noun (sometimes lowercase)

  1. the Pentateuch, being the first of the three Jewish divisions of the Old Testament.Compare Tanach.
  2. a parchment scroll on which the Pentateuch is written, used in synagogue services.
  3. the entire body of Jewish religious literature, law, and teaching as contained chiefly in the Old Testament and the Talmud.
  4. law or instruction.


    1. the Pentateuch
    2. the scroll on which this is written, used in synagogue services
  1. the whole body of traditional Jewish teaching, including the Oral Law
  2. (modifier) promoting or according with traditional Jewish Law

“the Pentateuch,” 1570s, from Hebrew torah, literally “instruction, law,” verbal noun from horah “he taught, showed.”

The law on which Judaism is founded (torah is Hebrew for “law”). This law is contained in the first five books of the Bible (see also Bible) (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy). Torah can also refer to the entire body of Jewish law and wisdom, including what is contained in oral tradition.

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