The Hebrew term Torah, according to the general consensus of modern scholars, is connected with the hiphil conjugation of the root yrh, “to point out, direct, teach,” and thus literally means “teaching” or “instruction.” The Torah functions in Jewish traditions as a category invested with transcendent authority that has both textual and supra-textual dimensions. As the quintessential scripture and encompassing symbol of rabbinic Judaism, the Torah continues to be revered by contemporary Jewish communities in Israel, the United States, and throughout the transnational diaspora.

The term Torah is used in rabbinic literature to designate a corpus of texts or teachings in at least four different senses: (1) in its narrow sense, the term is used to refer to the Pentateuch (the Five Books of Moses) ...

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