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or Tora

[toh-ruh, tawr-uh; Sephardic Hebrew toh-rah; Ashkenazic Hebrew toh-ruh, toi-ruh] /ˈtoʊ rə, ˈtɔr ə; Sephardic Hebrew toʊˈrɑ; Ashkenazic Hebrew ˈtoʊ rə, ˈtɔɪ rə/
noun, (sometimes lowercase)
the Pentateuch, being the first of the three Jewish divisions of the Old Testament.
Compare Tanach.
a parchment scroll on which the Pentateuch is written, used in synagogue services.
the entire body of Jewish religious literature, law, and teaching as contained chiefly in the Old Testament and the Talmud.
law or instruction.
Origin of Torah
< Hebrew tōrāh instruction, law Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for Torah
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Evidently the greatest care would be needed in the interpretation of the Torah, to draw from it the right conclusion.

  • She was pleased that I was sitting with nice children, and learning the "Torah."

    Jewish Children Sholem Naumovich Rabinovich
  • One after another, seven men were called to the Torah, and their actions and prayers were a repetition of those of the parnas.

    Rabbi and Priest Milton Goldsmith
  • He accepted the Torah as the guide of his own life and of that of his nation.

  • The device was necessary to secure the allegiance of the people to the Torah.

    Philo-Judaeus of Alexandria Norman Bentwich
British Dictionary definitions for Torah


/ˈtəʊrə; Hebrew tɔˈra/
  1. the Pentateuch
  2. the scroll on which this is written, used in synagogue services
the whole body of traditional Jewish teaching, including the Oral Law
(modifier) promoting or according with traditional Jewish Law
Word Origin
C16: from Hebrew: precept, from yārāh to instruct
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for Torah

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Torah in Culture
Torah [(toh-ruh, tawr-uh, toy-ruh)]

The law on which Judaism is founded (torah is Hebrew for “law”). This law is contained in the first five books of the 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.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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