It is also referred to as the Pentateuch because it is composed of the five books of Moses, namely, The Book of Genesis, The Book of Exodus, The Book of Leviticus, The Book of Numbers, and The Book of Deuteronomy (Jewish Globe). Interestingly, these books are also found in the bible used by Christians and the accounts contained in these books can also be found in the Moslem Qur’an.
They believe that the words contained in the Torah are the very words of God; they are not mere words of men who were inspired by God. The Torah contains the words of God himself. For this reason, the Torah is revered as the holiest of all the holy documents of Judaism. As a matter of fact, once it is destroyed and rendered unserviceable, it is given a ceremonial burial. A case in point is the elaborate burial of 11 Torah scrolls that were destroyed by fire in July 2010 in Bnei Brak, a city located on the east of Tel Aviv, Israel. Members of the faith mourned the scrolls’ destruction during an electrical fire at the synagogue. They placed death notices around the city and the burial rite which was attended by several rabbis and thousands of ultra-orthodox Jews made headlines around Israel. (Ettinger)
It is worth noting that the Jewish tradition invests a lot of time, energy and resources in order to reproduce their sacred texts as they appear in the original form. Especially in reproducing scrolls for use in the synagogues, they still use the traditional materials, namely, the parchment paper and quill pens of the ancient times. Even the manner, the method and the stroke of writing the texts are maintained in its original appearance. As a matter of fact, the Jews take pride that “the oldest known parchments (the Dead Sea Scrolls, produced shortly before the Common Era) are virtually identical to those produced today” (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs). Judaism has several sacred texts. At the pinnacle of the hierarchy of sacred texts is the Torah. The other sacred texts in Judaism are the Nevi’im and the Ketuvim. Together with the Torah, these three sacred texts form the Jewish Bible known as the Tanakh. Unlike the Torah which is the word of God that was revealed unto Moses, both the Nevi’im and the Ketuvim were written by prophets over an extensive period of time from the thirteenth century BCE to the sixth century BCE. (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs) In order to assist the faithful in reading and understanding the laws contained in the collective body of sacred texts called the Tanakh, religious and biblical scholars make commentaries on specific texts, words and lines in the Tanakh. Called the Targumim, these commentaries are “interpretive and contain fragments of exegesis and legend”