholars who brought it to its present form cannot be fixed with assurance. By this time Christianity had become the state religion of the Roman Empire and Jerusalem the holy city of Christendom. In 325, Constantine the Great, the first Christian emperor, said "let us have nothing in common with the detestable Jewish crowd." This policy made a Jew an pauper. The compilers of the Jerusalem Talmud lacked the time to produce a work of the quality they had intended; the text is not easy to follow. The apparent cessation of work on the Jerusalem Talmud in the 5th century has been associated with the decision of Theodosius II in 425 to suppress the Patriarchate and put an end to the practice of semikhah, formal scholarly ordination.
Some modern scholars have questioned this connection. Despite its incomplete state, the Jerusalem Talmud remains an indispensable source of knowledge of the development of the Jewish Law in the Holy Land, it was an important resource in the study of the Babylonian Talmud by the Kairouan school of Chana
Torah has a range of meanings. It can most mean the first five books of the 24 books of the Tanakh, it is printed with the rabbinic commentaries, it can mean the continued narrative from the Book of Genesis to the end of the Tanakh, it can mean the totality of Jewish teaching and practice, whether derived from biblical texts or rabbinic writings. Common to all these meanings, Torah consists of the origin of Jewish peoplehood: their call into being by God, their trials and tribulations, their covenant with their God, which involves following a way of life embodied in a set of moral and religious obligations and civil laws. In rabbinic literature the word Torah denotes both the Oral Torah; the Oral Torah consists of interpretations and amplifications which according to rabbinic tradition have been handed down from generation to generation and are now embodied in the Talmud and Midrash. According to rabbinic tradition, all of the teachings found in the Torah, both written and oral, were given by God through the prophet Moses, some at Mount Sinai and others at the Tabernacle, all the teachings were written down by Moses, which resulted in the Torah that exists today.
According to the Midrash, the Torah was created prior to the creation of the world, was used as the blueprint for Creation. The majority of Biblical scholars believe that the written books were a product of the Babylonian captivity, based on earlier written sources and oral traditions, that it was completed during the period of Achaemenid rule. Traditionally, the words of the Torah are written on a scroll by a scribe in Hebrew. A Torah portion is read publicly at least once every three days in the presence of a congregation. Reading the Torah publicly is one of the bases of Jewish communal life; the word "Torah" in Hebrew is derived from the root ירה, which in the hif'il conjugation means'to guide' or'to teach'. The meaning of the word is therefore "teaching", "doctrine", or "instruction"; the Alexandrian Jews who translated the Septuagint used the Greek word nomos, meaning norm, doctrine, "law". Greek and Latin Bibles began the custom of calling the Pentateuch The Law. Other translational contexts in the English language include custom, guidance, or system.
The term "Torah" is used in the general sense to include both Rabbinic Judaism's written law and Oral Law, serving to encompass the entire spectrum of authoritative Jewish religious teachings throughout history, including the Mishnah, the Talmud, the Midrash and more, the inaccurate rendering of "Torah" as "Law" may be an obstacle to understanding the ideal, summed up in the term talmud torah. The earliest name for the first part of the Bible seems to have been "The Torah of Moses"; this title, however, is found neither in the Torah itself, nor in the works of the pre-Exilic literary prophets. It appears in Joshua and Kings. In contrast, there is every likelihood that its use in the post-Exilic works was intended to be comprehensive. Other early titles were "The Book of Moses" and "The Book of the Torah", which seems to be a contraction of a fuller name, "The Book of the Torah of God". Christian scholars refer to the first five books of the Hebrew Bible as the'Pentateuch', a term first used in the Hellenistic Judaism of Alexandria.
The Torah starts from the beginning of God's creating the world, through the beginnings of the people of Israel, their descent into Egypt, the giving of the Torah at biblical Mount Sinai. It ends with the death of Moses, just before the people of Israel cross to the promised land of Canaan. Interspersed in the narrative are the specific teachings given explicitly or implicitly embedded in the narrative. In Hebrew, the five books of the Torah are identified by the incipits in each book, it is divisible into the Primeval history and the Ancestral history. The primeval history sets out the author's concepts of the nature of the deity and of humankind's relationship with its maker: God creates a world, good and fit for mankind, but when man corrupts it with sin God decides to destroy his creation, saving only the righteous Noah to reestablish the relationship between man and God; the Ancestral history tells of the prehistory of Israel, God's chosen people