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Torah

I. USE OF WORD

Torah, (cf. Hiph. of ), signifies first "direction, instruction", as, for instance, the instruction of parents (Prov., i, 8), or of the wise (Prov., iii, 1). It is used chiefly in reference to the ivine instruction, especially through the revelation to !oses, the ""aw", and to the teaching of the Prophets concerning the will of #od. In the sense of law "Torah" refers only to the ivine laws. "Torah" is applied to the $oo%s containing the teaching of the !osaic revelation and the "aw, that is, the Pentateuch. In &ewish theology Torah signifies, first, the totality of &ewish doctrine, whether ta%en as a $asis for religious %nowledge and conduct, or as a $asis for study. The $ody of 'i$lical writings, especially the Pentateuch, $eing the source of religious teaching and law, the ter( "Torah" is applied also to the entire )criptures (cf. 'lau, "*ur +inleitung in die hl. )chrift", 'udapest, 18,-, 1. s/.), or to passages fro( the Prophets and the Hagiographa, for instance, "0$. 1ara", 12a, in reference to Prov., v, 8, and ")anh." ,1$, in conne3ion with Ps. l333iv, 4. The e3pression, however, generlly signifies the Pentateuch. In passages li%e

("the )criptures 5Torah6 consist of three parts, Torah, Prophets, and Hagiographa" 5!idrash Tanchu(a to +3., 3i3, 16) "Torah" is used in two senses7one general, (eaning the whole )criptures, the other special, signifying the Pentateuch. +lsewhere ()iphre to 89, 18:184$ 9-) the Torah is plainly distinguished fro( the non:Pentateuchal $oo%s $y the co(parison of miqra ( Torah, holds to tradition spea%s of an "oral" Torah, ) and Torah. 'esides the "written" , the &udais( which

, the co((entaries and the ordinances which put into effect the laws contained in the Pentateuch. This oral Torah, it is clai(ed, was revealed to !oses and has $een preserved in Israel $y tradition (see T0"!; .) II. TORAH IN THE RESTRICTED SENSE OF PENTATEUCH The Torah relates the preparatory (easures for and the esta$lish(ent of the <ld: Testa(ent theocracy, and contains the institutions and laws in which this theocracy found its visi$le e3pression. The old Testa(ent itself calls the entire wor% after its (ain

contents (ha)tora or sefer ( ), ha-tora, that is, "the $oo% of the Torah", as in II +sd. viii, 9= to e(phasi1e its ivine origin it is called torath Yahwe, sefer torath Yahwe (I +sd., vii, 1>= I Par., 3vi, ->= II +sd., viii, 8), and sefer torath Yahwe Elohim (II +sd. i3, 8)= while sefer torath Moshe (II +sd., viii, 1), sefer Moshe (I +sd., vi, 18= II +sd., 3iii, 1= II Par., 33v, -= 333v, 19) indicate its author. The Tal(ud and later &ewish writings call the Pentateuch sefer (ha) tora= the na(e is always used if the whole wor% were written as a scroll (megilla) for use in the ivine service. If the wor% is written in five scrolls or in $oo% for( it is called hamisha humeshe (ha)tora ( ), "the five: fifths of the law". This division into five parts is old, and in the ti(e of ?ehe(ias served as a (odel for the division of the Psalter into five $oo%s. The &ews generally na(ed the individual $oo%s after the first word@ (1) bereshith, = (9) shemath or weelle shemoth, = (8) wayyiqra, bemidbar or wayyedabber, , or = (-) = (4)

debarim or elle hadebarim, (cf. as early a writer as <rigen on Ps. 1@ Bresith, Oualesmoth, Ouikra, Elle addebarim). There are also na(es indicating the (ain contents of the $oo%s given to "eviticus, ?u($ers, and euterono(y@ torah koha im, , "law of the priests", for instance in "!eg.", iii, .= homesh ha-!iqqudim, , "the fifth of the nu($erings", as in "Ao(a", vii, 1, mish e tora ( ), i. e., euterono(y, as in !asorah to eut., 3vii, 18. <n the other hand sefer ye"ira, , "$oo% of the Breation", in )anh., .9$, and e#iqi , , "inCuries", !asorah to #en., 33iv, 8, are not to $e applied, as is often done, to #enesis and +3odus= they refer only to the account of the Breation and to +3., 33i, 99.

0nother (ethod of division is that $y which the paragraphs, or !arashiyyoth ( , sing. ), are indicated in the scrolls of the Torah used in the synagogues. In the older !idrashi( these divisions are called !arashiyyoth !ethuhoth, !arashiyyoth"= or !arashiyyoth sethumoth, , "open

, "closed !arashiyyoth". In the for(er, the portion of the line following the last word is left $lan%= in the latter the ter(ination of the paragraph is indicated $y leaving only part of the line $lan%. )uch paragraphs are called "s(all !arashiyyoth" and they are generally indicated in the printed editions of the 'i$le $y or . The Pentateuch has altogether 9,> open and 82, closed parashiyyoth. In /uoting they are generally called after (ain contents (as Baba bathra

$%a@ that is, ?u(., 33ii, 9:33iv, 94), $ut so(eti(es after the first words (as &a'a ith iv, 8, the first si3 !arashiyyoth of #enesis). The !arashiyyoth are regarded as the arrange(ent of the divisions of the Pentateuch according to contents= $ut the $asis of the distinction $etween open and closed !arashiyyoth is not %nown with certainty. 0nother division of the Torah is connected with the reading of lessons read in the synagogue on the )a$$ath, a practice referred to in 0cts, 3v, 91, ek ge e( ar)ha*o as $eing ancient (cf. also &osephus, "Bontra 0pion.", II, 3vii). It was custo(ary in Palestine to have a three yearsD cycle of these lessons (!eg., 9,$)= so(e writers say there was also a cycle of three years and a half. The Pentateuch, therefore, was divided into 14-:124 sections or sedarim ( , sing. ). These sedarim though not indicated in our 'i$les, are i(portant for understanding the structure of the old !idrashi( (cf. 'Echler, "The Feading of the "aw and Prophets in a Triennial Bycle" in "&ew. Guart. Fev.", H, -9> s//., HI, 1 s//., HIII, 498 s/.). In the course of ti(e an annual cycle, which first ac/uired authority a(ong the 'a$ylonian &ews, and is now accepted $y nearly all &ewish co((unities, was adopted. !ai(onides (Hilhoth Tephilla, IIII, 1) calls it the prevailing custo( of his era (twelfth century), $ut says that so(e read the Pentateuch in three years, which, according to 'enCa(in of Tudela, was the practice a$out 112> a(ong scattered co((unities in +gypt (cf. &ew. Guart. Fev., H, -9>). In this one:year cycle the Pentateuch is divided into fifty:four )a$$ath lessons generally called large !arashiyyoth. 0 &ewish intercalary year consisting of thirteen lunar (onths contains fifty:three sa$$aths, and the final section is always read on the day of the "Coy of the "aw" ( ), that is, the ninth day after the feast of $ooths (twenty:third

day of &ishri). In ordinary years, when there are forty:seven sa$$aths, two !arashiyyoth are Coined on each of seven sa$$aths in order to co(plete the nu($er. In #enesis there are twelve sa$$ath !arashiyyoth, in +3odus eleven, in "eviticus and ?u($ers ten each, and in euterono(y eleven. They are na(ed fro( and /uoted $y the first words. In the printed editions of the 'i$le they are indicated, as they are also the opening words the open or closed !arashiyyoth, $y or , with e3ception of the twelfth lesson, at the $eginning of which (#en., 3lvii, 98) only the $readth of a letter should re(ain $lan%. Boncerning the distri$ution of the fifty:four !arashiyyoth for the year, cf. "oe$, "Fev. des Jtudes Cuives", HI, 94> s//.= eren$ourg, i$id., HII, 1-. s//.= )ch(id, "K$erverschiedene +inteilungen der hl. )chrift" (#ra1, 18,9), - s//. The <ld )ynagogue and the Tal(ud fir(ly (aintain the !osaic authorship of the Torah, $ut dou$ts are entertained regarding a nu($er of passages. In "'a$a $athra" 14e only the last eight verses of euterono(y, which spea% of the death and $urial of !oses, are assigned to another author. <n the other hand )i(eon (loc. cit.) teaches, referring to eut., 333i, 9., that these verses were also written $y !oses under ivine direction (cf. also &osephus, "0nti/ &ud.", IH, viii, -8). uring the !iddle 0ges dou$ts were e3prerssed as to the possi$ility of !oses writing certain sentences= for instance, $y Fa$$i Aisha/ (to #en., 333vi, 11) who was opposed $y 0$en +1ra, and as well $y 0$en +1ra hi(self (to #en., 3ii, .= +3., 33v, -= eut., i, 1= 333i, 99). Ta%en altogether, even in the succeeding period the $elief in the !osaic authorship re(ained undisputed, at least $y the orthodo3 &ews. They hold, (oreover, the ivine origin of the entire Torah, and the eighth of the thirteen articles of faith for(ulated $y !ai(onides and incorporated into the prayer:$oo% reads@ "I $elieve with full faith that the entire Torah as it is in our hands is the one which was given to our teacher !oses, to who( $e peace." ()ee P+?T0T+;BH .)