Download Judaism! Tanakh The Hebrew Bible Torah

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The entirety of scriptures sacred to Jewish people are called
the Tanakh.
This word is actually an acronym for three major portions of
the Hebrew scriptures:
Torah (teachings)
Nevi’im (prophets)
Ketuvim (writings)
These scriptures were transmitted orally for many
generations until they began to be set down in writing
around 900 BCE.
They took their final form by 200BCE.
The Hebrew Bible
The Tanakh is nearly the same set of writings that
Christians call the Old Testament.
The Torah is also called the Pentateuch because it consists of the
first five books of the Hebrew Bible.
But since the term the Old Testament implies that the
“old” has been replaced by the “new”, this is not how
Jews refer to these scriptures.
These are: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy.
Instead, they are called “the Hebrew scriptures” or the
“Hebrew Bible”.
These books are the most important part of the Hebrew Bible.
Traditionally, it is said that God gave the Torah to the prophet
Moses. Scholars believe it is actually the work of multiple writers.
The Torah contains the early history of the Jewish people and rules
by which Jews are supposed to live and worship by.
The second major section of the Hebrew Bible is called
the Prophets or Nevi’im.
It tells stories of those individuals who surfaced during
Jewish history to bring a message to the Jewish people
from God.
The message of each prophet was generally the same:
the Jewish people should keep their covenant with
God, and they should not worship other gods, but
should concentrate on keeping the one God’s
Later Jewish Writings
The various books that form the Tanakh were finally
selected to form a canon (an officially approved set of
books for Judaism) around 90 CE.
Once the canon was established, nothing more could
be added.
New books discussing the Jewish people’s covenant
with God were written, however, and these form
another set of Jewish writings called the Talmud.
The third major section of the Hebrew Bible is more of
a miscellany, including psalms and songs of praise to
God, proverbs, and short stories that contain important
moral lessons for the Jewish people.
Talmud and Midrash
The Talmud consists of oral teachings passed down by
rabbis. Basically, it contains legal rules and customs.
The Talmud was generated by a process that Jews call
As new dilemmas arose for the Jewish people, Jews
sought answers in the Torah, the source of Jewish law
and the record of God’s covenant with the Jewish
Through midrash, the Jews articulated what the Torah
“meant to say” or “would have said” in reference to
these new situations as they happened.
A page from the Talmud
The physical appearance of the
Talmud demonstrates the
process through which it was
A central paragraph contains a
portion of the Talmud.
Then, surround this paragraph,
is not only the “winning” opinion,
but also the other competing
Examples of what is
discussed in the Talmud:
!•!Zera'im (seeds) - laws of agriculture
!•!Mo'ed (set times) - laws of holidays and Sabbath
!•!Nashim (women) - laws of marriage, divorce, and
!•!Nezikin (damages) - civil and criminal law
!•!Kodashim (Holy things) - ritual sacrifice and