Tora, Tanach und Talmud - die heiligen Schriften des Judentums

Torah, Tanakh and Talmud - the holy scriptures of Judaism

In Judaism, there are three holy scriptures: Torah, Tanakh and Talmud. They contain traditional texts, basic narratives and principles of faith and rules for social coexistence.

The Torah

The Torah, also written Thora or Torah (Hebrew: "law", "teaching"), is the central book and religious source of Judaism. According to tradition, the Torah was revealed to Moses by God on Mount Sinai. It comprises the first five books of the Hebrew Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy). In Greek, it is also known as the Pentateuch, which means "five scrolls". The Torah was originally written in Hebrew and readers must have very good language skills to be able to understand and interpret the text.

The Torah is considered the holiest text in Judaism, containing the fundamental narratives of Judaism, including the creation of the world, the patriarchs and matriarchs, the Exodus from Egypt, and the giving of the Law at Mount Sinai. It also contains laws, commandments, and teachings that are fundamental to Jewish belief and practice, serving as the basic law of Jewish life and providing guidance on moral, ethical, and ritual issues.

For use in religious services, the Torah is prescribed in the form of a Torah scroll (not as a bound book). This is a handwritten parchment scroll with the Hebrew text of the five books of Moses, written by a specially trained scribe, known as a sofer. In Shabbat services, the Torah is read in the religious year cycle, with this reading being a recitative-like singing. The reading of the last section of the fifth book of Moses and the beginning of the reading of the first section of the first book of Moses take place on the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah (Hebrew: Joy of the Torah).

The Tanakh

The Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible, is the central collection of holy texts of Judaism. It contains the Torah and also the "Prophets" (Hebrew "newi'im") and the Writings (Hebrew "ketuwim").

The section of the Nevi'im (Prophets) includes the historical and prophetic books. It contains works attributed to the prophets such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and others. These books contain prophecies, historical accounts and moral teachings.

The section of Ketuvim (Writings) consists of various writings, including poetry, wisdom literature, historical narratives, and other texts. Some well-known books in this section are Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Song of Solomon, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Chronicles.

The Hebrew Bible forms the religious and cultural basis of Judaism and has also influenced other Abrahamic religions such as Christianity and Islam. Jews around the world view it as the authoritative scripture and study it extensively for its religious, moral and historical significance.

The Talmud

The Talmud (Hebrew for "instruction", "study") is, alongside the Torah, the most important compendium, i.e. textbook of Judaism. It contains the rabbinical writings that explain the Torah, i.e. the written version of the teachings and legal regulations of post-biblical Judaism. The Talmud contains rules for social and family life (e.g. tax, civil and criminal law, marriage and family legislation, illness and hygiene, sacrifice and slaughter regulations, and purity regulations, etc.).

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