The Torah is the name given by Jews to the "Five Books of Moses" that begin the Hebrew Bible: Genesis (in Hebrew, Bereshit), Exodus (Shmot), Leviticus (Vayikra), Numbers (Bamidbar) and Deuteronomy (Dvarim). In rabbinic literature the word Torah denotes both these five books, Torah Shebichtav "Torah that is written"), and an Oral Torah, Torah Shebe'al Peh "Torah that is spoken"). The Oral Torah consists of the traditional interpretations and amplifications handed down by word of mouth from generation to generation and now embodied in the Talmud and Midrash.
According to Jewish tradition, the entire Torah, both written and oral, was revealed to Moses at Mount Sinai. According to medieval Jewish mysticism the Torah was created prior to the creation of the world, and was used as the blueprint for Creation. Modern biblical scholars have concluded that the written books were a product of the Babylonian exilic period (c.600 BCE) and that it was completed by the Persian period (c.400 BCE).
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