Why Is the Torah Important?

The Torah is important because it contains written and oral laws central to the religion of Judaism. The Torah, also called the Jewish bible, contains the Laws of Moses that outline actions and codes of conduct expected of practitioners of the Jewish faith. These laws are said to have derived from God who set forth moral standards directing Jews how to live.

The Torah outlines expectations of Jews, along with a history of the Jewish religion, through five books of Moses. These books include Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. The Torah includes more than 600 commandments, or instructions, from God. Jews consider all commandments in the Torah important but focus on the 10 most significant called the Ten Commandments. Hebrew writing forms the Torah because Hebrew is the oldest of all Jewish languages. Jewish people worldwide read and abide by the Torah. Traditional services, held at synagogues, include readings from the Torah. During weekly services, rabbis read short segments from the Torah. Sabbath mornings, however, include lengthier readings. Occasionally, church leaders and churchgoers chant or sing passages from the Torah instead of speaking them. The Torah of the mouth, the oral version of the written text, dates back to the second century A.D. and instructs Jews on following the written Laws of Moses codified in the Torah.