The black are the letters we see, while the white, the inverse space between the black, are the letters we don't see. The Torah contains narratives, statements of law, and statements of ethics. Shmot. In the Torah, they are called Aseret ha-D'varim (Ex. Should any one of these factors be lacking, it does not possess the sanctity of a Torah scroll, and is not to be used for a public Torah reading. Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi says this in Likuteu Torah Behar 43d Writing a Torah scroll is a religious act. Why Two Rollers for a Torah and One for a Megillah? Reply.  There is a debate in scholarship whether Rasag wrote the first Arabic translation of the Torah. , Rabbinic writings state that the Oral Torah was given to Moses at Mount Sinai, which, according to the tradition of Orthodox Judaism, occurred in 1312 BCE. See for example the Mishnah Berurah on the subject. Blessings . Most modern Sifrei Torah are written with forty-two lines of text per column (Yemenite Jews use fifty), and very strict rules about the position and appearance of the Hebrew letters are observed.  The first of these, Persian Imperial authorisation, advanced by Peter Frei in 1985, holds that the Persian authorities required the Jews of Jerusalem to present a single body of law as the price of local autonomy. Later, by the 10th century, it became essential for a standard version of the Bible in Judeo-Arabic. Also, for the census -- 600,000 isn't 603,550 and 600,000/2 (if the letters are both directions) isn't 304,805. I hope that I can keep that idea in my thoughts. Abraham ibn Ezra and Joseph Bonfils observed that phrases in those verses present information that people should only have known after the time of Moses. , Numbers is the culmination of the story of Israel's exodus from oppression in Egypt and their journey to take possession of the land God promised their fathers.  The book has a long and complex history, but its final form is probably due to a Priestly redaction (i.e., editing) of a Yahwistic source made some time in the early Persian period (5th century BCE). We are gifted a story that turns on the letters themselves. After all, the word Torah is one of many words formed from the root י.ר.ה. Humanistic Judaism is willing to question the Torah and to disagree with it, believing that the entire Jewish experience, not just the Torah, should be the source for Jewish behavior and ethics.. Or a Torah scroll created like that today by a sofer who knows how the ancient Hebrew letters were formed. By contrast, the modern scholarly consensus rejects Mosaic authorship, and affirms that the Torah has multiple authors and that its composition took place over centuries. Torah scrolls are often dressed with a sash, a special Torah cover, various ornaments and a Keter (crown), although such customs vary among synagogues. Every Jewish child and adult should own a letter in a Torah scroll. The count of 600,000 includes both the black and the white letters. Many of us want to be "black letters," and may feel disappointed in our lives if we aren't, but the total picture, how G-d sees us, is that the white letters, too, the folks who make up the unnoticed background, are also essential. letters are letters are letters one follows then the next and so on. It is a fact. Perhaps the additional letters lie in the letters themselves... for example: it is known that the aleph is composed of a van and to yuds, perhaps if the calculation of the breakdown of specific letters would become a total 600K letters.. a jew is not an individual jew, but brings along with him a family from his seed as to the letters are composed of other letters. That brings the total number to 600,000 as opposed to the almost 300,000. So I read in multiple places that the black and white letters represent a gender duality -- that somehow the black on white is male and the white on black is female. Reply, Thank you! , One of the earliest known translations of the first five books of Moses from the Hebrew into Greek was the Septuagint. The Misplaced Middle of the Torah Now back to today's page of Talmud. Samuel In the 19th and 20th centuries CE, new movements such as Reform Judaism and Conservative Judaism have made adaptations to the practice of Torah reading, but the basic pattern of Torah reading has usually remained the same: As a part of the morning prayer services on certain days of the week, fast days, and holidays, as well as part of the afternoon prayer services of Shabbat, Yom Kippur, and fast days, a section of the Pentateuch is read from a Torah scroll. The most well-known German-language translation was produced by Samson Raphael Hirsch. Those of the inverse, white letters may not see where they fit into Torah. He often quoted the Old Testament in his teachings, bringing its laws and lessons to the forefront of the Christian faith. It is believed that every word, or marking, has divine meaning, and that not one part may be inadvertently changed lest it lead to error. It contains both a translation of the Hebrew and additional and variant material. Source(s): I'm an Orthodox Jew.  The Encyclopedia Judaica has: At an early period, it was customary to translate the Hebrew text into the vernacular at the time of the reading (e.g., in Palestine and Babylon the translation was into Aramaic). why is everything we are taught as true are later proven not so, then we are humored with strange justification. All classical rabbinic views hold that the Torah was entirely Mosaic and of divine origin. I see that our quotation marks, do resemble the YOD, as in YOD YOD, and I am saying I see within all words, the Hebrew letters, and I find myself sometimes on my knees with what I am gifted to see, namely, a script we did not write and that we are truly co-creating the universe.I once wrote about the SHIN in SHINE, and I think people thought me quite "out there", but for me, the SHIN is truly, a menorah, and so how beautiful, how relevant this is. In other words, it's not helping any to multiply the population by five hundred, in which case there were 300 million Jewish men in Egypt, not counting all the women and children. What could this possibly mean? This is followed by rules of clean and unclean (Leviticus 11–15), which includes the laws of slaughter and animals permissible to eat (see also: Kashrut), the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16), and various moral and ritual laws sometimes called the Holiness Code (Leviticus 17–26). Content and number. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with Chabad.org's, One Year Later--Anniversary of the Mercaz Harav Shooting, Kabbalah, Chassidism and Jewish Mysticism.  The groundwork was laid with the investigation of the origins of the written sources in oral compositions, implying that the creators of J and E were collectors and editors and not authors and historians. Is there another source beside Rabbi Zalman? Thanks for the articlem, Malkie.  This consensus echoes a traditional Jewish view which gives Ezra, the leader of the Jewish community on its return from Babylon, a pivotal role in its promulgation. Other commentators do not accept this position and maintain that although Moses did not write those eight verses it was nonetheless dictated to him and that Joshua wrote it based on instructions left by Moses, and that the Torah often describes future events, some of which have yet to occur. Other oral traditions from the same time period not entered into the Mishnah were recorded as Baraitot (external teaching), and the Tosefta. The Names of the Books of the Torah There are five books that make up the Torah, and the title is usually indicated clearly at the top of each page. II Kings 14:6) and "The Book of the Torah" (Neh. I, The Torah, (Stone edition), Mesorah Publications, Ltd., New York, 2001. According to the Midrash, the Torah was created prior to the creation of the world, and was used as the blueprint for Creation. my guess is that honesty would equal the fall of all religion. Islam states that the original Torah was sent by God. The Orthodox rabbinic tradition holds that the Written Torah was recorded during the following forty years, though many non-Orthodox Jewish scholars affirm the modern scholarly consensus that the Written Torah has multiple authors and was written over centuries.. First and foremost, a kosher Pronounced: KOH-sher, Origin: Hebrew, adhering to kashrut, the traditional Jewish dietary laws. Using the Masoretic text we find the word TORAHspelled out at equidistant letter skip sequences at the start of the books of Genesis, Exodus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. god is god and god could never judge. The best known was produced by Saadiah (the Saadia Gaon, aka the Rasag), and continues to be in use today, "in particular among Yemenite Jewry". Enter your email address to get our weekly email with fresh, exciting and thoughtful content that will enrich your inbox and your life. If they were all to be written out, there would be many more letters in a Torah scroll. One opinion holds that it was written by Moses gradually as it was dictated to him, and finished it close to his death, and the other opinion holds that Moses wrote the complete Torah in one writing close to his death, based on what was dictated to him over the years. The five books of Moses constitute the entire scriptural canon of Samaritanism.  Alternatively, Rashi quotes from the Talmud that, "God spoke them, and Moses wrote them with tears". The Book of Leviticus begins with instructions to the Israelites on how to use the Tabernacle, which they had just built (Leviticus 1–10). The Talmud (Menachot 30a) says that the last eight verses of the Torah that discuss the death and burial of Moses could not have been written by Moses, as writing it would have been a lie, and that they were written after his death by Joshua. For example: Instead of saying "bathroom", you can say the "ladies room," but it means the same thing. The Aramaic term for translation is Targum. The Book of Deuteronomy is the fifth book of the Torah. Reply, French composer Claude Debussy said, “Music is the space between the notes.” That fits the discussion well. "Around that time, both scholars and lay people started producing translations of the Bible into Judeo-Arabic using the Hebrew alphabet." 10:4). A number of Jewish English Bible translations have been published, for example by Artscroll publications. Bilaam achieved fame and fortune in his generation because of his words. This is done by a sofer Pronounced: SO-fair (ai as in hair), Origin: Hebrew, a scribe, one who transcribes religious works, especially the Torah. An error of a single letter, ornamentation, or symbol of the 304,805 stylized letters that make up the Hebrew Torah text renders a Torah scroll unfit for use, hence a special skill is required and a scroll takes considerable time to write and check.  A "neo-documentarian" hypothesis, which responds to the criticism of the original hypothesis and updates the methodology used to determine which text comes from which sources, has been advocated by biblical historian Joel S. Baden, among others. The KJV translation has 157,737 words. The fidelity of the Hebrew text of the Tanakh, and the Torah in particular, is considered paramount, down to the last letter: translations or transcriptions are frowned upon for formal service use, and transcribing is done with painstaking care. Those readable ancient Torah letters, the oldest known, have almost the same shape as the actual letters. It holds their life and purpose. numerous) nation, that they will have a special relationship with Yahweh their god, and that they shall take possession of the land of Canaan. Why is the total of 600G words so important that such explanations are needed? Reply, the significance of the Hebrew Letters Early translations into Latin—the Vetus Latina—were ad hoc conversions of parts of the Septuagint.  The second theory, associated with Joel P. Weinberg and called the "Citizen-Temple Community", proposes that the Exodus story was composed to serve the needs of a post-exilic Jewish community organised around the Temple, which acted in effect as a bank for those who belonged to it. In the Torah, these words are never referred to as the Ten Commandments. Ibn Ezra hinted, and Bonfils explicitly stated, that Joshua wrote these verses many years after the death of Moses. sfn error: no target: CITEREFBergant2013 (, sfn error: no target: CITEREFBandstra2008 (, sfn error: no target: CITEREFAshley1993 (, sfn error: no target: CITEREFStubbs2009 (, For more information on these issues from an Orthodox Jewish perspective, see, journey to take possession of the land God promised their fathers, New Jewish Publication Society of America Tanakh, "Devdutt Pattanaik: The fascinating design of the Jewish Bible", History Crash Course #36: Timeline: From Abraham to Destruction of the Temple, "FAQ for Humanistic Judaism, Reform Judaism, Humanists, Humanistic Jews, Congregation, Arizona, AZ", "From Exile and Restoration to Exile and Reconstruction", "The Study of Law and Ethics in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament", "Moses Outside the Torah and the Construction of a Diaspora Identity", "Questions of the 'History of Israel' in Recent Research", Computer generated Sefer Torah for Study online with translation, transliteration and chanting (WorldORT), Online Torah Resources—weekly parsha pages, learning resources by topic, Interlinear Pentateuch (with Idiomatic Translation, Samaritan Pentateuch and Morphology), Center of Contemporary Jewish Documentation, ibn Abdullah ibn Abdul-Muttalib ibn Hashim, Current Ummah of Islam (Ummah of Muhammad), https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Torah&oldid=1000355981, Wikipedia indefinitely move-protected pages, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles containing Ancient Greek (to 1453)-language text, Articles with unsourced statements from March 2011, Articles with unsourced statements from October 2012, Wikipedia articles incorporating a citation from the New International Encyclopedia, Wikipedia articles with WorldCat-VIAF identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Scherman, Nosson, (ed. However, I was recently made aware that if one actually counts the letters, one would find that there are just over half that amount of letters in a standard Torah scroll. Another view explains that the count of 304,800-plus letters includes only those that we see, black ink against white parchment. A Mosque in the area of Medina, possibly: This page was last edited on 14 January 2021, at 19:48. The consensus around the documentary hypothesis collapsed in the last decades of the 20th century.  Frei's theory was demolished at an interdisciplinary symposium held in 2000, but the relationship between the Persian authorities and Jerusalem remains a crucial question.  The precise process by which the Torah was composed, the number of authors involved, and the date of each author remain hotly contested, however. Jerusalem gives evidence of the Ivri script and the Babylonian gives evidence of the current Asshurit script. The heavenly, non-physical version of the Torah is described as black fire on white fire, and both the black and white are equally meaningful. (Q3:3) Muslims call the Torah the Tawrat and consider it the word of God given to Moses. Several non-standard methods of counting are offered to arrive at the number 600,000. Reply, Very insightful and spiritual. The Talmud holds that the Torah was written by Moses, with the exception of the last eight verses of Deuteronomy, describing his death and burial, being written by Joshua. I have been doing a little bit of "soul searching" so to speak in the religion department. If in bound book form, it is called Chumash, and is usually printed with the rabbinic commentaries (perushim). Manuscript Torah scrolls are still scribed and used for ritual purposes (i.e., religious services); this is called a Sefer Torah ("Book [of] Torah"). One of its most significant verses is Deuteronomy 6:4, the Shema Yisrael, which has become the definitive statement of Jewish identity: "Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God, the LORD is one." Traditionally, the words of the Torah are written on a scroll by a scribe (sofer) in Hebrew. The term often refers to the entire ceremony of removing the Torah scroll (or scrolls) from the ark, chanting the appropriate excerpt with traditional cantillation, and returning the scroll(s) to the ark. The process of writing the first written torah was made that each of the 600,000 souls was able to write a letter or mark in the scroll to finish it in order to fulfill the first time the Mitzvah of Sefer Torah.  Humanistic Judaism holds that the Torah is a historical, political, and sociological text, but does not believe that every word of the Torah is true, or even morally correct. What a beautiful concept! Eventually, the practice of translating into the vernacular was discontinued.. The narrative is punctuated by a series of covenants with God, successively narrowing in scope from all mankind (the covenant with Noah) to a special relationship with one people alone (Abraham and his descendants through Isaac and Jacob).. D'varim. Torah (/ˈtɔːrə, ˈtoʊrə/; Hebrew: תּוֹרָה, "Instruction", "Teaching" or "Law") has a range of meanings. Differences and misconceptions  Such a hypothesis continues to have adherents in Israel and North America. Leviticus 17 establishes sacrifices at the Tabernacle as an everlasting ordinance, but this ordinance is altered in later books with the Temple being the only place in which sacrifices are allowed. I liked the idea of the Torah having modesty embedded within it, so I thought I would share this insight from a modest female. This is an acronym made up from the first letter of the words Torah, Nevi im (prophets), and Ketuvim (writings). And He sent down the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)."  The Ancestral history (chapters 12–50) tells of the prehistory of Israel, God's chosen people. The Book of Ezra refers to translations and commentaries of the Hebrew text into Aramaic, the more commonly understood language of the time. Reply, 600,000 These do not survive, except as fragments, and include those by Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion.. Presented as the words of Moses delivered before the conquest of Canaan, a broad consensus of modern scholars see its origin in traditions from Israel (the northern kingdom) brought south to the Kingdom of Judah in the wake of the Assyrian conquest of Aram (8th century BCE) and then adapted to a program of nationalist reform in the time of Josiah (late 7th century BCE), with the final form of the modern book emerging in the milieu of the return from the Babylonian captivity during the late 6th century BCE.
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