The Torah (/ˈtɔːrə/; Hebrew: תּוֹרָה, "Instruction", "Teaching") is the Jewish name for the first five books of the Jewish Bible. In Hebrew the five books are named by the first phrase in the text: Bereshit ("In beginning", Genesis), Shemot ("Names", Exodus), Vayikra ("He called", Leviticus), Bamidbar ("In the desert", Numbers) and Devarim ("Words", Deuteronomy).
In rabbinic literature the word Torah denotes both these five books, Torah Shebichtav (תורה שבכתב, "Torah that is written"), and an Oral Torah, Torah Shebe'al Peh (תורה שבעל פה, "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 (תַּלְמוּד) and Midrash (מדרש). The words of the Torah are written on a scroll by a sofer on parchment in Hebrew. A Torah portion must be read publicly at least once every three days, in the halachically prescribed tune, in the presence of a congregation, which is the basis for Jewish communal life.
According to religious tradition, all of the laws found in the Torah, both written and oral, were given by God to Moses, some of them at Mount Sinai and others at the Tabernacle, and all the teachings were written down by Moses, which resulted in the Torah we have today. According to a Midrash, the Torah was created prior to the creation of the world, and was used as the blueprint for Creation. Most modern biblical scholars believe 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).
Read more about Torah: Meaning and Names, Composition, Structure, Torah and Judaism, The Oral Torah, Divine Significance of Letters, Jewish Mysticism, Production and Use of A Torah Scroll, In Other Religions