Torah

The Hebrew word for "Teaching" or "Instruction." After the Babylonian exile [6th c. BC], the term was used by Jews to designate a written text containing commandments [mitzwoth] of God. By extension, Torah became the collective term for the five scrolls [Greek: Pentateuch] of Hebrew scripture that were traditionally ascribed to Moses. These scrolls were the textbooks for all Jewish education as well as the basic source for Jewish law. Scribes [sopherim] who copied & interpreted these scrolls eventually identified 613 distinct commandments credited to God.

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