Torah [Hebrew torah: instruction]
The Torah refers to the first five books of the Jewish Bible, known as the Pentateuch.
Although traditionally ascribed to Moses, contemporary scholars suggest they have been compiled from different sources.
The Torah outlines the beginnings of the Jewish people and their patriarchs, to the Exodus from Egypt and various events in Sinai before the entry into Canaan.
The Torah also contains moral and legal instruction and may include rabbanic commentaries.
Another meaning for Torah is the scroll on which the Hebrew characters are written, normally found in a synagogue.
Perhaps most fundamentally, beyond all the religious debates about authorship and authenticity, the Torah outlines a people who believe they are called by God, along with their response and, at times, contentious relationship with God.
The idea of living with God is central to most religions, but deemed as quaint or misguided by secular people, and arguably by some superficial religious people. It seems some go to church and lap up all the pomp and circumstance as if it were some kind of social club, but forget about their relationship with God the second they exit the church door.