[b-hebrew] Torah

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Fri Aug 13 17:15:44 EDT 2004


>From a linguistic viewpoint, TWRH comes from the root of YRH which has the basic meaning of throwing out and the objects to be thrown out include ideas, histories, laws, also solid objects such as lots, or with the help of a mechanical help sending out projectiles with force and distance (bow and arrows).

Torah is more than just commands [ MCWH ] or statutes [ XQ ] but often used as a synonym for them.

Yes, later books mention the Torah written by Moses, such as Joshua 22:5, 2 Kings 21:8, 2 Chronicles 25:4, 33:8 and Nehemiah 8:14, 9:14.

Now add traditions over many years and you get the present confusion.

Karl W. Randolph.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Yigal Levin" <leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il>

> Here's an interesting topic for discussion: Just what does the word "Torah"
> mean. Below are two recent posts by two Jewish women, Marianne and
> Shoshanna. Both, I would assume, have immense reverence for "the Torah", but
> they use the word in different ways. Notice that Marianne capitalizes the
> word "Law". Shoshanna does not, even though Marianne claims that the Torah
> is holy "beyond" the Law, and Shoshanna says that it's holy because of the
> law (or at least, that the law is part of its holiness).
> SO, what does the noun "torah" mean. Does in mean "law"? If so, what's the
> difference between "torah", "xoq", "micwah" etc.
> Is "teaching" a better translation? Or "instruction".
> Obviously, one, narrow, meaning, is "Pentateuch", the five books of Moses.
> Does any "later" biblical book use the word with this meaning?
> In Judaism, "Torah" can mean:
> a. The law (or Law) given by Moses.
> b. The book(s) in which that law was written (traditionally by Moses) - the
> Pentateuch.
> c. The whole concept of all the Law(s) given to Moses, including the Oral
> Law.
> d. The entire body of Jewish learning, including the whole Tanakh, the
> Talmuds, and the whole body of rabbinic literature. In a Jewish setting,
> "learning Torah" is likely to mean studying the Talmud and its rabbinic
> commentaries that the Bible.
> e. All of Jewish thought, custom and ritual.
> In many ways, this is similar to the way "Gospel" is used in Christianity
> (though with a different meaning):
> a. The "Good News" brought by Jesus.
> b. The specific NT books that tell the story of Jesus.
> c. The message of Christianity, as set out in the NT and in other writings.
> d. The entire Christian way of thought, "evangelism" (e.g. "Gospel Music").
> Any thoughts?
> Yigal
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